Self-Mastery is Rooted in Mental Mastery
I’ve always been a big fan of taekwondo and martial arts. There’s just something about people kicking in the air, moving their bodies, and somehow channeling all that physical force to project power that reminds me of artistry.
I really can’t quite put my finger on it, but it seems so sublime. There’s a tremendous amount of flair, it’s like, these people are dancing with their bodies. They’re not fighting. They know how to turn their body at the right time to take advantage of opportunities that flash in and out of existence at a blink of an eye.
To get good at any kind of martial arts, you have to master it. Unfortunately, most people are not born with talents that enable them to become experts overnight in judo, karate, taekwondo, to name a few. You have to put one foot in front of the other. You have to take your beating. That is how you become a master.
You may have watched those old kung fu movies, You may have seen the kung fu master with long, flowing white hair and a grey beard archetype, who teaches these young guys the hard knocks of life.
It’s actually very formulaic. The hero of the movie begins as this cocky bastard with absolutely no clue. The master would school him by beating him up, and once the hero gets used to the fact that his cockiness lays the foundation for his humiliation, he starts to make progress. He starts to think like a student. He becomes humble. Eventually, with experience and relentless practice, he becomes a master in his own right.
Now, as cheesy as those old-school martial arts movies may seem and mean to you, they contain a lot of truth. You see, a lot of people out there think that they are the masters of their lives. They are free to think that way but that’s not reality. In many cases, these people get frustrated precisely because they’re actually not.
Just like that cocky student, they think they know everything. They think they’ve got it all figured out. But life has another agenda. Life continues to school them by delivering disappointment after disappointment.
Despite going through so many failures, most people still refuse to see the memo. Majority still refuse to learn. If you want to master your life, you must first assume the attitude of a student.
In other words, you have to accept the fact that you don’t know everything. That is perfectly okay. Because once you develop that humility, you will be able to have an open heart and mind to take in the kind of information you need to take your life to the next level. That’s how a student becomes a master eventually.
Self-mastery takes root in this truth. Until you master yourself mentally, and I’m not just talking about your ability to comprehend intellectual topics but also your attitude, nothing’s going to change. You’re going to continue to black out the truth from your life. You’re going to continue to resist the kind of information that could have otherwise taken your life to a higher level.
If you are sick and tired of getting the same pathetic results each time, choose humility. Understand that you don’t know everything and open your mind to truly learning about yourself. This is the first step to real self-mastery.