Mastery Ain’t Cheap, or Quick

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

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Cynthia Barlow

Founder Cynthia Barlow

Facilitator, Author, Coach

Helping businesses build their people

If your people have the skills to communicate more effectively, they can connect more authentically and thus collaborate more productively. Not only on the job, but also in life.

Communication, Connection, and Collaboration—the three “C’s”—are the cornerstones of all successful businesses.

Experiential learning through interactive workshops and coaching combines these three essential components with real-world application. By heightening self-awareness, enhancing emotional intelligence (EQ), and reinforcing accountability people become better communicators and self-managers.

I’ve been driving new kinds of conversations my entire career. Clear, confident, congruent conversations that generate change. The kind of conversations that create real collaboration. The kind that build your business—and your character.


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