It has never been easier to access information, thanks to the internet. We live in a time where people get things immediately, often with very little effort required. It is no wonder then, that students expect to learn things right away, without making a serious effort, over time. This is a bit like expecting to be able to learn a new instrument or language, the first time you try it. The truth is, the students who have mastered certain skills or subjects, often spent many hours and overcame many setbacks in the process. Remember that talent is not enough, you must develop your talent by working on it daily.
In a few books, I have found it mentioned that mastery takes around 10000 hours. For example, if you want to become a professional athlete, expect it to take many years of training. The difference between the top performers and the average person, is the amount of work they have put into mastering their craft. There of course must be many setbacks on the road to mastery, since it doesn’t happen immediately. Your of course will be talented in certain areas, and this can reduce the time to become a master to about 7000 hours. So, there is still a lot of time and effort needed to get there!
When you instead believe that your mastery is based on someone else’s effort, you are mistaken. This leads to blaming others and not realizing the beauty of failures and setbacks that come to strengthen you. Most people give up incredibly fast when at first, they don’t succeed. Winners are prepared to lose for a long time in the beginning. They know the key is making small daily improvements that compound over time into greatness. They will appreciate their future successes that much more, knowing they had the grit and determination to work toward their goals, no matter what. Focus your mind on where you want to get to and never let someone tell you that you can’t do it. Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve”.
Mastery, in my opinion, means that you have eliminated most mistakes. Remember to learn from each mistake along the way, so you turn each into a positive. Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. Strive to make each mistake only once, and you will be a truly amazing student.
Remember that much of the time you are doing things out of habit, and this can cause you to make mistakes repeatedly on the same thing. Think carefully about the way you are working and make the necessary changes to yourself. I have found that I can only work on changing myself, with the hope being that in some way this improves the people around me.
What are the things that you are a master of? How long did it take you to get there? What caused you to keep going, even when it seemed impossible?