Mastery

Those in the know say that, to achieve mastery, we need to invest at least ten thousand hours in a skill or practice. To make that number more meaningful, ten thousand hours is equivalent to five years of full-time work, with two weeks of vacation each year. The problem, for most of us anyway, is that we tend to want to award ourselves mastery long before we have achieved it. If you have ever considered that you might be enlightened, you aren’t. Similarly, if you have every considered yourself a master, you are not.

One thing that does happen along the way toward mastery, no matter the subject matter, is that we reach a point where our reading becomes redundant. We start to recognize that we have heard a lot of what we are reading before. At first we might blame our reading material. After a while, we come to realize that it’s unlikely that every book or magazine article is sub par. It’s at this point that we start to realize that reading more won’t help us, in fact it may well frustrate us. It’s also at this point we need to recognize that we need to spend more time practicing our craft than we do reading about it. This isn’t mastery, it’s a turning point on the journey toward mastery.

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