Masters are developed, never born.
Achieving mastery in your domain does not happen by accident. It requires deliberate practice—even obsession—that only the most devoted can pull off.
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. -Bruce Lee
If becoming mediocre isn’t part of your gameplan, you’d be wise to dedicate yourself to adopting these 5 crucial mindsets of mastery:
Mindset 1: Pursue the one true mission
Goals will go unmet. Roads will be blocked. Doubts will magnify. And right on cue, haters will hate and try to bring you back down.
Be that as it may, nothing that can prevent you from mastery when you stick to your one true mission: improvement.
Do you think you’ll ever get any better by doing the exact same thing every time? It is imperative you keep creating new challenges, bigger objectives, and higher standards.
As long as you set your mind to always achieve improvement—even in the tiniest bit—it is only a matter of time until mastery is yours.
Mindset 2: Smart and steady wins the race
A little bit here and a little bit there ain’t gonna cut it.
The required neural pathways in your brain become the strongest through consistent action. If these pathways are not used, they weaken and become obsolete. Practicing in gaps will become more of a “catch-up”—a return to normalcy—instead of actual improvement.
Mastery also doesn’t happen overnight.
We know greatness takes time. But it’s not just time that’s important, it’s purposeful use of that time. This means consistency in learning, mental practice, and physical implementation.
Mindset 3: Feed(back) your ego
Don’t be afraid to stand on the shoulders of giants. Use the knowledge and wisdom of those who came before you to build on.
Furthermore, seek real-time advice and feedback every chance you get. If you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, you’ll never know how to improve.
One of the most disastrous mindsets you can have is to think you know everything. Nothing stunts growth like a mind trapped within itself.
Leave your ego at the door and never stop learning from those around you—whether it is new information or valuable critiquing.
Mindset 4: Focus on what matters
Some say focus on your strengths. Others say focus on your weaknesses. Well I say focus on what matters.
Should a basketball player with a wicked post-up game go shooting 500 3-pointers at practice?
If your strengths present a unique advantage, go all in! On the other hand, if your weaknesses make you a liability and hold you back, go after them.
There is no sense in devoting your precious mental and physical energy into something that produces little-to-no value.
Mindset 5: Do not underestimate the hustle
The hustle is real folks.
And if someone tells you it’s not, it’s because they are trying to steal money from you by taking advantage of your brain’s shortcut-seeking mechanism. Don’t buy it.
Too many people flock to the get rich quick schemes, magic pills, and “secrets to success”, only to find out they’ve been duped.
You want to know the secret of mastery at the highest level? It’s hustle. It’s falling in love with the grind. It’s sacrificing. It’s getting your ass up off the couch, striving for better, and not settling until you have actualized your potential.
When the lifestyle gets rough, remember that it’s not supposed to be easy. That’s what makes it feel so good when it finally pays off.
The greatest NFL receiver to ever play the game said,
Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t – Jerry Rice
I’d say he knows a thing or two about mastery…
What skill do you want to achieve mastery in? What will you do to improve every day?