The book " Mastery; The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment" is written by George Leonard, founder and trainer at Leonard Energy Training.
The book is filled up with lots of ready to use advice for long term success through continuous practice and patience.
Here are the key points from the book;
There is a sure root to achieve success, and that is the long term and never-ending process of continuous and consistent efforts in a direction.If you can touch your forehead then you have got all the abilities to do anything you consider doing and succeeding at. The most important thing here is starting and working on it as a process of continuous improvement through practice.Anybody can learn any skill or can do unimaginable things through Mastery. There is no need for any special talent but to follow a simple path and stay on it. It is a process never-ending.There is no quick way to Mastery. It is a process and not a destination. You don't just get better after a couple of trials. You have to stay here as long as you want to get better at things and that is a continuous process.The practitioner of Mastery are capable of inventing things that are never seen before, can ask questions that are never asked before and can seek the answers of any kind from the universe.With practice, You can learn any skill. You would not achieve a comfortable level of proficiency immediately. But, you will get better every day. Even when you're seeing no improvement you are moving ahead and you must never stop practising. You have to spend most of your time on the plateau before seeing any spurts.Learning is done in stages. The habitual system has to be reprogrammed with a new system by withdrawing cognitive systems.When you don't see any significant improvement in learning, you will feel to leave and start other things. This is a common behaviour of all of us. We want instant pleasure and avoid things that just do not fit in that category. But to get better at anything you just love practising daily. You must know that the path to mastery is never pleasurable but rocky and you have to put off your desires for easy payoffs.You don't like to be called a Dabbler. She just wants to start new things. If she experiences a plateau then she immediately wants to start something new. She does not like to be staying on the same platform for a long without seeing anything exciting. She just wants easy payoffs and frequent spurts. She is not on the path of mastery.You don't like to be called an obsessive as well. The obsessive wants to achieve the results fast. They want to work for longer hours and even use quick fixes to get to the target. They want to do anything to get faster to achieve the goal. They start with full energy and see the first spurt as expected. But, they have no patience. When they come upon the plateau they just feel irritated and double their efforts. They just push harder.The obsessive does not work for long term benefits. And when they don't see any significant progress then they just break down.Do you like to be hackers? Hacker is someone who does not bother about anything. They just work sufficiently hard and when they don't see any progress they either quit or blame others for their situations.You can be a mix of all. You can be a master in your job, hacker in your relationship, obsessive in sports and a dabbler in your behaviour.The essence of living a good life is practising mastery and never surrendering even when you don't see any improvement for a long time.We are living with quick fixes. When it comes to practising something important but time-consuming then we like to go with instant fixes that save time for now. The crowd just wants to see things now than practising mastery for long term achievements.Most of your learning journey will be spent on plateaus. You would see some spurts but most of the time it will be just a journey of boredom. And when you experience such times you must willingly accept the condition and keep on working on your things. The spurts and plateaus are an integral part of your journey of success. You can stop everything but can't stop practising if you are following the path of mastery.If you truly want to experience the greatest joy of success, you need to keep on working on your things even in the hardest times. You need to acknowledge that you can only succeed if you have skills to succeed and for which you need to keep on practising every day, every month and every year.Are you waiting for any reward to keep on practising and improving yourself? If you have got such things you can't be as effective as you must be. The people who practice mastery love practising. They love it as a journey, not as a goal.If you can concentrate on your things and keep on working with full enthusiasm without the benefits of any external rewards then you're travelling on the path of mastery.A long journey to mastery is tough to travel if you can't control your emotions. You should be serene in any condition. The path of mastery is long and if you waste your time in anger and wait for sudden spikes of achievements then probably this is not the path for you.To experience the greatest achievements, you need to live your life full of struggles and failures and love the conditions while you practice daily and improve yourself.There are unlimited numbers of resources available to learn a new skill. It is up to you now to start and get going. But before starting it you must know that it is a path less travelled. People who have succeeded have completed most of their milestones without any achievements and excitement. It is a path with no or scarce excitements. You can only travel it if you love it without expecting any short term gains.You need to carefully select your mentor or teacher for learning something new. A teacher or mentor without sufficient credentials from their students is simply someone to avoid. If you want to join a teacher you should know about his/her students. The students and their skills tell a lot about their teacher. If most of the students are doing good and learning then it is proof the teacher/mentor has teaching skills.Great teachers praise your achievement more than they shout at your failures. This is one of the important qualities of a teacher or mentor whose students thrive.A great teacher focuses on beginners or pros equally in developing new skills and strengthening already good ones. All are equal for them and they do their best in teaching their crafts to everyone that come under their teams.A beginner takes time in learning a new craft. And a great teacher has the knowledge, skills, credentials, expertise and patience to help beginners to travel on the path of mastery.It is not necessary to have God-given abilities to be successful in any sports or task. And most of the time it is found that a person who has no sign of skills initially develops and becomes more successful than those who were supposed to have all the abilities. Learning never ends and none is perfect or have all the skills.What is practice? A path on which you travel. It is anything you do daily without even noticing it. It is something without which your day is not complete. It is an integral part of your life. A doctor does not solely practice medicine for money but it is his daily routine to participate in.The person on the path of mastery loves practising the craft. She practices not only to gain something but practising it daily is the only goal. This is the reason, she gets better at it.The master of any game is a master of practice. They are so good in their trade only because they are so good at keep on practising.You need to love the things you do. And if you don't do then you would not love to do it every day. You will practice every day. Practice is the path of mastery.When you start doing something important in your life, you don't see success immediately. Maybe your first few attempts put you down, and you earn more criticism than praises. You would like to leave. And when such things happen to you, you need to keep quiet and get ready for your next move. Quitting is the End, and if you challenge the condition you increase your chances of success.A learner gives full attention to things she does because she wants to learn. And if someone considers herself master, then she loses focus. In that situation, learning becomes tough if not impossible. Surrendering is the only approach to attain the path of mastery in those conditions.Visualization is a great technique to see the future. You should have a clear vision of what you want to become or what you want to do. When you have decided, it becomes much easier to move in that direction and living the things you once visualized.The path of mastery is hard, and until you push yourself hard enough to walk on this path forever you are not ready to follow the path. You have to challenge your limits. You have to believe you can do anything no matter how tough and severe it is.Our bodies or even societies resist change. When you start doing something you were not doing earlier your body experiences a change. It is a natural tendency to get back to a normal state. And when you experience such things, rather than getting back to the normal state, stay there and keep on practising. It is the resistance that prevents us from improving ourselves.We gain energy by using energy. Your body can't be strong if you don't exercise. Our heart becomes strong when we do regular exercise and keep it busy. The same applies to other aspects of our lives. We have to push ourselves hard for things we want in our lives. We can't just stay at a place and hope for the things to come in our lives. We have to work for them hard. Use all your skills, knowledge and energy and in return earn more of them. Here it is not saving that is important but spending is more important.We must know what we want in our lives so that we could take steps without any confusion. When you know what you want, everything becomes easy. You know what you need to do to come closer to where you want. When you don't know where to go, you just waste your time and don't take any action.True, you can't do everything but you can do one thing and then another and then another. And when it comes to taking action, do it now. This is how we can achieve the success we can dream of.In today's world, we're lured by quick results and instant gratification. They are enemies to the path of mastery.The reward of mastery is no gold medal or anything significant you can think of. It is the path itself. You can't say that you have earned this and this is final. You don't know your limits. And when you achieve something you don't know how much more you can get.The path of mastery is also full of shortfalls and embarrassments. Years of practice is not a sure shot to success. There is no timeline defined and you can't say this is the last milestone.Consistency matters when you're travelling on the path of mastery. You can't skip the practice. And if you miss one or more sessions then don't quit entirely for the sake of this, come back and start practising again.Mastery is not about perfection. It is about doing things every day without losing focus and intensity. You have to be willing to keep on working on things; day after day, months after months throughout your life.Our today's society wants faster results on anything. We want to get things done as fast as possible even without covering the most basic steps. This culture is the opposite of the path of mastery. In achieving the results faster, we cause more harm than good. And, most of the time this approach leads to nothing. Time wasted, efforts are underutilized and morale is down. When you are serious about something, then put all your efforts into it and do the things that would yield better results.When you're on the path of mastery. No matter it is for a better relationship, education, job or anything, you must know that you need to seek the best guidance and support available. And when you have got the things all right, then start your endless journey of mastery with vigour, determination and respect. You must start loving what you do. You do it not for getting something out of it, but you do it because you can't live without doing it.Get out of your self-doubts. You have got all the things to succeed and live beautifully here. What you need to do is start practising, start working, and love the process of mastery.A good learner is someone with an appetite for knowledge. She accepts she does not know anything. And when we accept ignorance, we see infinite resources for knowledge. This is the way to get better at anything you care about.When you want to learn something, you don't like to be called foolish. You don't want people to laugh at you. You want to look like a genius. And when you have such a feeling, you become a hurdle in your learning. So kill the fear that has become a hurdle in your way of learning. Get out of it and improve yourself.