Summary of Mastery by George Leonard
Mastery by George Leonard is another book has been highly recommended by gurus on YouTube. After reading the book, I feel what the book is trying to describe is something we all know, but probably it’s hard for everyone to consistently follow. In order to become Mastery, we need to follow the first-rate instructions, to enjoy regular practice for its own sake, to push your capabilities to accept the plateau, to surrender to what your teacher teaches you.
George Leonard describes the personality traits and mental attitudes that help people in different fields of expertise reach the top, become the master, and the key ingredients for you to be succeed.
The book is talking about the following 5 keys to mastery:
Key 1: Instruction — The best thing you can do for the journey on the path of mastery is to arrange for first-rate instruction.
Key 2: Practice, Practice, and Practice — When the time you don’t seem like to have any progress and you have spent most of your time on a plateau, you still need to practice, continuously practice. After you pass the period, you suddenly get better and make great improvements.
Goals and contingencies are important, but they exist in the future and the past, beyond the pale of the sensory realm. Practice, the path of mastery, exists only in the present. You can see it, hear it, smell it, feel it. To love the plateau is love the eternal now, to enjoy the inevitable spurts of progress and the fruits of accomplishment, then serenely to accept the new plateau that waits just beyond them. To love the plateau is to love what is most essential and enduring in your life.
Key 3: Surrender — To your teacher and to the demands of your discipline. Surrender your proficiency to reach a higher level of proficiency. Surrender means there are no experts, only learners.
Be willing to look like a fool.
Key 4: Intentionality — Visualization combines deep relaxation will increase the speed of your learning process.
Key5: The Edge — Masters challenge previous limits, take risks for higher performance, and even become obsessive in that pursuit. It’s not either/or. It’s both/and.
But before you even consider playing this edge, there must be many years of instruction, practice, surrender, and intentionality. And afterwards? More training, more time on the plateau. The never-ending path again.
Dealing with Change and Homeostasis
- No matter a good or bad change, our system will resist any changes, so be aware of the way homeostasis works. Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble.
- Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change. Negotiate with your resistance, by using pain as a guide to performance.
- Develop a support system of other people who share the joys of the change you’ve making.
- Follow a regular practice
- Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning.
Getting Energy for Mastery
- Maintain physical fitness
- Acknowledge the negative and accentuate the positive
- Try telling the truth
- Honor but don’t indulge your own dark side
- Set your priority
- Make commitments. Take action
- Get on the path of mastery and stay on it
Pitfalls Along the path
- Conflicting way of life
- Obsessive goal orientation
- poor instruction
- lack of competitiveness
- Prizes and Medals
- Dead seriousness
This is what I learned from the book. I hope the summary is useful to you on your journey to mastery.