This is not a very comfortable question to ask, someone told me that it is intimidating. Whether there is any truth in that is not my biggest concern because I look at the question as a wakeup call, as a call to self-reevaluation. Zig Ziglar points out that one cannot excel in this world as a wandering generality; he/she has got to become a meaningful specific. Today, I want to poke holes in your comfort. What exactly is your forte? What are you known for? When people who have not called you for ages decide to do so, what exactly is their reference point for remembering you? What have you mastered so well? Your creator created you a unique product with unique capabilities; there are no general human beings.
I read of a story of a 10-year old boy who decided to study judo. The boy began lessons with the old Japanese judo master. The training had proceeded well for the first three months when the boy started wondering why the master was only teaching him one move. “Master, shouldn’t I be learning more moves?” asked the boy. “This is the only move you know, and it’s the only move you’ll ever need to know”, said the master. Not quite understanding but believing in his master, the boy kept training. Several months later, the master took the boy for a tournament. Looking at the sizes of opponents he was to face and constantly remembering that he had only mastered one move, the boy was near trembling. When the tournament kicked off, the opponent got worn out by the boring one move and the boy won. He won his succeeding encounters and unbelievable to him, he was in the finals!
In the finals, his opponent was gigantic and for a moment, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the master intervened, “No, let him continue.” Soon after the match resumed, the boy’s opponent made a serious mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.
One move well mastered can deliver you great victory in life. There is no great achievement in the ‘Jack of all trade’ thing. Knowing a little bit of everything is not bad but will never deliver outstanding results in any of the areas. You need to master something and be able to do it so well that knowledge of other areas only act to support the mastered field. It was Bruce Lee who said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. There is power is mastery of a craft; unfortunately most people live life on auto-pilot, letting things to fall in place.
You only get to master that which you freely enjoy doing and you freely enjoy doing that which you have mastered. The height of mastery happens when you discover your purpose for living, your ‘why’ for being in this world. It is easier to master that in which you have potential to excel. Mastery happens with continued and consistent practicing of your craft; it is not automatic. You need to do it over and over again. Discover your true self and seek to master that which you are good at.
Warren Buffet mastered stocks, Bill Gates mastered software, Mandela mastered the freedom struggle, Prof. Wangari Maathai mastered environmental conservation, Victor Wanyama has mastered football, and the examples are many. No one woke up and found him/herself on the global charts, mastery of their crafts began at the lowest level. So I ask again, in that office or that company where you work, what do they know you for? What would they miss you for if you left? Have you mastered that business or that talent? When you master a craft, you become an authority in it, you become dependable in that field. What would you bring to the table of negotiation?
You were not created as junk, you have your value and the world has always been waiting for your contribution. Rise beyond mediocrity, move out of comfort, stop being normal and become outstanding in your craft. Average is an enemy of progress. If its singing, sing well; if its accounting, do the numbers very well; if its writing, do it with all the passion and get it mastered; if its leadership, lead like you were the only leader standing. Master your craft because with that, YOU CAN DO BETTER!
Motivational Speaker and Author.