- Education and Science
The Mystical Secret to Mastering Anything
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.
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.
You May Also Like
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- A Simple Concept That Will Help You Learn Skills Quicker
- Universal Concepts from the Book of Five Rings That Can Benefit You
Oh, I'm Curious
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