The pursuit of mastery is not an overnight endeavor. It doesn’t happen in a long weekend, a 21-day sprint or a 30-day challenge. It doesn’t even happen in a year. Mastery is a long game.
Like any long-term goal or project, it requires having a vision — a sense of your ultimate destination. You need a general plan for how you’re going to get there, and a willingness to abandon that plan.
The pursuit of mastery rests on a combination of several essential skills: persistence, patience, perspective, flexibility, trust, self-compassion.
And there is one skill that is the key to all of them, without which you cannot hope to attain mastery or achieve any goal worth achieving:
It’s so obvious it hardly ever gets mentioned, but sometimes things that shouldn’t need to be said do need to be said.
Whether you’re trying to learn a new language, build a new daily practice, run a marathon, build a business, raise children, or navigate a pandemic, mastering endurance is crucial. Mastery of endurance is your ability to endure through the long haul.
It’s the core skill, the keystone skill that unlocks all other skills you might need.
To be clear, mastery of endurance is not about pushing through at all costs. Rather, it’s about knowing how to pace: when to slow down, when to speed up, when to push and when to back off.
To master endurance is to master energy management, which has at least three main pillars:
- to be efficient and effective in our use of energy;
- to avoid leaking energy on distractions — inner or outer — that might cost us time, money, energy, health, or other resources;
- to restore our energy efficiently and effectively.
If you want to master anything, you must master the art of endurance, and mastering endurance is about mastering your energy management.