Tuesday, June 3, 2008


A friend's blog pointed me towards the book Mastery, by George Leonard, explaining the process we go through whenever we learn a new skill.

I've only just begun reading it, but it's already an interesting read, more so because I currently have some situations where it applies: I'm a 'fresh' parent (a year and a half parenting doesn't exactly make you an expert), I recently took up drawing, and I play go.
Other examples are easily thought of (improving Dungeon Master skills, learning to relax in any possible situation, trying to be forgiving to everyone, writing cleaner software, ...), but these three are the most apparent.

And from these examples, go is, if you ask me, the most perfect example in which to apply the Mastery theory. Go is a game which you will never in your life completely master (none of the 9-dan players claim they do; or at least, they shouldn't or otherwise they wouldn't even be dan-players), and the process of learning to master it, i.e. improving yourself, is way more satisfying than actually winning games.

And the funny thing is, reading this book actually makes me even more excited to continue learning to draw. I'd like to claim that I started this new hobby with the correct mindset, knowing that I will not achieve perfection in a small amount of time, but instead needing to find the proper tutors and tutorials, filtering them and deciding which ones are the next logical steps to take, and practicing, practicing, and practicing even more. This book actually endorses that decision, and gives a real confidence-boost.

So, to anyone who reads this blog, and is caught up in the modern downward spiral of consumerism and instant gratification: read the book and change your life for the better!

No comments: