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The Laws of Mastery

Mastery is the desire, a passion to get better and better at something, to excel that matters to you.
But a bitter truth is that Mastery is very difficult to achieve, it is not something that you can achieve overnight, it takes months, years and even decades sometimes.
Malcolm Gladwell- a best-seller writer, mentions in his one of the best-sellers book “Outliers”, that it normally takes 10000 hours practice to get mastery over anything that you are trying to accomplish, it can be anything like a hobby, skill, etc. that is the reason that every person in the history who was considered a Genius actually had practiced at least 10000 hours to become a master at his work or his profession.
So what we must do in order to move towards mastery? Some behavioral Scientists discovered that Mastery consists of three Laws which are known as Laws of Mastery.

1- Mastery is A mindset.

According to Carol Dweck- A Psychology professor at Stanford University, the pursuit of Mastery is all in our head. After 40 years of
empirical research, he discovered that “What people believe shapes what people achieve.” Means Our beliefs about ourselves and our abilities,
determine how we interpret our experiences and what we can accomplish.

Moreover, Dweck writes that people hold two views about their Intelligence
(i) Entity View/Theory- in which people think that Intelligence is an entity. means it exists within us, we cannot increase
but only demonstrate with our actions. something like height ( if you want to get taller, you’re out of luck).
this view is also known as a fixed mindset

(ii) Incremental Theory- people with an incremental view believe that Intelligence is subjective, it may vary person to person but its something that,
with effort, we can increase. something like strength ( if you want to get stronger, and more muscular, start working out.)
this view is also called a Growth mindset.
So the people who believe in an Incremental view can only achieve mastery if they continued learning.
like Our Goals, there are two types of goals, one is performance goal and the other one is the Learning goal.
For e.g. it’s like getting A grade in English is a performance goal and getting good at speaking English is a learning Goal. though both are normal goals only the second goal i.e. Learning goal can lead us to Mastery. So for Mastery, it is crucial that we must have a Growth Mindset.

2- Mastery is a Pain.

According to Anders Ericsson- A well-known psychologist, offered in his research findings, that many human characteristics which
were once considered innate talents are in fact results of hard work and constant learning, and this learning sometimes took month, years
and even decades with excruciating, difficult, painful efforts to build.
And this long term persistence is known as Grit“, which is defined as perseverance and passion for long term goals.
So in every field grit is as important as IQ, and talent for higher accomplishment.
In other words, Mastery is all about continuously working and working and showing little improvement or no progress at first, and then making a little progress, and then again working and working on that new, slightly higher plateau. It’s painful and endless but that is the beauty of Mastery.
As Carol Dweck put it, Effort is one of the things that give meaning to life. Effort means you care about something, and that something is important to you and you are willing to work for it.

3- Mastery is an Asymptote

First of all what is Asymptote- In Algebra Asymptote is a straight line that a curve approaches but never quite touches/reaches it.
likewise, Mastery is an Asymptote. we can approach it, we can get really really, really close to it but we can not touch it.
Mastery is impossible to fully realize in any field but even if you are close to it, you still be far ahead than everyone else, And
People would have to call you an outlier or a genius.
Like Tiger Wood- World’s greatest Golfer once asked about his performance, He said, I must become better.
So the Joy in the pursuit of Mastey is more than the realization.
Being Professional is, doing the things you love to do on the days you don’t feel like doing- Julius Erving

By- Shoaib Ahmed

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