Work to learn your craft. Take years to learn it. Stay inside and work while other people are out playing and having fun. Rehearse. Rehearse. Rehearse. Be embarrassingly bad at what you are doing until a small glimmer of something others might call talent appears. Know that you talent is nothing more than the disciplined action taken repeatedly over long periods of time.
Go over the same ground until you know it so well that you no longer have to think about what you are doing. Give yourself over and sacrifice that part of yourself that resists. Become what you are doing until there is no longer any separation between who you are and what you do. Until you have become one with what you are doing. Or it has become you.
Develop deep mastery in your domain. Know the fundamentals at such a high level that you can break the rules and create something new, something novel, something that is just yours. Build your work on top of the foundation of the fundamentals you have mastered and on the firm ground of the masters who taught you the fundamentals. Add a new level, another dimension, a shift to something new, but something that speaks to the truth that was there when you were first learning.
Let your intuition guide you. Work without ever second guessing what you are doing, how you are doing what you do, and who you are doing it for. Forget everything. Be the medium through which your work flows. Create. Produce. Work. Smaller movements, nothing wasted. Bolder strokes, greater refinement.
This is the path to mastery, for the few that are willing to step onto that path.
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Filed under: Excellence