One of the most surprising things I ever learned was something I call the Curve of Humble Mastery:
At first, when we’re trying to learn something, we’re bad at it and we know it. Imagine learning how to swim or dress better. Everyone sucks when they start!
Then we get a little good, and suddenly we think we’re the world’s biggest experts. These annoying people know “just enough” to be dangerous — like someone who lost 15lbs and suddenly lectures everyone around him about how important weightlifting is. UGH
Then — this is surprising — if you’re one of the very few people who become truly masterful at your craft, you actually become more humble. Why? Because you realize how little you know. If you ever talk to a third-degree black belt, a genuine true master, he’ll be humbler and more thoughtful than a 2nd-year student.
Today, I want to talk about mastery.
Mastery in your craft could mean building a successful business or raising amazing children or even being the most fun guy in your group of friends.
I’m talking about being the best.
If you read about what it takes to be the best, you’ll typically see two kinds of responses:
- THE ‘NO THANKS, I’M HAPPY’ RESPONSE: “Ugh, who has time for that? Spending 2 hours a day working out? He’s probably a psychopath. I’ve accepted I’ll never do that. I’m happy being me.”
- THE ‘I WANT TO BE THE BEST’ RESPONSE: “Wow. How did he do that? I want to know every single thing he did to make it to that level.”
Which one are you?
It’s totally OK to be either one. Not everyone wants to be the best, especially since it involves sacrifices.
But if you’ve been reading my material, you know I believe in being the best. And over the past decade, I’ve studied CEOs, best-selling authors, athletes, and military strategists to see how the best got there.
In fact, some of my favorite examples of mastery are found in the most simple examples:
A computer science professor solves a tough problem instantly. “I hated him in that moment.”
For any music fans, watch a master at work. Harry Connick Jr. was playing in front of a live audience. “Problem: audience is clapping on the 1 & 3. Solution: insert a 3 beat tag; audience now clapping on the off-beat (and doesn’t notice a thing). It’s at 0:43-0:45.
How Olympians stay motivated. “What audiences don’t see are the grueling practice sessions that involve hours of repetitive, muscle-straining movements. Full days of training consisted of four hours of practicing compulsory figures, then two hours of free skating, then running through the short program and the long program, and then … repeat…. “I would spend four hours a day going in circles and trying to perfect the compulsory figures, and no one ever saw those but the judges,” Hamill told me. “They were so complicated and so hard to perfect.”
Some people will read those examples and say, “Those examples are irrelevant to me. I’m not a musician, computer scientist, or Olympic athlete.”
A very small number of people will pause and say, “I want to be the best. I bet if I learned how those masters did it, I could apply something to my own life.”
Mastery means committing to being the best.
Mastery means pushing yourself to the limits and being nudged through discomfort until you realize your potential.
Mastery isn’t just growing a business or making more money. It’s physical, it’s mental, and it pervades every area of your life.
And surprisingly, the more masterful you get at something, the more humble you become — because you realize how little you actually know.
I pursue mastery because I don’t want 1% increases in my skills. I want 20x increases.
And so I decided to do something special.
I’ve put together a free 5-day “Hell Week” course I developed with a retired Navy SEAL — a true master of mind and body.
This is completely free because if I can teach you about pursuing mastery, I know it will seep into every area of your life.
Here’s the catch: I’ve intentionally made this extremely challenging. Over the next 5 days — if you choose to test yourself — we’re going to push you to your limits. Physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Expect to be exhausted. Expect to be challenged to try things you’ve never tried. In fact, expect to drop out.
I only want you to sign up if you truly want to push yourself to your limits and see what you’re capable of.
Your instructors: In addition to me, you’ll be getting schooled in mental toughness from Mark Divine, a retired Navy SEAL Commander who served 9 years on active duty and 11 years as a Reserve Seal. He’s also the founder of SEALFIT and author of Unbeatable Mind and The Way of the Seal.
We’re taking some of his best insights about physical stamina, mental toughness, and resilience and showing you how to apply the techniques to your own life.
Here’s a short excerpt to meet Mark Divine:
This free 5-day course will be extremely challenging. But that’s what it takes to 20x your potential.
If you’re interested in mastery and peak performance, we’d love to help.
Register for Hell Week, completely free, here:
P.S. Please don’t sign up for Hell Week if you’re not ready to push yourself to the next level. This is not for casual observers. If you’re committed to following through, we’d love to have you. But if not, there’s no shame in skipping this one.