Let’s find out “How To Build Mastery.” Mastery is an excellent and beautiful experience. It is mastery that sets people on the pace to change their world. You cannot possibly change, reinvent or improve on what you have not first understood. The more you understand a thing, the easier it will be for you to manipulate that thing to your advantage. Mediocrity is not reckoned with in the world today. The ground floor is crowded, but there is enough space at the top, and the top is meant for only those who can pay the price to get there. It is because of the price it takes to get to the top that many people simply allow themselves to remain there. If you are going to be reckoned with, celebrated and needed, you have to build whatever you do to a point of mastery.
When you talk of music today, there are certain names that may easily pop up in your mind, talk of politics, there are names that will pop up too. Think of any field of human endeavor, and you will be able to mention or observe people who have gained mastery in those areas either in history or in contemporary times.
What strategic ways can you engage to build your area of interest into mastery?
There is a common saying that ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. One significant fact is that people of mastery are not people of too many diversions. Of course, they can know a lot about other things, but whatever they learn, do or work on, they are mostly going to direct all such in the direction of their major interests. They are focused, specific and disciplined. Students that attend higher institutions to gain specialization in certain disciplines are made to concentrate on their area of interest for a number of years so that they can know all the necessary things in their field. They will be engaged with different courses carrying various course titles but all they learn will still be channelled in the direction of their major course of study. Just in that way, it is necessary to consider yourself and your areas of interest and strength and focus on such areas. It will be easier to build mastery in your areas of strength than otherwise.
Have a Plan
When you must have settled on what area to focus on, then you need to ask yourself in practical terms – ‘how do I want to achieve this?’
Take for instance you want to master the art of writing, you will need to first decide what genre, niche or area of writing you want to focus on, then your plan comes in – are you going to take online courses in that area, how many hours will you be practising every day? Who will serve as your mentor? Draw out your plan, let it span from the beginning to the end, this will help you to have a clear picture of where you are heading and how you will get there. Ensure that your plan is well broken down into small bits that are clear and measurable per time. Your plan will also help you to evaluate yourself with time. Since your plan contains all you need to do to get to the point of mastery, you will be able to check yourself at intervals and know if you are actually giving it what it takes, or you’re being lazy about your goal.
Don’t seek convenience
Sometimes, convenience is the enemy of greatness. You need to get yourself out of the comfort zone of what you already know. If you don’t want anything that will challenge your pride, normal schedule and previous knowledge, you might never be able to handle the demands of mastery. You must set your mind towards readiness for change. Be ready for change and improvement.
Get a Mentor
A mentor is someone who has reached that point of mastery that you want to attain. There can be different ways to this. One way is when you have built relationship or friendship with an expert in a field. The expert can be anyone – your friend, sibling, parent or any one at all, younger or older than you. Once you know this person is very good already at what he/she does and you want to master that thing, you can approach the person in a humble and enthusiastic manner to be your guide or mentor. The person may charge for the coaching/mentorship or may not charge, you must be ready to accept the terms the person spells as long as they are within the ambience of your capacity and values.
Another way could be to enrol under an expert/master at that thing and be an apprentice. This style is very well associated with a particular tribe in Nigeria, many of them are into businesses, they serve under their masters as apprentices for a number of years, when they must have learnt the nitty-gritty of the trade, they are empowered by their masters to start their own businesses. This is a good idea if you have such an opportunity in your environment and in your area of interest.
“You must immerse yourself in your work… You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success.” – Chef Jiro
There is no other way to know how to do a thing than to do it and keep doing it. It is also important to keep it at the back of your mind that practice is superior to learning. In other words, practical engagement is more important than merely stocking your head with theory. Theory should serve as the basis, but it is by practice that mastery is attained. Your practice has to be regular and daily if you really want to be great at what you do. You cannot merely be doing something once a week or once a month and expect to gain mastery in it.
“Learning a difficult skill takes time. But remember, the harder the skill is to learn, the more fulfilling it is when you reach the finish line” – Mark Joseph Aduana
Learning and building expertise in any area of interest is not something for the weak-hearted. There will be times you will want to give up and just throw in the towel, but you should remind yourself at such times that all the masters you know in that field have also passed through such hardness. It is because of the sacrifice, devotion and determination required to achieve such level of mastery that not many people have been able to attain it.
Never stop learning
Learning never ends because knowledge keeps increasing. If a person had a mastery of information technology ten years ago and probably failed to improve on that knowledge, today some of his knowledge will already be obsolete and he might be out of job. To keep up with all the new developments in your area of interest, you should be open to new and higher knowledge.