Mastery requires endurance. Mastery, a word we don't use often, is not the equivalent of what we might consider its cognate""perfectionism""an inhuman aim motivated by a concern with how others view us. Mastery is also not the same as success""an event-based victory based on a peak point, a punctuated moment in time. Mastery is not merely a commitment to a goal, but to a curved-line, constant pursuit.
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The price that must be paid for mastery is discipline. No one achieves lasting success without it. So from the moment you awake each day, devote yourself to the perfection of whatever you pursue. Do this and you will achieve self-mastery. Achieve self-mastery and you will have the makings of a great leader... Discipline is all about cultivating powerful habits that become part of your lifestyle.
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The care leadership strategy is simple: be a model. Commit yourself to your own personal mastery. Talking about personal mastery may open people's minds somewhat, but actions always speak louder than words. There is nothing more powerful you can do to encourage others in their quest for personal mastery than to be serious in your own quest.
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Nothing has a more sinister effect on art than the artist's desire to prove that he's good. The terrible temptation of idealism! You must achieve mastery over your idealism, over your virtue as well as over your vice, aesthetic mastery over everything that drives you to write in the first place - your outrage, your politics, your grief, your love!
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When your efforts run in the face of conventional wisdom and accepted mastery, persistence can look like madness. If you succeed in the end, this extreme originality reformulates into a new level of mastery, sometimes even genius; if you fail in the end, you remain a madman in the eyes of others, and maybe even yourself. When you are in the midst of the journey... there's really no way of knowing which one you are.' (p.129)
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They [parents] can help the children work out schedules for homework, play, and television that minimize the conflicts involved inwhat to do first. They can offer moral support and encouragement to persist, to try again, to struggle for understanding and mastery. And they can share a child's pleasure in mastery and accomplishment. But they must not do the job for the children.
Dorothy H Cohen
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Marriage and family life give us constant opportunities to deny ourselves for the sake of others. And yet self-denial is not a mask for self-contempt, but the necessary means for achieving self-mastery; for self-mastery makes possible our self-giving and self-fulfillment. Sin is not wanting too much, but settling for too little. It's settling for self-gratification rather than self-fulfillment.
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Man's collective mastery of nature- even if we could ignore the mounting evidence that this too is largely an illusion- can hardly be expected to confer a sense of confidence and well- being when it coexists with centralizing forces that have deprived individuals of any mastery over the concrete, immediate conditions of their existence. The collective control allegedly conferred by science is an abstraction that has little resonance in everyday life.
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Man's destiny was to conquer and rule the world, and this is what he's done.. almost. He hasn't quite made it, and it looks as though this may be his undoing. The problem is that man's conquest of the world has itself devastated the world. And in spite of all the mastery we've attained, we don't have enough mastery to stop devastating the world.. or to repair the devastation we've already wrought.
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He who has mastery over his incensive power has mastery also over the demons. But anyone who is a slave to it is a stranger to the ways of the Saviour, for as the Saviour enjoined us: 'Learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart: and you will find rest for your souls' (Mt. 11:29). Now if a man abstains from food and drink, but becomes incensed to wrath because of evil thoughts, he is like a ship sailing the open sea with a demon for a pilot.
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In the technological world... it is no longer a question of dominating nature or society in order to be more free or more happy, but of mastery for mastery's sake, of domination for the sake of domination. Why? For no end, precisely, or rather: because it is quite simply impossible to do otherwise, given the nature of societies entirely governed by competition, by the absolute imperative to 'advance or perish'.
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The question under all this: How to get the idler to accept and engage the yearning? And that, my friends, is a deep and subtle question that will take a while to master, and the mastering of it will require redefining the presumption of what mastery even is. It is certainly not control. Mastery of anything is, more than anything else, the transformation of work into play. Giving orders and answers, never making mistakes, and having around you others with the opinion that you are great has nothing at all to do with it. Read carefully: to yearn for, to be compelled by, is being called to play.
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For there is one thing I can safely say: that those bound by love must obey each other if they are to keep company long. Love will not be constrained by mastery; when mastery comes, the God of love at once beats his wings, and farewell he is gone. Love is a thing as free as any spirit; women naturally desire liberty, and not to be constrained like slaves; and so do men, if I shall tell the truth.
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His constant fight is with the Nafs (self-interest), the root of all disharmony and the only enemy of man. By crushing this enemy man gains mastery over himself; this wins for him mastery over the whole universe, because the wall standing between the self and the Almighty has been broken down. Gentleness, mildness, respect, humility, modesty, self-denial, conscientiousness, tolerance and forgiveness are considered by the Sufi as the attributes which produce harmony within one's own soul as well as within that of another.
Hazrat Inayat Khan
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Even you, the professional helper, often mistaken for the enlightened Guru or Staretz, can become lost in your thoughts that you must be competent without fault. You may become enthralled with your identity as a professional, even the pressures of the culture of mastery that expects you to heal your clients without fail. Never mind all of the variables over which you have no control, it is up to you, according to the canons of mastery, to control the health and well-being of those for whom you provide professional care. This potentiates a furthering alienation between you and your clients. You are at risk to become, if you have not already, the one who does to your clients; to be the one the active subject acting upon the passive and receptive objects, your clients; to be the one in possession of special knowledge, technique and mastery. All of this conspires to coax or coerce you into treating your client as reduced, a mere case. Unawareness to these influences gives you little chance to consider their influence on your practice in the clinical setting, much less give attentive efforts to resist or change them.
Scott E. Spradlin
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The master in us all lives behind the masks and roles and wounds and beliefs. It calls us to live deep, full, radical lives. It asks us not to wait until we are told by anyone that we have arrived. It invites us forward, across the line of fear and unworthiness, to experience mastery in this moment-as much as we can right now. To learn from stumbling. To rise again and keep walking until we no longer notice our feet in their effortless dance. But mostly not to wait until some distant, perfect someday. Mastery is now.
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The mastery of one's phonemes may be compared to the violinist's mastery of fingering. The violin string lends itself to a continuous gradation of tones, but the musician learns the discrete intervals at which to stop the string in order to play the conventional notes. We sound our phonemes like poor violinists, approximating each time to a fancied norm, and we receive our neighbor's renderings indulgently, mentally rectifying the more glaring inaccuracies.
Willard Van Orman Quine
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The master and the student on the journey to mastery, knows that the illusions are the illusions, decides why they are there, and then consciously creates what will be experienced next within the self through the illusions. When facing any life experience, there is a formula, a process, through which you may choose to move through mastery. Simply make the following statements: One, nothing in my world is real. Two, The meaning of everything is the meaning I give it. Three, I am who I say I am, and my experience is what I say it is. This is how to work with the illusions of life.
Neale Donald Walsch
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Pedantry and mastery are opposite attitudes toward rules. To apply a rule to the letter, rigidly, unquestioningly, in cases where it fits and in cases where it does not fit, is pedantry. [...] To apply a rule with natural ease, with judgment, noticing the cases where it fits, and without ever letting the words of the rule obscure the purpose of the action or the opportunities of the situation, is mastery.
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The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world- class expert-in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again... no one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery,
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There are many paths to mastery, and if you are persistent you will certainly find one that suits you. But a key component in the process is determining your mental and psychological strengths and working with them. To rise to the level of mastery requires many hours of dedicated focus and practice. You cannot get there if your work brings you no joy and you are constantly struggling to overcome your own weaknesses. You must look deep within and come to an understanding of these particular strengths and weaknesses you possess, being as realistic as possible. Knowing your strengths you can lean on them with utmost intensity. Once you start in this direction, you will gain momentum. You will not be burdened by conventions and you will not be slowed down by having to deal with skills that go against your inclinations and strengths. In this way, your creative and intuitive powers will be naturally awakened.
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James's critical genius comes out most tellingly in his mastery over, his baffling escape from, Ideas; a mastery and an escape which are perhaps the last test of a superior intelligence. He had a mind so fine that no idea could violate it. [... ] In England, ideas run wild and pasture on the emotions; instead of thinking with our feelings (a very different thing) we corrupt our feelings with ideas; we produce the public, the political, the emotional idea, evading sensation and thought. [... ] James in his novels is like the best French critics in maintaining a point of view, a view-point untouched by the parasite idea. He is the most intelligent man of his generation." (Little Review, 1918)
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