As discussed earlier, mastery will not only increase your skill, but will improve your motivation, as well as provide a sense of purpose and meaning in even the most boring industry.The Craftsman Approach: Master Your Work Through Deliberate Practice
Regardless of your industry or profession, it is possible to pursue mastery. Better yet, it's highly profitable to pursue mastery. As discussed earlier, mastery will not only increase your skill, but will improve your motivation, as well as provide a sense of purpose and meaning in even the most boring industry. To close in the words of Amelia Earhart: "There is only one way in this world to achieve true happiness, and that is to express yourself with all your skill and enthusiasm in a career that appeals to you more than any other.”
– Mastery requires endurance. Mastery, a word we don’t use often, is not the equivalent of what we might consider its cognate —perfectionism— an inhuman aim motivated by a concern with how others view us. Mastery is also not the same as success —an event-based victory based on a peak point, a punctuated moment in time.
– The meaning uncovered [by craftsmen] is due to the skill and appreciation inherent in craftsmanship - not the outcomes of their work. […] The same applies to knowledge work. You don’t need a rarified job; you need instead a rarified approach to your work. […]
Whether you’re a writer, marketer, consultant, or lawyer: your work is craft, and if you hone your ability and apply it with respect and care, then like the skilled wheelwright you can generate meaning in the daily efforts of your professional life.
~ Cal Newport
– Scientists who've been studying motivation have given us this new approach. It's built much more around intrinsic motivation. Around the desire to do things because they matter, because we like it, they're interesting, or part of something important. And to my mind, that new operating system for our businesses revolves around three elements:
Autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives. Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters. Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
~ Daniel Pink
– The “10,000-hour rule”—that this level of practice holds the secret to great success in any field —has become sacrosanct gospel, echoed on websites and recited as litany in high-performance workshops. The problem: it’s only half true. If you are a duffer at golf, say, and make the same mistakes every time you try a certain swing or putt, 10,000 hours of practicing that error will not improve your game. You’ll still be a duffer, albeit an older one.
No less an expert than Anders Ericsson, the Florida State University psychologist whose research on expertise spawned the 10,000-hour rule of thumb, told me, “You don’t get benefits from mechanical repetition, but by adjusting your execution over and over to get closer to your goal.”
Focus Your Energy on Your Most Important Skills
In our increasingly hectic world, it’s no wonder that people are seeking solace in simplicity, in everything from capsule wardrobes to tiny homes. Simplicity has always been a quality inherent to the craftsperson: They don’t complicate their lives, workspaces, or craft with anything unessential. By mastering the tools and rules of their craft, they’re able to free their minds to focus on doing their best work.
– Look for behaviors that have a ripple effect, changing your other behaviors without extra effort. And pay attention to how you see yourself when you do a particular habit. Does it change your self image? Do you feel better when you think of yourself as a person who flosses, a note-taker during meetings, a runner, or a person who meditates?
~ Charles Duhigg
Find a Feedback Loop
Ideally that feedback comes from someone with an expert eye, and so every world-class sports champion has a coach. If you practice without such feedback, you don’t get to the top ranks. The feedback matters and the concentration does, too—not just the hours.
– Though a true mentor may be difficult to find, it’s not impossible. If you have one in mind, start by building the relationship —just like you would anyone else. Don’t lead with “Will you be my mentor?” (That’s like asking someone to marry you on the first date.) Instead, get to know them. Look for opportunities to be generous. Start small and see where it goes.
~ Michael Hyatt
- Hire a coach.