Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power – Lao-tzu
Have you ever sought to understand why some people seem to be more successful than others? Why do other people appear to always be making progress where you battle? Are great or successful people born or made? Are some people wired for success while others are not? In my search for answers, I have come to the revelation that there are four levels of mastery in life namely Personal Mastery, People Mastery, Societal Mastery and Business/Organisational Mastery.
If you are going to be a success in life, you need mastery in all these four levels. Mastery is the possession or display of great skill or technique. It is the power to dominate or defeat or the state of excelling or surpassing or going beyond the usual limits.
Created to Dominate
“Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion…” – Gen 1:28
The very first commandment to man, by the Creator was for us to be fruitful (profitable), multiply (replicate and expand our sphere of influence) and to have dominion (mastery). This is the general purpose for which you were created. This settles any lingering doubts you might have had about whether you were created to be great. If you are not pursuing a path of greatness, you are abusing your general purpose in life. The genes of greatness are set in in you. If you do not activate this greatness, your life is like a Mini Cooper running on a Mercedes Benz engine. You are limiting the full potential of what’s inside you.
Your life is like a ship. The seas of life include the winds of economic cycles, the pirates of bad politics, the storms of failure, the icebergs of uncertainty and calm moments of smooth progress. You are the captain of that ship called your life. Is your life in safe hands? Can you trust yourself at the helm of this ship? It’s not what happens on the sea which determines whether a ship reaches its destination safely – it’s what happens in the ship’s control room. If you are not in control, you will soon hit an ice berg or you will be swept away by stormy seas of life.
In order to be a master at anything in life you need to master self. Personal mastery is the ability to make the most of your abilities, strengths, passions and talents. This helps you navigate through challenging times with confident balance. It is an ability to deeply listen and respond skillfully to the soft whispers that warn you when you are drifting off course. If you wish to control and direct the forces you possess, you must act from the throne of your being – the head office of your life.
Personal mastery is continuously making conscious choices…to get from who and where you are to who and where you want to be as opposed to wandering through life making unconscious choices. It is playing the game of life…enjoying the journey of life and not just waiting for the destination. You always have choices and you have the power to choose. You are never a victim of circumstance, but a product of choice. Personal mastery is managing the conflicts you face each day between expectations, consequences and choices.
Steps To Personal Mastery
- Create A Personal Vision: Where there is no vision, a life will perish. A personal vision creates a central theme for your life. It gives your life meaning and a sense of purpose. It’s the roadmap to your destination of greatness. It’s the shining beacon which keeps you focused, motivated and fulfilled. It accelerates the progress while inspiring creativity and risk.
- Self Awareness: You are a creature of thought and habit. You therefore need an awareness of how your beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviour impact yourself and your environment (family, friends, and colleagues). An awareness of your strengths and weakness determines how you position yourself in life, how you build your personal brand, and play your strengths (competitive advantage)
- Self Acceptance: own your thoughts, belief and blind spots and stop believing that the world is doing things to you. Neither does the world, employer or your country owe you a living. A captain of a ship who is always blaming the sea elements for lack of progress will soon give up. You are in charge of your own success – not your employer, organisation or the people around you.
- Self Responsibility: understand how your choices (action, attitude, thought) influence and create your life. It is also about integrity – a life based on values and principles. Without these your life is like an unfortified city which will soon be run over by enemies of your success.
Quote of the Week
He who rules his spirit has won a greater victory than the taking of a city – Yeshua Mashyach