Mastery is when talent transcends itself and redefines the paradigm in which one exists. In life we have an incessant need to define ourselves as part of a society that’s in a constant state of flux. Many of us try to conform to a path carved out for us by our society and parents. Achieving success is essential because the existential crisis many of us face is how we will be remembered and what will be our fingerprint on society. In the pursuit of greatness or the mastery of any field or discipline; these three facets of power are necessary, vision, passion, and work ethic.
When we study any great figure or “master” throughout history the tenets of “vision”, “passion”, and “work ethic” is a familiar theme. The “I Have a Dream” speech given by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963 is the epitome of the power of having a vision. One of the most recent examples of a person who’s made an impact on history is the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. In 2008, then just a Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama ran for President with a clear vision. One of his most notable slogans was, “Change We Can Believe In”, while campaigning. President Obama had a vision of providing healthcare for millions of Americans who would have normally been uninsured with the Affordable Care Act. President Obama also issued an order to the Department of Justice to begin phasing out privately owned prisons. Unfortunately, under the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding the memo sent by President Obama to cut down on privately owned prisons. Adversity aside, the catalyst of the ground breaking changes under the Obama administration started with a vision.
Vision provides an individual with a destination, a clear objective in pursuing a goal or augmenting a specific talent. The best way to make your vision into a tangible reality is to write it down. If your vision is starting a business start to construct a template for bringing that business to fruition. Begin to list all of the potential obstacles that will make fulfilling your vision more difficult and how to circumvent those obstacles. The novelty of such a vision needs to operate congruently with the logistics of concrete planning and be malleable to change. Every vision needs execution, French writer and poet Antoine de Saint Exupery stated, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Vision is paramount but the next integral step in mastering your craft is passion.
Steve Jobs has become synonymous with innovation, technology, and change the world over. At the 2007 D 5 Conference the late former CEO of Apple emphasized the need for passion. According to Jobs, “People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true. And the reason is because it’s so hard that if you don’t, any rational person would give up.” Honestly you can have the most remarkable idea but without hard work driven by passion, such an idea may never become reality. In order to move yourself closer to becoming a master in your field you have to connect vision with passion. Passion is an innate calling or predilection that possesses your thoughts and seems to guides ones decisions. Robert Greene his book “Mastery” describes Einstein’s calling, “Albert Einstein talked of a kind of inner voice that shape the direction of his speculations.” When you’re passionate about your goal the rigor of the work becomes secondary and minor inconveniences don’t distract you from the main objective.
In addition to having a vision and having passion about what you want to pursue work ethic is necessary. Intense work ethic is what discerns the novice from the expert in any particular discipline or genre. Team mates and trainers commented about Kobe Bryant being in the gym practicing alone at 3am in the morning. Malcolm Gladwell put forth the 10,000 hour theory in his book Outliers. The 10,000 hour theory states that ten thousand hours of deliberate practice in any field will allow you to master that field or subject. Whether one agrees with Gladwell’s theory or not work ethic is an important ingredient in the pursuit of greatness. Consistently trying to improve allows room for trial and error. Only through the process of trial and error can we become masters of our fields where knowing it becomes second nature.
The onus is on each individual to find their calling and use vision, passion, and work ethic to make that calling a reality. One can only carve out their niche when they embrace and cultivate their unique vision. Many times we submit to the expectations of those around us and abandon our passion. The work ethic weakens in the face of monotonous tasks we have no interest in or connection to. Life isn’t about retirement and the golden years, make your golden years today. A life lived long without purpose is the predicament many adults toil in. You have one life, dominate it and be known for your greatness, as the 4th century B.C. Macedonian King Alexander the Great once said, “I rather live a short life of glory, than a long life of obscurity.”
By: Hoyt Timmons
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