STANWOOD insights

Book review: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment - George Leonard

Oct 22, 2019 9:09:01 AM / by Hannes Kleist

Our head of catering Hannes, reviews the books he reads.

This week Hannes read a a book on life's success and long term fulfilment.

I very much enjoyed the frequent references to Martial arts ;-)

The most eye-opening inside from this book came in the description of different kinds of people - or rather behaviours: The dabbler, the obsessive, the hacker and finally the master. Instead of trying to "hack" our way through life and look for shortcuts we should embrace the slow continuous improvement that comes through diligent practise for practise sake.

PART TWO: THE FIVE MASTER KEYS

Devotion to the goalless journey might seem incomprehensible if not bizarre.

This is the best quote ever for having goals. :-)))))

At the heart of it, mastery is practice. Mastery is staying on the path.

This is so beautiful. It changes the way I do everything. Instead of doing something for a reward (that might never come or be disappointing) like "a Porsche" or "financial independence" we should seek for bliss in the small everyday activities.

The courage of a master is measured by his or her willingness to surrender. This means surrendering to your teacher and to the demands of your discipline. It also means surrendering your own hard-won proficiency from time to time in order to reach a higher or different level of proficiency.

I try doing that with the coach. Everything Alexander tells me to do, I do.

The early stages of any significant new learning invoke the spirit of the fool.

Oh, this is so important for creativity and personal growth. In order to be truly original you need to be fine with looking foolish. Great innovators are always laughed at in the beginning. Watch Steve Balmers video on the iPhone 1, if you do not believe me.

Actually, the essence of boredom is to be found in the obsessive search for novelty. Satisfaction lies in mindful repetition, the discovery of endless richness in subtle variations on familiar themes.

This is so pretty and true for something like martial arts or (for me) mowing the lawn. But how does it relate to i.e. accounting. Where is the "endless richness in subtle variations" in finding invoices for payments?

There are times in almost every master’s journey when it becomes necessary to give up some hard-won competence in order to advance to the next stage.

For me this was changing from "I know best because" to "have the teams work out stuff".

For the master, surrender means there are no experts. There are only learners.

I love the humility in this

PART THREE: TOOLS FOR MASTERY

Homeostasis, remember, doesn’t distinguish between what you would call change for the better and change for the worse. It resists all change.

This is really interesting. I will approach all "change" with this attitude now.

Epilogue: The Master and the Fool

Geniuses such as Mozart and Einstein: What we frown at as foolish in our friends, or ourselves, we’re likely to smile at as merely eccentric in a world-renowned genius, never stopping to think that the freedom to be foolish might well be one of the...

I wonder how one can train a habit around "be foolish"

Buy the book here