The Rewards of Self-mastery
In our quick-result society, I see all kinds of advertisements that promise the ability to achieve any goal with the snap of your fingers – no work required. One of my recent favorites is “Become a powerful Reiki Master in 48 hours!” I’m sure many folks wanted to take advantage of that and clicked the link that would take them to their immediate, powerful destiny. Here’s a little secret: You can’t become a powerful anything in 48 hours!
Becoming a master at whatever you set your mind to requires study, practice, experience, and the ability to assimilate the knowledge while cultivating the wisdom of how and when to use it. Some say it takes 10,000 hours of practice and experience with a particular thing in order to master it. The most accurate answer may be that it depends on the thing to be mastered, the person’s devotion to the task, and the individual’s propensity to use it. In this sense, it may take more time or it may take less time. But I am not going to focus on mastering a task such as playing chess; rather, I am concerned with inspiring you to become a master of yourself.
Let’s assume that the 10,000 hours is a basic prerequisite to devote to mastery. That works out to approximately 417 days if you worked on something 24/7 and just under 5 years if you do it 40 hours per week. If this was all it took to achieve self-mastery, we would be masters of ourselves before the age of 5. Of course, this is ridiculous. What we are attempting to master in the first years of life is to eat solid food, walk, successfully complete potty training, and get preliminary skills in reading. In a way, this is the beginning of our journey toward self-mastery, for without these skills, we will not get very far in adult life.
But of course, we can’t stop there. We must master all of the elementary school basic knowledge to have the skills to proceed to the next level. If the individual is so inclined, the academic experience will include exposure to social situations that assist in learning how to effectively interact with people…with mixed results, from what I’ve observed. Some people are only focused on book learning, while others throw themselves into the social aspect of life. For the ones who are specifically attentive to one or the other, the likelihood of mastery in that particular area is much greater. In both cases, there are opportunities to learn about the Self, yet that is probably not what the person seeks to get out of the experience. More likely, they are looking for a high grade to propel them forward in their academic career or are looking for external approval from others to launch them toward popularity.
To seek external approval in either situation is to miss the experience of self-understanding and self-approval. Knowledge of oneself, while waiting to be discovered in the types of subjects to be studied or in the types of people being attracted, is often dismissed in an attempt to find the best strategy to attain whatever goal is most important. I have seen that, for the majority, self-mastery is not the goal in youth as much as it is to experience as much as possible in whatever form it takes. They may pursue avenues that were forced upon them by parents or others, they may go astray from any focus whatsoever. It is not until later in life that people begin to realize that they are not sure of their purpose, their identity, or what they really want out of life.
So why is self-mastery so important? It allows one to be solid within themselves, to understand what motivates them, and to purposefully move through life. The instance of depression, anxiety, and confusion is almost non-existent. The amount of fear, doubt, and worry experienced is dramatically reduced. With each challenge that faces the person who strives for or achieves self-mastery, they are able to generate alternatives and select the most appropriate path to surmount the obstacle. Striving for mastery is a long journey that takes a lifetime, and sometimes more than one lifetime. So be patient with yourself. You have already learned so much, that you have everything within that you need to reach your full potential. It simply needs to be brought out.
How to begin? Here are some things to focus on that will give you solid footing on the path to self-mastery. Cultivate these to sustain your momentum in transforming into your true Self.
1. Self-control – of thoughts, emotions, and physical desires. Ultimately this gives you control of yourself and your destiny.
2. Self-discipline – toward temptations that take you off the path and to fight old habits.
3. Desire – to reclaim your power by learning about yourself and understanding who you are at a core level.
4. Self-awareness – of how you react to certain things, people, and situations and of what motivates you
5. Determination – to stick with the path and use all tools available to you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself.
It’s never too late to begin the journey of the Self. Start with the affirmation, “I am joyfully discovering who I am and creating the life that is in keeping with my purpose.” Being in this mindset will allow you to open to new ways of being and seeing yourself. You have great gifts to share with the world. Now is the time to come fully into your power and express it in high service to others.
There are times when help is needed to identify blocks to progress and move past them to live the life you’ve always wanted. Self-mastery coaching is a way to accomplish more in less time than treading the path alone.
© Diane Wing, all rights reserved