Mastery: What is flow?
The moment you realize what it is that you love to do is when all the magic happens. Have you ever been working on something and suddenly you realize that what seemed like an hour was actually 4 hours? During those 4 hours, you were in a state of flow.
In his latest book, Mastery, Robert Greene explains what true masters of each craft all have in common. Each of us has a passion. For a variety of reasons within and outside our control, very few of us pursue our respective passions to the point of achieving mastery over them.
Mastery explains how many masters of their craft such as Mozart, the prolific and influential composer and Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force’s last ace fighter pilot have in common. They pursued their passions and achieved the state of flow, where information and masterful work was created in a state that seems almost effortless.
Mastery: 4 Steps To Finding Your Flow And Becoming A Master
1. Find Your Life’s Task
Many people have an intense feeling of what they love to do or what they’re best at. Too often, they’re driven away from that by other people. The first step is to aim your life and career in a direction that utilizes what you love to do without allowing anything to divert you.
Mozart would tour Europe with his sister at the request of his father. The two siblings would perform as young prodigies for the rich and noble families of the time. This gave Mozart an opportunity to meet other musicians and artists, most notable of these was Johann Christian Bach.
Although Mozart hated these trips, often feeling inferior to his sister, he learned many skills from the people he met, and discovered his love for composing. When he returned from one of their tours of Europe, he decided to pursue this new love. His father was strictly against this, and told home that such a decision would mean he was no longer part of the family, as they would no longer be able to tour and make money from their shows. Mozart decided to pursue his passion and began his career as a composer, resulting in over 600 works of music.
It was only when he embraced his passion that he was able to achieve mastery. He was a great musician, but his life’s task was composing and his work lives on to this day.
Find out what it is you love, and don’t let anything divert you from it. Build something you can be proud of and work at it everyday.
2. Become an Apprentice
The system of apprenticeships first developed in the later Middle Ages. Masters of each craft would hire young apprentices as a form of cheap labor and as a way to pass on their skills. An apprenticeship starts by observing the master, then going on to practice what they had observed and begin a system of improvement until they became masters. This process would take anywhere between 7 to 15 years.
Find a mentor who is good at what you want to do, and observe. If you are doing something that isn’t being done, find a broad range of mentors and observe them all.
When you have found the right mentor, you need to:
- Observe and absorb. Learn the rules of your craft.
- Practice, practice, practice. Engage in intense practice and lean toward resistance and pain.
- Experiment. Put what you have learned into practice.
- Be patient
3. Absorb Everything and Be Open To New Information And Direction
Many people, when they achieve mastery, can become conservative and close minded. The key to mastery is rejecting conservatism and becoming increasingly bold. The key is to absorb everything in your field, and allow your brain to make the connections for you.
That’s how Louis Pasteur, one of the most important founders of medical microbiology, made the leap that lead to vaccines. He spent years developing germ theory, which enabled him to see the importance of a group of chickens that survived injection with an old culture of disease. The work you’re doing or what you are studying may not always seem relevant, but your brain will make the right connections when necessary.
Many professional industries, such as medicine and engineering, require their professionals to be constantly evolving and keeping up with the latest innovations. They are required to be in a constant state of development by absorbing any and all information in their field to be able to maintain their mastery.
Learning is never over. Becoming a master is a lifestyle and not a 9-5 job. It will need to be part of your everyday routine but it should never feel like work.
4. Trust Your Intuitiveness and Rationality
This is the last step. Deep immersion in a particular field, experience in an apprenticeship, time under a mentor, and unlocking creative potential create an extraordinary depth of knowledge and an ability to quickly and instinctively respond to any situation. This process will allow you to make quick decisions, and create masterful work.
Check out Mastery by Robert Greene Here:
What is your passion and what are you best at? Comment below and join the discussion