Most people look back on their life and wonder what they could have accomplished if they’d only been more decisive and committed. You can avoid that kind of regret by choosing to become the best you can at something. What do you want to master?
Follow this process to be the best you can be:
1. Assess your strengths.
Your greatest potential will involve one of more of your strengths. Most strengths can be applied to any endeavor with a focused approach.
The first step is to identify these strengths. What are you better at than nearly everyone you know? What has always been easy for you? What are you best at?
2. Assess your weaknesses.
Do the same with your weaknesses. While weaknesses can, and often should, be strengthened, it’s helpful to avoid them at all costs when it’s time to get busy. Relying on your weaknesses increases the odds of failure.
3. What do you like?
It’s just not about effort and skill. It’s about putting in enough time to be successful. That’s easier to do when you enjoy what you’re doing. You might have great potential to be the world’s greatest golfer, but if you can’t stand the game, you’ll never do it. More importantly, you wouldn’t want to anyway.
Think about what you enjoy doing. What activities cause you to lose track of time?
4. What do you want to accomplish?
Now that you know your strengths, weaknesses, and likes, you can decide what you want to master. You can’t do much without making this important decision. Everything going forward depends on this decision. Think carefully.
Consider how you will measure mastery. Is it when you can drive a golf ball 300 yards 9 times out of 10? Play a specific piece of music on the piano? Earn $1 million in a year? How will you know you’ve won?
5. Avoid distractions.
Distractions are the enemy to progress. We all have things we enjoy doing that accomplish nothing other than providing temporary amusement.
Make a list of your favorite distractions. How willing are you to avoid these items? This is a good indicator of your potential for success.
6. Find a mentor.
You can’t reach your ultimate potential without a mentor, coach, advisor, or whatever title you prefer. It can shave years off your learning curve and help you to avoid the mistakes you’re destined to make on your own.
Seek out the best in your field and make contact. At the very least, read books on the topic written by experts. The library can provide you with plenty of mentors.
7. Make a commitment.
Mastery requires commitment. It’s the commitment to develop yourself, overcome obstacles, and to put in the necessary time. It’s the commitment to find a mentor and to avoid those appealing distractions.
8. Focus on improvement.
Seek regular small improvements. Consistent progress is the key to mastery. Mastering anything can take years, or even decades.
If perfection is your daily goal, you’ll be disappointed. Weekly progress is an attainable goal that can keep you going.
Have you ever truly committed yourself to anything? Now can be that time. What interests you? What do you want to know inside and out? Mastering anything can give you a new level of pride and confidence.
It takes some sacrifice to master anything, because you have less time available for other pursuits. However, most people find it’s worth the sacrifice. What do you want to master?