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Mastery is the curious process during which what is at first difficult becomes progressively easier and more pleasurable through practice.
If there is any sure route to success and fulfillment in life, it is to be found in the long-term, essentially goalless process of mastery. It's available to anyone who is willing to get on the path and stay on it—regardless of age, sex, or previous experience.
Learning any new skill involves relatively brief spurts of progress, each of which is followed by a slight decline to a plateau somewhat higher in most cases than that which preceded it.
To take the master's journey, you have to practice diligently, to attain new levels of competence. But while doing so, you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere.
Practice for the sake of the practice itself. Not for the result.
Rather than being frustrated while on the plateau, you learn to appreciate and enjoy it just as much as you do the upward surges.
It is focused on quick fixes: Heart surgery rather than diet and exercise. Lottery tickets rather than retirement savings.
"Fast, temporary relief" is the battle cry. Symptoms receive immediate attention; underlying causes remain in the shadows.
"The achievement of goals is important. But 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."
"To see the teacher clearly, look at the students. They are his work of art."
Resistance is proportionate to the size and speed of the change, not to whether the change is a favorable or unfavorable one.
Every one of us resists significant change, no matter whether it's for the worse or for the better. Our body, brain, and behavior have a built-in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits and to snap back when changed.
"A human being is the kind of machine that wears out from lack of use. There are limits, of course, and we do need healthful rest and relaxation, but for the most part we gain energy by using energy. Often the best remedy for physical weariness is thirty minutes of aerobic exercise. In the same way, mental and spiritual lassitude is often cured by decisive action or the clear intention to act."
"Ultimately, liberation comes through the acceptance of limits. You can't do everything, but you can do one thing, and then another and another. In terms of energy, it's better to make a wrong choice than none at all."
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