My next blog post is about “mastery”. This is a book written by George Leonard. The author is an aikido master. He describes in the book how this practice helps him realize increased fulfillment throughout his life. However, he does not restrict his research and his thoughts to martial arts. In fact, he draws upon many other examples from various walks of life.
There is not one page in the book I did not read twice. There is no chapter I skipped.
People with strong self-awareness often seek resources in order to maintain and increase their state of peace. This book is an excellent one.
As you read it, you fill yourself with energy that drives you forward in life, in your relations, and at work. This book is not ordinary. It does not preach. It does not tell you to drink coffee or not to drink coffee. It sets no rules.
Leonard drives you towards liberation. He believes, based on his experience and the experience of many, it comes from accepting one’s limits. Leonard also encourages readers to explore a goalless life.
Does it strike you?
The author draws upon the need to live for the sake of life, to take a journey for the sake of the journey itself.
In his book, George Leonard identifies the five mastery keys (instruction, practice, surrender, intentionality, edge); he then dives into the science of change. Afterwards, he shifts his focus on energy; and then he spends some time sharing typical pitfalls along the path.
The author passed away back in 2010 having written extensively about human potential and education. One of his many achievements is the Leonard Energy Training which is a discipline inspired by aikido. In his methodology, Leonard uses the body as a metaphor and as a learning facility to change how we manage problems. You can check the nine principles of the training on a dedicated website: https://www.itp-international.org/About_LET
One of my favorite takeaways is what attitude we embody as we take decisions. Leonard describes three common human attitudes that hinder our progression towards mastery: the dabbler, the obsessive, and the hacker. The book delves deep into the traits and behaviors of each.
“Perhaps we’ll never know how far the path can go, how much a human being can truly achieve, until we realize that the ultimate reward is not a gold medal but the path itself.” – George Leonard, Mastery: the keys to success and long term fulfillment
This is a must-read. It is a sweeping attempt to explain not only poverty (1.29 billion people struggling to survive on less than USD 1.25 per day) but various forms of gut-wrenching world problems.
Sexy stories: know how to tell them but do not believe them. Every best seller is ephemeral. Realization is inwards.
My friend and frequent contributor Ken used to live in the Middle East where I got to meet him. He is not only passionate about this part of the world. He is also one among the few expats I know who embraces the Middle East and understands it.
You must have noticed the changes to the look and feel of my website. I hope you like it as much as I do.
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