That’s a really good question, thanks for asking. As I think about it now, I find my self going back to my teen years, specifically when I was 16 years old and ready to embark on my first job. I had done exceptionally well in the countrywide entry annual exam to become a compositor, in the printing industry in the 1970s in London, England.
If you scored high enough on the exam, you were placed in an established printing company, who would sign you on as an apprentice. This hallowed apprenticeship would last for 6 years! You would then learn your trade at the feet of the ‘Masters’ (called Journeymen) on a day to day basis, while also supplementing the learnings by attending the London College of Print over the designated 6 years.
I definitely exceeded the 10,000 hours on the shop floor, postulated by Michael Gladwell, in his book ‘Outliers’ and some. And of course, Gladwell failed to adequately distinguish between the number of hours spent practising, and the quality of that practice. When it comes to Mastery, that is.
I pondered the idea of Mastery when I was designated a Master Trainer of NLP by my good friend and colleague, Dr Richard Bandler back in the year 2000. As the years have gone by, I’m very aware of the great gift he offered me when he asked me to become one of his apprentices back in 1995.
It changed my life, he saw something in me that I had not even begun to recognize in myself, (or maybe had forgotten, from my teen years) the willingness and the desire to want to master my craft.
I not only saw it in Dr Bandler, and I also heard it, felt it and experienced the Mastery first hand. Just absorbing, watching, practising, attentively listening in our late night and early morning conversations. Connecting the dots and experiencing from the back of the room of training, the masterful delivery.
If you ever get the opportunity to spend some time with a genius, say yes. The conversations they have with themselves in your presence will change your life.
It was like that with Robert Anton Wilson too, I had some wonderful moments with him, just parking his wheelchair by the hotel pool and just sitting as he would share his inner musings, outer wisdom.
Sometimes that’s part of personal mastery too, knowing when to keep still and when to speak, act or take action or not take action. And that all comes down to active listening, expanded sensory acuity and dedication to being the best that one can be.
Personal Mastery: well I’ll tell you what it is to me. It’s when you walk around and you’re not afraid of life. It’s when you are peaceful when others are not. It’s when your own sensory acuity is more important than the latest political scores or observing the recent media fallout. Stick around a while and that too will change.
Personal Mastery is steeped in training the mind to go where I want it to, not where others might suggest, recommend or even threaten.
So situations that would create drama for others do not generate the same “anchors” for me. The world around can be in chaos with plummeting stock markets and collapsing currencies and I sign a contract for new business computers because I know my own intentions and that’s what I’m listening to and I don’t feel or “resonate” with the chaos. I’m not knocked off my purpose or hooked into the “fear packets” darting around the internet.
Instead, at some level, I feel the wisdom of the ages and that’s at all times. I know this, I meditate on it, I connect with it and once you know with that kind of certainty, you can’t un-know it. You trust what you know and know how to access the inner guidance that delivers- every time.
Yes absolutely I know the chaos doesn’t have to affect me, and it doesn’t have to touch me. In many cases, I often disregard the latest predictive insights knowing often they are just about as reliable as the weather
Even if someone is in such an animated state they over-react and unleash their frustration on me my first reaction is to wonder if they’re right! And that is personal self-mastery. Check within first.
If I come up empty as being deserved of any of this reactivity I quickly access observation mode and take a second look. Is there anything I need to do? Should do, could do? Is this a moment my counterpart, or friend, or client, or student must simply move through to achieve their own heightened state of awareness? Their own mastery?
It’s a moment with myself, as I reflect on the “what is” really going on here? A great place to utilize Perceptual Positions, even a little TimeLine, or even as simple as becoming the observer. Quickly, easily, effortlessly moving beyond the knee-jerk reaction – will allow this relationship to will remain intact and perhaps become a growth moment for all.
It’s critical to become the observer in times like this and simply allow the Mastery – in fact, I call it forth, and remain the neutral link to the vast greatness of the Universal Mind; it’s not just working for me, it works for everyone. Meditation is the key. You can’t hear anything if your own inner dialogue just never shuts up. Most people don’t even know they can change the channel.
I recommend it. Step back instead of head-long into it. Check the Ego,
A Human’s first reaction is to protect, react, or fight back.
A Master’s first reaction is to check themselves – for integrity.
This is clearly a “choice point” and we all have a choice, you have a brain and it’s your brain, not mine, so that gives you choices doesn’t it?
We can always choose again, then let’s see what happens.
Mastery is about the self – you choose this for yourself – I did, it takes discipline and sometimes being a little hard on yourself for not following through on what you said you would.
You certainly do not, cannot do it for someone else. This is personal.