In my sidebar I have the following – “Passionate about achieving Mastery”.  Mastery is an elusive goal in an of itself.  I’ve come to realize that it’s not the actual achievement of mastery that ultimately matters, but dedicating one’s self to “a commitment to” mastery.  The two concepts are different.  Mastery is not a destination but a journey, a continuum along which you will find the best of yourself and others.  I have to confess that my life thus far has been largely dictated by a predictable script that I didn’t author but followed.  This script may sound familiar:

  • Go to school, get good grades, get a quality education – check
  • Get a good job, work hard, build a career – check
  • Get married, buy a home, and start a family – check (uh, order went off script a bit here…   🙂   )

You get the idea and can probably write the next few bullets.  This “script” had largely dictated my decision making process and honestly is still a strong influence but thankfully some other influences have also come into play.

In the late 90’s I was awe struck by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and a dominant 175lb Brazilian fighter name Royce Gracie who submitted opponents that I couldn’t image possible.  He practiced a no holds barred style of fighting known as Vale Tuto and his family’s martial art was called Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (also known today as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ for short).  Mastery Gracie FamilyAt the time you couldn’t just walk down the street and find a place to train BJJ like you could say Karate or Taekwondo.  It wasn’t until 2006 that I found an academy, an instructor, and a group of people who would ultimately change my life.  If your curious David Ruiz is still changing lives at Colorado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and he has several black belts with their own academies that are doing the same.

This was my first exposure to a group of people dedicated to Mastery.

Recently I had another experience in which I was introduced to a master.  This time it came in the form of a master of personal development, human potential, and business.  We had recently relocated our family to NC and my wife recommended that we attend a seminar that one of her friends had recently attended and was raving about.  The speaker was Anthony Robbins, and his seminar was Unleash the Power Within.  To say I was a skeptic is a huge understatement but we were in transition so I agreed.  My experience at UPW was life changing and it brought about a new found appreciation for – you guessed it – Mastery.

You see as I sat through Tony’s seminar and he provided a new canon of language to understand human needs I was able to deeply explored my own personal human motivations and what had brought me to this point in life.  I woke up.  My brain went into overdrive.  There were many correlations between what I had learned through training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but now I could see in new dimensions.  What I mean by this is that I had already committed myself to being on a path towards Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mastery, but now I could see other paths that could be taken, for example:

  • Mastering relationships – with my wife, as a father, with my family and friends
  • Mastering communication, connecting with others, being able to effortlessly build rapport
  • Mastering business, entrepreneurship, financial freedom
  • Mastering my physical self – what I eat, how I take care of my body
  • Mastering an instrument, or playing music

The list goes on and is long enough that we will likely not achieve mastery in all of the desired areas in one lifetime.  That’s why we as humans are awestruck by someone who has achieved mastery in a given area.  We intuitively understand the level of personal commitment and focus that has been required to achieve it.  Gladwell-ians (followers of Malcolm Gladwell), like to reference the 10,000 hr threshold to achieve mastery.  I recommend Malcolm’s works because to me he’s a master – of journalism, research, and critical thinking.

Let me wrap this post with – Masters, they walk amongst us, seek them out, study their approach & strategies, and embark upon your own journey towards mastery!

If you’re ever in Charlotte, NC area, stop by Gracie Barra of Charlotte, where you’ll find me training with another great master of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Diogo “Lacerda” Silva de Souza.

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