What exactly does it mean to "master" something?
Mastery is not an end to something..it is the state of mind that lies at the beginning of something. When you master something, it's the progression of baby steps on the path, not in reaching the end.
When we set goals for ourselves, it is important to look at the baby steps. Just as an infant desires the ability to walk. We all have mastery built in us as infants. We are determined to hurdle the next stage. From rolling over, to sitting, to crawling, to walking. So, in the process of learning these different stages, did you spend more time falling over or down or was it in an instant that you could do these things? If you're like most, you failed (fell over) more than you succeeded (crawled or walked). But, as a baby, did you ever think to quit? Did you ever decide that walking just wasn't for you? Of course not! You were on the path of mastery and quitting was never an option in your mind. Constantly falling down was uncomfortable and it hurt and you can imagine how funny it was to watch, right? But you did it anyway. Why is that? Because as an infant, you had the burning desire to succeed. It's because successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.
And here's the exciting part….all infants are successful. As infants we are all masters because that's the way we were designed to be. It's born in us.
What happens to that determination of mastery? Why do we get complacent and decide to settle for where we're at? We let go of our natural instinct to gravitate towards success, our mastery, because over time we have heard 40,000 no's to maybe 5,000 yes's. Our world becomes negative. We're told we can't do something more than "we can". We lose our faith and through growing up we became to "big" for taking those baby steps. We become less confident in ourselves and too afraid to let ourselves fail a few times first. We forgot that it's those simple baby steps done consistently over time and failing forward that accomplishes our biggest goal.
I love the analogies of looking up at a huge staircase and you wonder if you can make it to the top, but if you just take it one step at a time, you will find yourself at the top. Or driving in the dark. You can't see all the way across country and you don't need to. As long as you can see the road in front of your headlights, you can get to your destination. You just have to take the first step and keep taking those steps.
5% of the population think positive and face fear head on. The other 95% are too scared to take the first step. They think safe and that "that will never work for me". Why won't it work for you? We were all born to be masters and you can train your brain to become that childlike mastery again. All that is required is having a dream and taking that first step. The 95% settles for less, gives up on those baby steps, accepts the road to failure and soon that becomes their habit. While the other 5% takes the actions that others are not willing to do, takes those baby steps, embraces their future and soon that becomes their habit. We all take a path…it's just which one do you want to take? It's never too late to turn the page and take those baby steps.
As Napoleon Hill wrote in his book, Think & Grow Rich, "There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it." What is your burning desire?
At 44, my burning desire was to get healthy. I took the baby steps and it's been 6 years on my journey. My journey will never end, because it's always a process. When you're done growing, your dead (figuratively). Personal development is such a huge aspect of those baby steps…best investment a person can make. I was in such a negative, sad state. I was obese. My body hurt. My neck was fused and I was telling people I felt at this rate, I would be in a nursing home by the time I was 60! And because I believed that at the time, I'm sure I would have been had I not been encouraged by a friend. Start taking baby steps to whatever wish you have for your life. It's never too late to master something.
The one thing I believe we all have in common, is that we all would like to master aging. And that's what this blog is about, but we all have dreams, and you can master them just the same…one baby step at a time.