Life isn’t all that exciting – nor successful – if our effort and our goals are simply average. Passion, desire, competitiveness, and ambition make life worth living. If our goal is to be in the middle of the pack, our lives are going to have the same result: we’d have an average life, with average happiness, an average amount of laughter, and an abundance of regret and sadness.
Some have mastered a certain art, like Michael Jordan with basketball, or Muhammad Ali with boxing, but let other areas of their lives suffer. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, and Ghandi had another approach: practicing greatness in life. Yes they had strengths, and they used those strengths to create change, but they didn’t let the intense focus in one area ruin other areas of their lives.
But you do have to appreciate that focused greatness as well. You have to appreciate the way Michael Jordan mastered the game of basketball – arguably unlike any other before him or since. How Bruce Lee mastered the art of fighting, even creating his own style. The things he could do with his body were astonishing. How Martin Luther King Jr. mastered the art of public speaking. His leadership and ability to inspire will forever be remembered.
Each of them had talent, yes. But each of them also had the desire and the will to become great. Not to just get good at what they were doing, but to actually become a master at it.
So, what are you trying to master?
As I said earlier, life would be pretty boring and unimportant if we were simply trying to be average at everything we did. The thing is, most of the time that’s exactly how we live life. And I’m a victim of this stupid outlook as well. Instead of trying to be great, we half-ass it, we push “greatness” to tomorrow, and we miss our opportunities to become extraordinary out of sheer laziness.
Becoming a master shouldn’t be reserved to one single thing, but should rather be applied to all of life. Yah we’re going to get lazy at times, not wanting to do this or that to the very best of our abilities, but why not try to be great at everything we do?
We Have More Control Than We Give Ourselves Credit
We – as in myself included – give circumstances too much control. The reality is, we have a lot more control over our lives than we give ourselves credit. We play the blame game and pout, rather than grinding, working our asses off and truly trying to be great. It’s such a waste. We all have greatness in some form or another in us. Some of us believe it, and act on it, becoming great. Other’s will ignore it, waste it through laziness, or won’t recognize the talent that we actually have – sometimes out of fear.
How to Become a Master
1. Take pride in everything you do.
Take pride in how you dress, in how you listen, think, talk, write, workout, and so forth. Not that you’re being judged on everything you do, that’s not the issue. It’s about having a desire to stand out, to not waste our time and take things for granted.
If you have something you want to master, study it. Make it a kind of obsession. Mike Tyson spent hours upon hours watching old fights, studying the greats in the sport that came before him. Not just because he wanted to be great, but because he loved the sport.
3. If you’re doing something, do it right.
If you’re in the gym, practice doing the proper form for each exercise. If you’re a basketball player practice proper form for your jump shot. Whatever you’re doing, try doing it as best you can.
4. Do it your way.
I think one of the many reasons that Kobe will never be as great as Michael Jordan, is because of how much he’s copied Michael’s game. Jordan studied other players, watched film and so forth, but he was unique. He had his own style and his own way of doing things. Draw inspiration and learn lesson’s from others, but be unique. You can’t become a master copying someone else’s style.
Inspiration for this article: “The Greatness Guide” by Robin Sharma
What are you trying to master?
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