the hard work is the shortcut

We look for shortcuts like this all the time:

Yet when pursuing mastery it’s often more than four simple steps.

For anything I’ve ever had to master it involved:

  • Practice
  • Repetition
  • Revision
  • Iteration
  • More practice
  • Making mistakes
  • Redoing
  • Revising

You get the picture. No straight lines. Always a learning curve. Some curves steeper than others.

When we set out to learn anything new, we are attracted to those courses that promise mastery in 30 days, results in 21, genius level in just 3 months.

We watch reality TV shows, where restaurants are renovated in an hour AND staff and leadership issues are sorted in that timeframe too! Didn’t you know it? Houses can be renovated with ease and look as if you’re about to be featured in Architectural Digest.

We are lured by the end but never get a real sense of what it’s like to experience the joy of doing the work, of making mistakes, of falling out of love and falling right back in within the hour because this project is yours….you taste the need for it, and your heart aches, the longer it stays locked within.

One of my favorite books is one published in 1997 called Mastery by Joan Evelyn Ames. She interviewed 30 remarkable people including Jean Wiart, master metalworker and successful businessman.

When asked what are the keys to mastery and what keeps him fresh and excited, he said:

It’s a total dedication to your trade. This is absolutely essential. What makes people people great is their faithfulness to their trade and those who have trained them. It’s a lifetime project. Another key to mastery is that we constantly learn. I think that’s true in every discipline. We have to walk in the path of our predecessors for a long time before we can fly with our own wings and be an example for others. To produce excellence is hard work and demands constantly re-evaluating things and rebuilding them. And I am always vigilant against “short cuts”. They may make life easier but at the same time it’s a disgrace. I say, “Listen, we cannot do that, because it should not be done like that, and we know it.”

How steep your learning curve will be….I can’t say…but don’t let that stop you.

The world needs your “art” even if it may take more than 4 easy steps!

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