Achieving Mastery In More
Levelling up on the things you do ever so often
Everyone achieves mastery at something throughout their life. Whatever you mastered correlates to your value in the world. It determines what job you have and how unique you are.
Someone may have mastered the ability to sell a product, while someone else can run a 500+ person company with ease. And as you continue to spend your life in that field, you grow closer to unconscious mastery, working efficiently and effectively.
Many people master only one complicated thing because that’s all you need to survive in this world. Of those people, very few are well known as the best in a field because it’s hard to get there.
You mastered more than one thing? How valuable would you be? Not only could you provide the ability to work in that second field, but you could also find an intersection between your two fields.
Think of someone like Sam Harris, who brought neuroscience and meditation together. Or a psychologist working in the field of marketing. Maybe combining solar energy and AI to make efficient cars.
This article will provide a framework to achieve mastery in whatever you may do daily, weekly, or monthly. Whether that’s shooting hoops every weekend, everyday communication, cooking or your ability to think and solve problems.
A Case Study of Mastery
No matter what field or skill someone has mastered, there is a focus on both quality and quantity.
Start by picking something you do regularly (daily or weekly), that you want to master. By doing it regularly, you are tackling the quantity problem.
Dealing with quality is much harder. If you want to finally play your dusty piano, it’s easy to gravitate to songs you already know when you take the time to play. In general, humans try to avoid discomfort and trying anything new will give you discomfort.
The best way to tackle quality is to be intentional. If you were actively thinking about what you need to work on every time you sit at the piano, you would slowly fill the gaps and become a great player.
The reality is, being intentional is hard. The habitual ability to control our monkey mind and avoid the naturally easy path is a valuable thing to develop.
Props to you if you can develop the habit of being intentional but I will explore two other ways to overcome this obstacle.
If you place yourself in an environment where you have something on the line, you are more likely to focus on quality. Take Joe Rogan for example. He has mastered the ability to extract information from someone while adding insights from different areas he has mastered, like comedy and MMA.
With over 1500 podcats episodes and a huge audience, he is always producing quality content. If Joe didn’t take time to prepare for an episode, was always asking the same comfortable questions or didn’t try to squeeze important information out of someone, his brand and income could be affected.
Taking the jump to put something on the line is a hard thing to do, but comes with great rewards.
2. My Mastery Framework
This framework tries to eliminate all friction needed to focus on quality.
You should be able to show up to the park and know the move you need to work on instead of just carelessly shooting the ball around for an hour.
Part 1: Creating an Overarching System
James Clear compares an Olympic team that has a goal to win the gold medal, to one that selects the best athletes, trains them the toughest and focuses on fundamentals.
The second team is just as likely to win the gold medal as the first. Systems often lay out how a goal will be achieved and don’t end once the goal is achieved.
To create a basic system, these are some questions you should answer and research:
- Why am I doing this?
This gives you purpose and a reason to put time into your desired field. If you want to dunk so you can look cool, or automate everyday tasks through code, you’re on the right track.
- What is the never-ending goal?
This can be a habit or a state. Essentially, if you don’t keep putting in quality time, you are failing. If you’re focusing on writing, maybe you want to write one article every month. Maybe you want to be an active contributor and innovator in the quantum computing space. In that case, you have to keep up with research and constantly ideate.
- What do I constantly need to do to achieve my goal?
Here is where you start doing some research. One approach you can take is thinking about achieving your goal, then work backwards, questioning how that would happen and what steps need to be taken. Learning how to read research papers or some drills you can do are just a few examples.
- What do high standards look like?
Continue to research and find people who have already mastered the skill or field. Maybe pick up on their process or the best practices that make them successful.
Part 2: Short-Term Goals
To see growth over time, it’s important to set achievable short term goals. These should directly contribute to your never-ending goal.
It’s key to be realistic, open to change and time-specific. Without an expected due date, you will procrastinate. But, if you set too many goals in a short time span, you will get demotivated because they are too hard to achieve.
I would set one goal and be open to extending your due date as you work towards that goal.
Part 3: Proof Of Work (Nothing to do with blockchain)
Too many times, people get demotivated and quit doing something because they are consuming more than they are doing.
If you keep watching video after video without doing anything, you are going to lose motivation. The way to stay motivated is to get results.
This is the part where people fail the most, and why the world lacks multi mastery individuals. When you see things getting done and your hard work paying off, you’re likely to put more time into whatever you’re trying to master. Just like when you invest money into a stock that gives you a return, you are more likely to invest in that stock again.
Here are some results you may get and want to integrate into your goals:
- Any type of Content (Videos, Articles)
- Stats (# of Problems Solved, #3-Pointers made…)
- Projects (Just Making Stuff)
You could look at this framework as a way to deliberately practice or be intentional at something. Hopefully, whenever you really feel like shooting hoops or learning a new language again, you can have a clear vision of what you should work on.
Think of a handyman with a toolbox. One has only a wrench while the other has got a wrench, pliers, and a saw. The more tools you have, the more things you can do, and the more things you can do, the more valuable you become. Pick one thing you want to or already work on and apply this framework to achieve mastery at more!
- The more things you can master, the more unique and valuable you become
- Becoming a master at anything comes down to quality and quantity
- Quantity comes from a regular action or a habit, while quality comes from being intentional
- Many people who do an activity ever so often don’t focus on quality. They avoid discomfort and work on things they already know how to do.
- To become intentional with ease, you either have to place yourself in an environment to succeed or remove all friction it takes to be intentional (follow the framework described in this article)