Going through the personal growth or self-help sections of books stores or looking at the course titles at places like the learning Annex, I’m struck at the ridiculous promises being made. “Master relationships/money/career.” “How to earn a fortune in real estate, how to make her beg for more.” The list goes on and on.
Not to say that you couldn’t earn a fortune in real estate, or make her beg for me, it’s just that these promises imply that there’s some ultimate point that you can reach. Do you really think that if you make her beg for more once, you’ll always be able to make her beg for more?
You could make a great argument that this is the case, that you could reach some “best” point, especially if it’s a personal best, and I would agree. My point is that it’s not helpful to focus on ultimate points, especially when the road to them is “made simple” or “for dummies”.
Why I don’t like the marketing of programs or experiences as “mastery” is that they encourage an unworkable relationship with the concept of mastery. They make us think that the road to it [mastery] is easy [with their help], and that once attained you’ll have it forever.
Congratulations you’re a master, Master. Now what?
Ask Tiger Woods what happens to his mastery when he stops playing. You don’t need the famous masters to test this out, take a look at anyone you consider a master and notice that they are constantly engaged with the thing that you think they are a master at.
Now the funny thing is that one of the best books out there about living your life as a practice is entitled “Mastery:the keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment.” The book is by George Leonard who together with Michael Murphy founded Integral Transformative Practice or ITP. Mr. Leonard’s concept of Mastery is spot on with many of the essential elements of what I mean by living your life as a practice. And as such I’m right on with his concept of Mastery. Check out George’s book. It’s a quick read and I would say very helpful if you want to take on living your life as a practice, or as a Master. 😉