We all heard about the adage that goes like this…
“Jack-Of-All-Trades, Master of None.”
What does this imply then?
That to master something, we got to concentrate our efforts in one field of interest…
before we even think of jumping to another basket.
Here, we see an integral part to “mastery” is FOCUS.
Epending our energy on what we really want from our careers,
from our lives would shorten our route to success.
Imagine trying to hit three (3) different targets with a fully-loaded .38-caliber pistol…
now, imagine concentrating on just one target with the same resources.
If we can recall our statistics well enough,
don’t you think there would be a better chance for us to hit that single target?
However, understand that before we could even “focus”, it should be preceded
by ENTHUSIASM. This element is always a basic requirement in starting
any undertaking; without it, we won’t even get off the block.
It is the vital force that impels action.
Now that we have “focus” and “enthusiasm”,
we now try to inject “curiosity, analytical ability & astuteness”
to the fore in developing mastery.
As we know, CURIOSITY is about one’s eagerness to know about something
or to get information. Many times an introduction or orientation is not enough
for people to remember or get answers they want; and this is when
a bit of tinkering is necessary in getting things done.
Still being homo sapiens, we also recognize that not all data is useful,
so we call on our ANALYTICAL ABILITY… to separate things into
their constituent elements in order to study or examine them,
draw conclusions, or solve problems.
But, not without our ASTUTENESS can we do these.
A shrewd and discerning mind would always know what’s best for any process.
As the days log on, our stamina is tested; and with it comes the question
of “perseverance, hard work & efficiency”.
With PERSEVERANCE and HARD WORK, we could go through the
thick and thins of a protracted war for “mastery.”
Yet all our efforts would be wasteful if we can not achieve EFFICIENCY
in our course of action.
And competence is only tested when we have the FLEXIBILITY to adapt
to new situations, to change or be changed according to circumstances.
This is when “proactiveness & goal-orientedness” would prove vital
in making things work to our favor without swerving from our objectives.
As we notice, the elements in “mastery” are really all about personal attributes.
Why? Because “mastery” is just a matter of Interest and Repetition.
And how do we acquire REPETITION? Experience.
Nonetheless, while it’s true that we’d learn a lot through Experience…
Is it the only way to gain knowledge or practice??
First, consider this fact… would it take you “years” just to learn something??
And if we already have that knowledge,
do we need a 20-year experience just to justify our “mastery”??
Experience is basically “repetition”… it’s Intellect and Character that defines.
Obviously those who would really endorse Experience is lacking in Creativity.
(Creativity is key to product development, customer and employee satisfaction,
better negotiating and problem-solving to name a few)
Because Experience is the only thing that they could bank on.
Mind you, Everything has a counter-part, we just have to be forward-thinking.
Don’t you think Education in any form could give you that “technical knowledge”?
Realize that by reading, studying, attending workshops or talking to experts…
we could gain those valuable insights, right? Just get out of the box.
Many may say, what about “practice”?
See, if we want to enhance our Public Speaking or Teaching,
we could get it by speaking in church congregations, socio-civic clubs and alike.
If we desire to practice our Leadership and People Skills,
we could get it from coaching or training sports teams or by being at the forefront
in socio-civic clubs among others.
Only True Leaders could fathom this fact…
That the higher you advance in the corporate ladder…
the less important would technical knowledge be
while the more important Leadership and People Skills will be.
The REAL Secret To Mastering YOUR Field lies in your IMAGINATION.
This is the ability to visualize or form images and ideas in the mind,
Specially of things Never seen or experienced directly.
Here, the only limit is what you impose on yourself.
“You are what you think all day long.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson, U.S. Essayist
Let’s take a look at what “The Power Of the Subconscious Mind” has to say…
You create your own reality with your own thoughts…
as your thoughts become your experience.
Your nervous system can not tell the difference between an imagined
experience and real experience. In neither case, it reacts automatically
to information which you give to it from your forebrain.
Your nervous system reacts appropriately to what you think or imagine
to be true. Realizing that our actions, feelings and behaviour are the
result of our own images and beliefs gives us the lever that psychology
has always needed for changing personality. It opens up a new
psychologic door to gaining “skill”, success and happiness.
Mental pictures offers us the opportunity to “practice” new traits and
attitudes which otherwise we could not do. This is possible because
again… your nervous system could not tell the difference between
an actual experience and one that is vividly imagined.
If we picture ourselves performing in a certainly manner
it is nearly the same as the actual performance.
Mental practice helps to make perfect.
Some years ago…
Research Quarterly, a respected scientific publication reports
an experiment conducted by the University of Chicago on
the “effects of mental practice” on improving skill in sinking
basketball free throws.
One group of students actually practiced (20 minutes each day)
throwing the ball everyday for 20 days and were scored on
the first and last days.
A second group were also scored on the first and last days
but engaged in no sort of practice in between.
A third group were scored on the first day then spent 20 minutes
a day imagining that they were throwing the ball at the goal;
when they missed, they imagined that they corrected
their aim accordingly.
Here is what happened after 20 days:
First group improved by 24%.
Second group had no improvement.
Third group improved by 23%.
Do you know that mental pictures can help you sell more goods?
In his book, Charles B. Roth tells how a group of salesmen in Detroit
that tried mental imagery and increased their sales by 100%;
another group in New York increased their sales by 150%;
while individual salesmen increased their sales up to 400%
using the same idea.
Conrad Hilton imagined himself operating a hotel long before
he ever bought one. When a boy, he used to play and pretend
that he was a hotel operator.
Henry J. Kasser has said that each of his business accomplishments
was realized in his imagination before it even appeared in actuality.
Arthur Schnabel, a world-famous concert pianist took lessons for
only seven (7) years and hated practice. In fact, he seldom does
practice for any length of time at the actual piano keyboard.
When questioned about his small amount of practice as compared
with other concert pianists, he said, I practice in my head.
Experience is essentially “repetition” or “habitual thinking”…
it’s learning ability, decisiveness, problem-solving skills, and
temperance among others that matters.
“A problem can be said to exist when the way to attain some
desired end or object is not immediately clear. For most simple
problems that arise in everyday life the application of concepts,
principles and techniques learnt from past experience will give
the answer, BUT, in more difficult instances this is not so.
On these occasions a “trial and error” or “hit and miss” approach
at the ideational level is sometimes successful, but on other
occasions more serious thinking is required.”
- Anand Sagar, Test Your I.Q.
“The power to move the world is in your subconscious mind.”
- William James, American Psychologist
So, dare to dream… and act on it.
In Mastering YOUR Field, Repetition is for the ordinary…
Imagination is for the Extra-ordinary.