Your 8 Most Important Keys to Mastery of Life
THE FIRST KEY TO MASTERY: Commitment & Desire
As with every important goal, it is essential to know your outcome and precisely what you want. Sit down and assess your desire. Is it a worthy, productive one? What benefits will you receive through mastery of the activity in question? Then make a decision to reach the point of mastery. Make a pact with yourself to do whatever it takes to get to your goal. Think how you will feel as a master of the desired activity. Think about the confidence that this will inspire in you. You are a person of character, push yourself to achieve what you want.
THE SECOND KEY TO MASTERY: Knowledge & Instruction
Once you are certain of your outcome, become determined to amass a storehouse of knowledge on the subject you want to master. The answers to everything you would want to know are out there. All of life’s mistakes have already been made. Is there really a need for you to make them all again?
Talk to people who have become masters. What did they do to achieve their success? Read books on the subject, listen to cassettes and attend seminars to understand what it is you must do to advance on your chosen path of mastery. Seek out the very best instruction possible and listen to what you are taught. Learn to associate a tremendous amount of pleasure with learning. You will never be disappointed and your life will become one inspiring adventure.
THE THIRD KEY TO MASTERY: Kaizen & Consistent Practice
You have learned about the wonders of Kaizen, constant and never-ending improvement, in an earlier section. To gain total mastery of yourself, you must do something every day to develop yourself and your potential. This is nothing more than practice and the development of good habits which will help you reach the higher levels to which you aspire.
A martial arts student must practice regularly if he desires a black belt. At first the workouts are hard and seem like drudgery. The student asks himself, “why am I putting myself through this?” After three weeks of practice, the student notices transformations. The workouts get easier, he develops more stamina and endurance and his technique looks better. Soon his confidence increases and he starts to have fun with the activity. The student is now on the path to mastery and, in time, will definitely get there.
Any changes in one’s life habits cause discomfort at first. Exercising, meditation or the daily habit of filling your mind with new ideas for personal growth might be hard at first. But every time you push yourself past any obstacles, you make yourself that much stronger. The next time becomes a little easier.
THE FOURTH KEY TO MASTERY: Persistence
No path is free of challenges and obstacles. This is the way of Nature. Little hurdles appear to offer you tests and opportunities to refine and expand yourself. Think of all of the problems you have encountered in your lifetime. Have you learned a lesson from every one of them? Most people have. And yet the average person avoids problems like the plague rather than embracing them and realizing that every difficulty will pass and leave us with little nuggets of wisdom that we can use in other areas of our lives.
The real key to mastery of yourself is persistence.
Nothing can stop the person who simply refuses to be stopped. There is a solution to every problem and if you want something bad enough, you will find a way to achieve it. There is no success story without the presence of persistence. Cultivate this quality, it will never let you down.
THE FIFTH KEY TO MASTERY: Raise Your Standards and Keep Pushing
A famous international boxing champion was once asked the secret to his phenomenal physique and fitness level. He said, “I daily exercise my body against great resistance.” Pushing his muscles against tremendous weight built him up into the elite athlete that he became. The same physical principle applies to your mind and the mastery of your inner and outer world.
On a daily basis, you must exert your will-power to do those things which you may not like to do. Peak performers do things that unsuccessful people don’t like to do even though they too might dislike doing them. Do that which you fear and the fear vanishes into thin air never to return. When that feeling of procrastination sets in just as you are about to sit down to that long overdue project, throw it off and tap your true strength of character to get the job done. Each time you overcome these weak tendencies that may have held you back in the past, you take a bold step in the direction of your dreams. Each time you push yourself, just like pushing your muscles when you exercise, you grow tougher and more forceful. Soon what was once hard becomes easy.
It is essential to raise your standards on a regular basis, every master does.
Everyone reaches a plateau in any activity. You know you are at this level when things become too easy and the challenge is gone. Things get boring just like a life without difficulties and challenges. Fight against staying on the plateau. To expand, grow and prosper, your aim must be set high on the stars. Keep getting better every day. Never accept anything but the very best from yourself. This is your essential nature, tap into it.
THE SIXTH KEY TO MASTERY: Even the Teachers Have Teachers
Always keep an open mind. No matter how disciplined and successful you become, remember that even the giants have teachers. There is no one on this planet that cannot learn more, improve more and live a better life.
As soon as you close your mind to new opportunities and ideas, you close off a part of your self-mastery path and your quest will be harder to carry out. Maintain a sense of humility and realize that you can learn something from everyone. Every person that you meet every day is a teacher of some sort. Listen to what they have to say and open yourself to the knowledge that exists for the taking.
THE SEVENTH KEY TO MASTERY: Have Fun and Enjoy the Journey of the Master
If you follow and apply these concepts, you are assured of reaching a state of self-mastery and lasting Bliss. Happiness is not a destination that is to be reached after a long trek through this world. Rather, happiness is a manner of traveling through your life. One of the greatest truths is that every moment of every day is pure perfection, whether you realize it or not. There is no chaos in the world and everything happens for a reason. Today, realize the perfection and wonders of your life and do not waste a single minute in regret about things in the past. The past has no relevance to your future and the achievements of which you are capable.
As you refine yourself, developing your mind power, your body and Perfect Health along with your character, enjoy the journey towards your goals.
Have fun and be playful.
Every master through the ages has known and applied this principle for the Miracle of Successful Living.
THE EIGHTH KEY TO MASTERY: Share Your Knowledge and Serve Others
When all the wisdom of the wisest thinkers and philosophers throughout history is distilled, the purpose of our existence becomes clarified. The overriding objective of our lives stands high above all other pursuits and is simply stated: we are here to give to others. The purpose of life is a life of purpose and a life of purpose is created through constant service to those around us. When all is said and done, no matter how much money you make, how high you rise in your company, how respected an entrepreneur you are or how great a parent you become, the quality of your life will be measured by the quality of your contribution. One of the greatest of all of the master keys to lifelong success is serve others and the quality of your own life will profoundly improve. Do not let even one day slip by without practicing “random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.”
Another ageless truth, and one that the wise sages of the East have spoken of for centuries is the following: “live for each day and celebrate every moment.”
Seize and savour every single day because it is a miracle. So often we put off happiness to a later date. We will take that romantic weekend with our spouse when we get that promotion. We will teach our child to play the saxophone or take her to a sporting match when the workload gets lighter. We promise ourselves that we will make time for daily self-renewal or take the time to read all those great books sitting in our den when the big project we are working on is finally completed or when we become the top salesperson at our company. But so often a fundamental principle escapes us: success is a journey, not a destination. Every day is a miracle, no matter how much the phone rings, no matter how high your “in basket” gets and no matter how many bills remain to be paid.
Make time for yourself every day. Enjoy the journey as you pass through life. Invest in yourself. Watch a sunrise at least once a week. Take an afternoon off after a grueling work week and go to the movies. Understand the power of silence and be still for a change. Learn to love sunsets, the sound of laughing kids and deep friendships. Escape from the telephone once in a while and enjoy life’s simpler pleasures. Rekindle the habit of laughter, play soothing music (and actually do nothing but listen to it) and plan times to rest and relax. Taking the time for personal renewal is essential for self-mastery. It will make you more, not less, productive, efficient and creative.