When most of us think of masters, we think of athletes like Michael Jordan and Laird Hamilton, thinkers like Einstein and Bill Gates. We think of black belts, Grandmasters, and other superstars who have risen to the top of their craft.
But mostly, we think of these people as others — as in, people not like us. People blessed with talent and drive to become masters in their craft and fulfill their potential.
This is the same response I had when I was first training at circus school. I was mesmerized by the talent of those around me. What I didn’t take into account was just how long they had been working to get to the level where they were at — and the likelihood that if I worked as hard as they did for as long as they did, I could get there, too.
Mastery depends less on initial talent than the willingness to pick a path and stay on it.
As George Leonard writes in The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei:
“What we call “mastery” can be defined as that mysterious process through which what is at first difficult or even impossible becomes easy and pleasurable through diligent, patient, long-term practice.”
Go here to read my article on Medium about my path to handstand mastery and how to work toward mastery in your life.
What I’m reading —
One of my goals over the next couple years is to do a lot more public speaking, something I never thought I’d be able to do. This is a great book on how to communicate your ideas well. The ideas apply whether your goal is to give better presentations at work, or like mine, give a TED talk one day.
One of the keys of an impactful presentation or talk: passion! My favorite.
Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro
Last week, I wrote about how I’m going all in on jiu-jitsu. In addition to training almost every day, I’m reading all I can about technique and the philosophy behind the sport.
A quote that inspires me —
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw
What I’m training —
Here’s a park-friendly workout perfect for warmer days ahead I posted recently on Instagram.
Three new workouts —
Full Body Bar HIIT Workout (12 minute, pull-up bar)
495 Rep Fast and Furious Challenge Workout (Time challenge, pull-up bar, dip bar)
Bodyweight Plyos AMRAP Workout (AMRAP, plyo box or equivalent)
You can get these and all future workouts right in the 12 Minute Athlete app when you subscribe as a Super Athlete.
Questions? Feedback? Content requests?
Please feel free to reply directly to this email if you have any questions or comments (yes, I am a real human). I get a lot of emails and messages, so I can’t reply to all of them, but I do read everything you guys send me!