Here Is How How To Master Anything You Put Your Mind To.
Maybe you want to paint, or play an instrument, or become a professional hockey player, or become a producer, or climb mount Everest for all I know. All five of these things seem quite different on the outside, even completely unrelated. But if you look past the surface, past the individual skills you would need to learn to master any one of these abilities, you will find the same truth that a master of any of these abilities will tell you.
Can you guess what the secret to unlocking any of these abilities really is? I’ll tell you, but first I want you to use the resources right in front of you to figure it out before I have to tell you because trust me, if you figure it out for yourself you are way ahead of where I was when I discovered this simple secret. Go on Google and type in something like, “Bruce Lee quotes” or “Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes” or think of any other figure that inspires you and has had massive success in their life despite extraordinary odds. After a while you may notice something similar in the way they talk, act, define themselves and the way they define their goals. It all comes down to one simple thing…
So why is it that so many people quit playing the new guitar they just bought before even learning three chords? Why is it that so many people quit going to the gym after a month of next to no results? If I went to the gym and gave it my all I’d expect at least some kind of return on the investment of the gym pass, shorts, and those ridiculous 80’s headbands I see all too often; even after one month I’d hope to feel better about myself. One of the main reasons that so many people quit before they’ve learned how to master anything at all is because of something I’ve learned is called, “the real mastery curve.” Read that phrase again, “the REAL mastery curve.”
There seems to be a mass delusion about how to master anything and it stems from most of today’s (and yesterday’s) pop culture.
Plug ANY sports film into your media player of choice and you will undoubtedly come to the scene in the movie called a montage. This is where the main character undergoes some intense regimen of training that takes him or her from sucking to kicking it and can be summed up in shorter time than the pop music playing underneath. Because movies and TV are such a dominant way of how we take in our information today, it seems only natural that this way of training would be burned into our subconscious by now, dictating how we THINK we approach problems and improve our skills.
Certain kinds of people think to themselves, “Wow, that guy is really great at guitar playing, he makes it look super easy so it must be super easy to learn.” When these certain kinds of people go out, buy the instrument they want to learn, get home and within an hour of practicing, they simply get frustrated at themselves (and much more often, the instrument) only to put it down and never pick it up again because, “it’s too hard, I CAN’T do it, I don’t WANT to practice!” Or whatever lame excuse they can think of. This is all due to the fact that these kinds of people don’t understand the REAL mastery curve and what it means for them.
The Real Mastery Curve top image (found here) is how these kinds of people believe that the process should work, going from sucking to rocking in a matter of days or weeks and constantly having results fly from their fingertips. The second image below the first is a much more accurate description of how the process will go, whether they want it to be that way or not. Notice the slight dips just after the big breakthroughs along the second scale. An aware individual will know that after a big breakthrough in the skill in question, there will be a slight dip back down to a plateau of un-improvement. Some days you may be better, some weeks you will feel as if you are falling behind and not going anywhere.
If you ever get stuck, please be patient and know that on those days where you make some progress and fall back behind that you are really getting a preview of what the next level looks and feels like. Take this in stride and know you will have the results you truly believe you will get.
Let me get back to my original point of how to master anything. No matter how different one skill to the next may be, there is one definitive way of getting the results you are after. The secret to having anything you want in life, having any skill, any job or career, any weight you want all comes down to…
Read that again and again until you understand it, have internalized it, and fully comprehend how changing your attitude will literally change your life and the world around you.
When I think of how to master anything I set my mind to, I think of all the steps required to get there starting from the end result and working back to my current position. If the specific discipline could take years and years to achieve, I would hire a coach who is already doing all of those things I want to be doing. This is the fastest way to accelerate up the mastery curve as a coach will provide huge benefits to me like specific practicing tips, tricks, he/she will keep me motivated and accountable, and most importantly, he/she will share struggles that he/she had along the way to really humanize the experience showing that I can do this as well.
So if you are not like those other people, if you are willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want, if you are motivated enough NOW to make the ultimate change in your life, then pick up that guitar and practice until your fingers fall off. Because if I can learn how to master anything I put my mind to, there is not a doubt in my mind that you can too.