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Mastery: The Keys To Success And Long-Term Fulfillment (A Book Review)

Mastery or the thirst for mastery is in my opinion one of the top three qualities that are characteristic of the most successful people. The other two are unfailing belief in your abilities, as well as flaming enthusiasm

In Mastery ~ The Keys To Success And Long-term Fulfillment, George Leonard explores the process of mastery, drawing a lot from his experiences in the martial arts (he and a colleague built a dojo from scratch when they were still at the blackbelt level) and on his stint as an instructor at a navy pilot training school.

This is one of three books I wish I had read like twenty years ago…

One of the biggest takeaways from this book is that mastery is a life-long quest, and a process that can be enjoyed for its own sake.

Constant practice is key, and you can never have too much of it. He recounts an observation he made to his instructor when he was still a newbie at Aikido, and very naive.

“About halfway through my third Aikido class, my teacher demonstrated tai no henko, the most basic blending movement in the art. Without a moment’s thought I found myself saying, “We’ve already done that technique.” That remark didn’t even elicit a reply, just a faintly amused smile. My surrender was definitive: since then I have practiced tai no henko at least 50,000 times.”

George Leonard is the author of numerous books on human possibility and social change including Education and Ecstasy, The transformation, The Ultimate Athlete, The Silent Pulse, Adventures in Monogamy, and The way of Aikido.He is the President of the Esalen Institute, and the founder of Leonard Energy Training (LET), a practice inspired by Aikido. Mr Leonard lives in northern California.

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