What Are You Mastering?

The question of what unique abilities, traits, and practices that inspire and enable certain people to rise up and achieve greatness in their chosen vocations is one that has fascinated me for some time. It’s estimated that it takes upwards of ten thousand hours of practice to become a master, a world-class expert in a skill or a profession. An accomplished artist told me the other day that you need to paint full time, at least forty hours a week for two years before you are even ready to start selling your work.

Those rare individuals who dedicate their lives or their work or their desires to what they feel called to do inspire me.

Perseverance is a quality that may not always earn you the respect of the world but will give you the self-respect, well being, and inner peace to live a life of deep satisfaction. No one takes pride in doing something easy. It’s invigorating to keep at something even when it gets uncomfortable or difficult. It’s inspiring to stick with something you believe in, day after day, month after month, year after year, even if the world does not understand or support you.

It’s never too late to start the process of mastery. Many writers, artists, musicians, professionals, parents, and even some athletes, come into their prime later in life. If it takes ten years to become a master, wouldn’t you rather spend ten years on the journey of mastering than on the path of regret? You’re going to be ten years older in ten years anyway. Why not devote yourself to something worthwhile?

What inspires you? What have you started lately? What have you persevered at? What have you dedicated yourself to?