Mastery | In-Between the Pages

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Deep Forest (Image: Shawn Ward)
We want a path to mastery, but we don’t want to put in the time it takes. We have a incredible amount of things that are getting our time and attention that shouldn’t be. We think with all the instant information we have at our fingers tips, why do we need to take the time for mastery?

Last week I posted on a Fast Company article by David Finkel I read and how he’s found how to set aside two days each week for 3-4 hours to work on just one thing. To really get a habit around building consistency for this time and deep work. To practice mastery.

Mastery plays a key role in doing your best work. We’re going to talk about what to do with the two days you’ve learned to set aside last week. More importantly, sharpen the mastery around your craft. Here’s a great definition I’ve read on the definition of mastery to frame it up:

“I believe the healthy view of mastery means giving the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.” – Gary Keller

This type of work or mastery can only be accomplished by having the time out to focus and go all in with minimal distractions. The video below is one that I watch time and again. It’s 7+ minutes long.

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/short-film-showcase/the-art-of-shaping-a-bonsai-tree

The Art of Shokunin is all about mastery and in it Ryan Neil takes us through a very short film on what that type of dedication means to him. For the actual definition of mastery through his vision of it, skip to about the last 3 minutes of the video. (I know, I’m asking you to cut a corner and get to the TL;DR version, the whole video is amazing though so watch it all.)

As you tackle your focus blocks where you do this deep work, take the lens of being a master with you. You have to have the understanding that you can still improve your craft and while at the same time pursue perfection. And, be unwavering in both while focused on incrementally improving your work in each session.

Ryan in beginning of the video says:

“Time plays a tremendous role in shaping our character and personality.” 

Take that time to go deep into your work once you’ve crafted the habit of giving yourself permission to do it and practice mastery. It will change you, let it have the opportunity to do so. I love this part of the passage from The One Thing by Gary Keller in it’s description of mastery:

“The creativity you see at black-belt level comes from the mastery of white-belt fundamentals. Since there is always another level to learn, mastery actually means you’re a master of what you know and an apprentice of what you don’t.” – Gary Keller

Mastery is a journey. Take your focus time to really honor that and explore it. Cut out the distractions and notifications on your technology. Go for the immersion affect. Then as you do it each time, take it 1% further.

Hope you’re having a great week. Thanks for reading and taking the time to check in with me. If you haven’t been able to catch up with last week’s post on Focus Days, here it is again:

Boiling the Oceans | In-Between the Pages

Shawn

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