The simpler path to mastery

productivity May 27, 2023
The simpler path to mastery

Most people overcomplicate the path to mastery. They want the most fancy way to become a master in the shortest amount of time. They spend lots of time, money, and effort on methods that don't really do anything. They waste time instead of utilizing the simpler path to mastery.

Last time, I talked about the 4 steps to mastery. That was meant to lay out what the different stages look like to give you a better understanding of them.

Today, I want to give you a few tips to make the process not only more enjoyable but simpler. 

Here are 3 tips to make the simpler path to mastery even simpler.

1. Know what you want

I've said it before, I'll keep saying it. KNOW. WHAT. YOU. WANT. Trying to approach mastery without knowing your goals is like sailing the seas without a map: You have no idea where you're going. The first tip to simplify mastery is to know your own goals.

It doesn't matter what you want to master. It could be sports, cooking, music, coding, flirting, or exercising. If you don't know your goals, your progress will be severely limited.

In order to achieve mastery, direction is required. Knowing what you want to achieve and the skills you want to have in the end will help you obtain that direction.

Finding out what you want is a long and challenging process. It takes a lot of introspection. However, it's a process worth doing.

Sit down and take the time to really find out what you want to achieve. Ask yourself a bunch of questions. Most importantly, don't filter out any answers that rise to the surface.

Knowing is half the battle, and when you spend the time to know your goals, you're already halfway to victory.

2. Find and utilize a mentor

Most people want to figure things out themselves. They don't want to go through the slow process of following a teacher because they want to go at their own pace. Whether you choose to follow a teacher or not, you still need a mentor of some sort. 

When I say mentor, it could be a person, it could be a video. Whichever you choose, follow their teachings and utilize the techniques that they teach.

The beginning phase of learning is always mimicry. This is where the whole saying monkey see, monkey do comes from.

Mentors mainly do two things.

First, it takes away the load of having to think about your next step off your shoulders.

Instead of having to think of your next move, your mentor tells you. They tell you what you need to learn next, so you can focus on learning.

Learning quickly requires focus on key concepts. If you have to worry about what you're learning next, this focus becomes compromised.

Second, you have a clear path.

The mentor, whether it be a teacher, a course, or a video series, gives you a path to follow. Again, this lowers the load placed on your shoulders so you can focus on learning.

This also allows a certain degree of accountability. If you aren't progressing at the pace you want, it's because you haven't fully grasped one of the lessons along the way. You can simply backtrack and spend more time on that lesson.

3. Be Patient

Everything takes time, some more than others. Why then, do we rush so many things? Too many people want the results so they can impress others. This leads to inevitable pitfalls. Instead of rushing to the end, be patient with the process.

The most common area people become impatient is in the middle phase of the journey. When the motivation of the beginning has begun to run dry, they want things to hurry up.

But this leads to further complications when they stray too far off the path.

The whole point of being put on a path is to lower the mental overhead so you can focus. When a student isn't patient with the process, they are foregoing this ease of mind.

The result is the overhead comes crashing down and they have to deal with it. Worst of all, it's their fault.

Once you set down a path, have the discipline to follow through with it. This doesn't mean you can't take detours if necessary, it means you shouldn't purposely go off on your own.

I learned this the hard way when learning guitar. I wanted to learn the fretboard so badly but got impatient because nothing was giving me the fast results I wanted. 

Eventually, I stumbled across a method that made it easy when it was right in front of me the whole time in a course I bought years ago.

Have patience and humility when learning something new. The mentors and masters know things that you don't.

It's a long road

According to research, it takes about 10,000 hours to master something. Whether it's true or not, it is true that mastery takes time.

The key isn't to get things perfect. The key is to show up and do something. Doing this consistently builds the habit until, eventually, you have a new practice habit.

Acquiring mastery is a human desire. It keeps us going in the long run. But in order to keep motivation, you need results. These 3 tips are here to help with exactly that.

- Karl