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The Mystical Secret to Mastering Anything

Updated on September 30, 2014

I hope you’re all ready for this because it is simply mind-blowing.In fact, it may be hard to absorb the sheer awesomeness, but here we go.


Do it consistently.

Yes, yes it is that simple, and it’s common sense. If you think about it, it’s intuitively true that you are what you do every day.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that there are shortcuts or that it’s impossible because you lack talent.

The key to countering that mindset is just to remind yourself that consistent effort will lead to mastery no matter where your starting point is.

This intent of this post is to reinforce the idea in order to help you internalize it.


Practice Makes Habit

There is a large banner at Evolve Academy with this quote on it, and I’ve heard it so many times there that I can never forget.

It’s a twist on the whole practice makes perfect idea, and it’s understandable since perfection is not possible.

What is possible though is habit formation. The problem there is that it can be difficult to control the habits that you are developing or break bad habits once you already have them.

This is one reason why it is so important to be pay attention to what you do every day because every activity is contributing to habit formation.

Now imagine that you wanted to be proficient in self defense so you went out and found a martial art to master. We can say Brazilian Jiu-jitsu because if you're not already training, you should be.


Anyway, so you’re diligently training every day, but doing the technique wrong. Now you’ve done this for some time and developed some bad habits.

Let’s say it took you 10000 repetitions to develop a bad habit, so now it will take 20000 repetitions replace that with a good habit.

So it should be clear how hard it can be to change a bad habit once formed. That is why it is best to never develop them in the first place.

Area Mastery

This is another concept that I’ve learned from my training environment. It’s one of the principles behind Team Lloyd Irvin’s success, and it can be applied to all kinds of things.

This concept is simply a matter of division. Think of it this way. In any disciple that you may want to master there are subsets.

If you focus the bulk of your attention on one subset, it is possible to achieve a high level of mastery in that area quicker than you could have mastered everything.

Once that is done, you can then use the highly focused knowledge and understanding you attained to master the rest of the discipline at a quicker rate.

Historical Reinforcement of the Above Concepts

I've been heavily influenced by Miyamoto Musashi’s Book of Five Rings. I’ve read it several times.

In fact, I used to read it before I competed at big tournaments since it is such a conceptually strong book for achieving success.

Now when you strip away all the mysticism from the book, you can see how timeless the ideas of practice makes habit and area mastery are.

Let’s start with area mastery. References to this idea can be found in the first chapter of the book where Musashi states that he no longer had any need of a teacher in anything.

He believed firmly that the knowledge and wisdom he attained over the years could be applied to other areas, and he proved it by becoming a skillful Sumi-e painter without instruction.

There is no doubt though that the strongest concept is practice makes habit. Throughout the book, Musashi stresses frequently that you must practice diligently and that you can only understand by doing repeatedly.

The purest essence of this is found in the last chapter of the book where the concept of emptiness equaling form is emphasized.

Emptiness can be thought of action without thought or consciousness that is only developed through consistent effort or practice. It is habit put to action and from it flows form.

Habit Formation Quotes

  • Aristotle: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not a act, but a habit.
  • Charles C. Noble: First we make our habits, then our habits make us.
  • Robert Puller: Good habits, once established are just as hard to break as are bad habits
  • Samuel Johnson: The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
  • Charles Dickens: I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.
  • Latin Proverb: A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit.
  • Mark Twain: Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
  • Somerset Maugham: The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.
  • Feodor Dostoevski: The second half of a man's life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half.
  • Confucius: Men's natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.
  • Jules Renard: Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.
  • Thomas D. Willhite: One word of caution…the subconscious is just as apt to pick up a bad habit as a good one. Thus, if you let your consciousness dwell on frustrations, worries and failure, these are the attitude habits you will pick up.
  • Mahatma Gandhi: Keep my word positive. Words become my behaviors. Keep my behaviors positive. Behaviors become my habits. Keep my habits positive. Habits become my values. Keep my values positive. Values become my destiny.
  • Benjamin Franklin: Each year one vicious habit rooted out, in time might make the worst man good throughout.

Oh, I'm Curious

Was this helpful to you? If it was, let me know. I would appreciate it.


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    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 5 years ago from United States

      Glad that it was helpful. You might also want to check out Rebounders. It's a great book that really focuses on the internal factors of success, and a focus on consistency and patience is definitely included.

      Also the 10,000 hour rule is mentioned quite frequently in it.

    • Injured lamb profile image

      Injured lamb 5 years ago

      Well, as usual...and I wonder if this is already a "habit" that I have developed, I noted down some of the quotes you have listed...

      I do agree with "The 10,000 Hour Rule" Doc Sonic has mentioned, it's so right that consistency and patience are always the key, keep practicing...keep doing...keep moving...

      Thanks for sharing this great hub of yours KBEvolve, well, it's useful and helpful to me...

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 5 years ago from Paris via California

      This is truly inspirational. I should take heed and get off HubPages and back to work! Voted up and awesome!

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 5 years ago from United States

      The 10,000 Hour Rule can be found in Outliers. I've heard a lot of great things about that book. I have to get around to reading it soon.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      This is great advice and so simple too. It can be applied to so many things, even writing, as well as martial arts.

    • Doc Sonic profile image

      Glen Nunes 5 years ago from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

      Nice hub! I read somewhere about the 10,000 Hour Rule (unfortunately I can't remember the source right now). Supposedly, based on studies of people who had risen to the top in various fields, it was determined that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master of something. Consistency and patience are the key. Voted up.

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 6 years ago from United States

      Yeah, I look at this all as a simple concept. It's all about K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid). The one thing to remember is that even though it's simple, it requires determination and consistent effort to actually apply it.

    • Mary Merriment profile image

      Mary Merriment 6 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

      I enjoyed reading the wisdom of your words about developing better habits that can truly be affective in every part of our lives. Great read!

    • Rachel Richmond profile image

      Rachel Richmond 6 years ago from California

      I love how this simply explained how to overcome just about everything. And I agree, it's about being aware of everyday activities to understand what one is seeking to change. Excellent hub.

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 6 years ago from United States

      Yeah, that is true as well. Skills can indeed be lost to a degree over time if they aren't used.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 6 years ago from New York City

      Ah, consistency - all so true. I decided to pick up certain hobbies and certain crafts that I haven't done in years because I just did not have the time and...well,I just couldn't do them. The ability was no longer in my fingers and wrists and so on.

      This is such a great reminder - and pep talk. Thanks a million and rated up.

      Nice to meet you too by the way - I'll follow now so I can keep up with you.

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 6 years ago from United States

      The popularity of martial arts seems to go in phases, but if you truly believe in the skill set that you are aiming to attain, it doesn't matter how popular it is. Thanks for the comment, Lily.

      At Evolve Academy, the concept of practice makes habit has taken precedence over practice makes perfect. The reason is simply that perfection is not possible but developing great habits is. They are very similar in concept though. Oh, and I really appreciate the comment.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow.. practice makes habit..My Dad always said practice makes perfect..same thing.. very interesting and practical and you are right we can apply this to any and everything..I voted way up...thank you for writing this and the video...

    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 6 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

      Some clean stuff. I like this sir; because it's not fuzzy. You say what's true, and then leave it to your reader, As a fan of Martial Arts, I'd say, that's the only way. BTW, why don't I ever see stuff on Kenpo anymore? Did it die?

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 6 years ago from United States

      Yes, some things in life are incredibly simple, they just aren't easy.

      Oh, the Talent Code sounds quite interesting. I'm going to look into it. Thanks for the recommendation.

      Also I couldn't agree more about the importance of focusing on developing good habits over bad.

    • Admiral_Joraxx profile image

      Admiral_Joraxx 6 years ago from Philippines

      Great! You pointed out a very interesting truth here KBEvolve. I definitely agree about what you discussed about bad and good habits. Turning point between them can really be very difficult indeed. Practicing the right way everyday is as difficult but it's the most rewarding thing to do. Great work here! 1 vote up and useful for this. =)

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Yes, this is good. It really is about doing it, over and over again. It reminds me of a book called "The Talent Code," where the author interviewed 100's of people who were masters at what they were doing. The common factor, besides a moderate amount of skill? It was that had put in many years of practice to what they were doing. It sounds so simple but it's harder to do, in practice.

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 6 years ago from United States

      Yeah, it's a simple concept, and it's intuitively true. To get better at anything, you have to repeatedly do it. There are no shortcuts, but there is also a clear blueprint for achieving what you want if you put the work in.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

      Hey, I like this article a lot. This concept of "practice makes habit" can indeed be applied to everything in life.

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 6 years ago from United States

      I tend to look at it from the perspective of martial arts, but the concepts are applicable to a whole host of things.

    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 6 years ago

      Hi KBEvolve. I'm not into martial arts, but your article here said how to master anything and it caught my eye. You're so right! Love your lead sentences about it being mind-blowing and the awesomeness of it. ha. 'Tis true! Because simple common sense and pattern seems to be a thing of the past to lotsa people these days. Rated your hub UP.