Mastery Ain’t Cheap, or Quick
“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.” ~Michelangelo
Have you ever admired someone who is excellent at something they do? Ever envy them? Ever think about what they went through to master it?
I have that thought every time I watch great guitarists: They practice. A lot. I don’t.
Or rather, I tend to practice the chords and songs I already know, with which I already feel some familiarity. That’s why my repertoire is so limited.
Mastery takes talent, of course, but more, it takes desire.
And time and endless practice.
Experts tell us it takes 10,000 hours to become unconsciously competent at anything.
Athletes put in their hours. So do doctors, and lawyers, and engineers, and artists, and dancers, and coaches—and parents.
So, the next time you watch someone do something wonderful and say “Gosh, I wish I could do that,” ask yourself if you would be willing to put in the time that they did to be able to do the something spectacular that you’re admiring.
And if you’ve just undertaken a new endeavor, cut yourself some slack: you’ve got about 9,950 hours left until it becomes spectacularly effortless.
At least that’s what I’m telling my fingers as they struggle to master an F chord.
“Ah, mastery… what a profoundly satisfying feeling when one finally gets on top of a new set of skills…” ~Gail Sheehy