Life and technology increasingly demand from us an ability to simultaneously juggle many responsibilities, conversations, and opportunities. As we continue to do this, despite research showing multi-tasking is much less productive than doing one thing at a time, we miss the potential to truly master what is important in our lives—at work, at home, and in our communities.
Too often, mastery conjures up an image of “forcing” or “muscling” our way to winning or success. We think of subduing other people or difficult situations. But mastery is also defined as “acquiring complete knowledge, skill, or accomplishment in a technique or art.” Author Malcolm Gladwell suggests that a master is someone who has done something for no fewer than 10,000 hours.
Mastery—which means becoming a skilled practitioner of a subject area or technique—requires focus, concentration, persistence, and practice. Bringing mastery to specific areas of your work and your life can significantly improve your opportunities and your level of success.
Make a commitment to become a master of one single area in your life. Here are a few tips for optimum effectiveness.
- Focus on the tools that really matter. Determine the essential tools needed to master your niche. Focus completely on cultivating these tools through training, study, and practice.
- Commit to excellence. Whatever you do, choose to do it exceptionally well. True mastery comes from a habit of pushing yourself toward improvement and excellence.
- Apply your own personal interpretation. A key element of mastery is to bring your own personal style and signature to the doing, so master it as only you can.