Book Summary: Mastery By George Leonard

The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment

Updated: November 1, 2022 Reading Time: 4 minutes rating: 8


Compré este libro porque lo recomendaron en el podcast the Tim Ferriss. El que recomendó el libro era Terry Laughlin, el creador de una muy buena técnica para aprender a nadar “Full Immersion Swimming”.

La verdad que el libro es muy bueno, corto pero preciso, muy al punto.

Lo más importante del libro es entender a amar el “plateau”, esa fase del aprendizaje en donde nos sentimos estancados, que no avanzamos. Es ahí, cuando menos lo esperamos, que suceden los grandes avances, que nos damos cuenta de lo que vamos aprendiendo y de como vamos mejorando.

La vida al final es una sucesión de muchos “plateaus”.

Notes and Highlights

“fitness and health are related to everything we do, think and feel. Thus… what we are calling Ultimate Fitness has less to do with running a 2:30 marathon than with living a good life”

Mastery is “the mysterious process during which what is at first difficult becomes progressively easier and more pleasurable through practice”

You will never reach a final destination

Life at its best, these commercials teach (la televisión, etc.), is an endless series of climactic moments.

Symptons receive immediate attention; underlying cause remain in the shadows

The victory is real and celebration is in order. But so is some cautious self-examination, for there’s perhaps no more dangerous time for any society than its moment of greatest triumph. It would be truly foolish to let the decline of communism blind us to the long-term contradictions in a free market economy unrestrained by considerations of the environment and social justice, and driven by heedless consumerism, instant gratification, and the quick fix. Our dedication to growth at all costs puts us on a collision course with the environment. Our dedication to the illusion of endless climaxes puts us on a collision course with the human psyche.

The real juice of life, whether it be sweet or bitter, is to be found not nearly so much in the products of our efforts as in the process of living itself, in how it feels to be alive.

Goals and contingencies, as I’ve aid, are important. But they exist in the future and the past, beyond the pale of the sensory realm. Practice, the path of mastery, exists only in the present.

The individual teacher or coach can serve as a standard for all forms of instructions, the first and brightest beacon on the journey of mastery.

The teaching tactics of a Nobel laureate could turn out to be poison for the mind of a neophyte physicist.

When you learn too easily you’re tempted not to work hard, not to penetrate to the marrow of a practice.

…the better they get the more they enjoy performing the basic moves over and over again.

The master of any game is generally a master of practice.

“How long will it take me to master aikido?” a prospective student asks. How long do you expect to live?" is the only respectable response. Ultimately practice is the path of mastery.

For the master, surrender means there are no experts. There are only learners.

Intentionality fuels the master’s journey. Every master is a master of vision.

“Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.”

The problem is, homeostasis works to keep things as they are even if they aren’t very good.

Trivial change, bureaucratic meddling, is much easier to accept, and that’s the one reason why you see so much of it.

Those people who feel good about themselves, who are in touch with nature and their own bodies, are more likely to use their energy for the good of this planet and its people than those who live sedentary, unhealthy lives.

Take time for wise planning, but don’t take forever.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can –begin it” “Boldness has genius, power and magic in it” – Goethe

When you’re climbing a mountain, in other words, be aware that the peak is ahead, but don’t keep looking at it. Keep your eyes on the path.