Culturally, we’ve all grown so impatient over the past decade. I remember the late 90s and the early 2000s for being slow, in general, but in a good way. It was just the right kind of ‘slow,’ that allowed people to get things done, achieve success, and still take out time for the things that matter the most to them, what we now call “work-life” balance.
One of the significant trends I’ve observed in the past few years is people’s willingness to work towards mastering their craft. Now, that’s fantastic because it certainly wasn’t in “fashion” back in the days. We had masters and the rest of the world, but that’s slowly changing, which is excellent news for not just them but the industry they’re serving, the economy, and of course, their legacy.
All of that is great, except that the way we approach mastery is haphazard and short-sighted. I see these passionate, highly-driven folks working their butts off to master their craft for ten months straight and start asking if “they’re there yet?” Of course, they’re not! Far from it! And then they become grossly discouraged, switch lanes, experiment with something else, or whine about the disruptive economy and how hyper-competitive the market is. Now, all of that is true but certainly shouldn’t be the limiting factor in one’s pursuit of mastery.
If that’s you or someone you know, know that mastering your craft takes time. Much longer than you think. It’s not a destination you arrive at but a journey that you are on, for the rest of your life. It’s a commitment to your craft more than it is to yourself. There, I said it! Mastering a craft is merely about “you” becoming the master of something; rather, it is about honing, developing, and furthering your skill or specialization. Sure, that needs a massive commitment at your end, but it also requires a mature understanding that you possibly can’t create a breakthrough in your field in 10 months!
It takes time, patience, and dedication to making a significant contribution to your craft. And you can’t make that happen in random bursts whenever inspiration strikes you, but you do that regardless of how you feel, every day. It’s like chipping away that stone marble every day until you see that statue emerge.
You can have all the world’s talent, but attaining mastery will require you to be consistent with using your skills to develop and hone your craft further.