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Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment


Amazon link: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment

Drawing on Zen philosophy and his expertise in the martial art of aikido, bestselling author George Leonard shows how the process of mastery can help us attain a higher level of excellence and a deeper sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in our daily lives. Whether you're seeking to improve your career or your intimate relationships, increase self-esteem or create harmony within yourself, this inspiring prescriptive guide will help you master anything you choose and achieve success in all areas of your life.


  • Praise for George Leonard's The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei
  • Mastery The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment
  • Publication Info
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Part One: The Master's Journey
    • Introduction
    • What Is Mastery?
      • The Mastery Curve
    • Meet the Dabbler, the Obsessive, and the Hacker
      • The Dabbler
      • The Obsessive
      • The Hacker
    • America's War Against Mastery
      • The Path of Endless Climax
      • A War That Can't Be Won
    • Loving the Plateau
      • The Joy of Regular Practice
      • The Face of Mastery
  • Part Two: The Master Keys
    • Introduction
    • Key 1: Instruction
      • The Best of Instructors, the Worst of Instructors
      • The Magic of Teaching Beginners
      • Good Horse, Bad Horse
      • Comparing Various Modes of Instruction
      • Knowing When to Say Good-bye
    • Key 2: Practice
      • Staying on the Mat
    • Key 3: Surrender
      • Swordmaster Stories
      • A Tale of Two Experts
    • Key 4: Intentionality
      • What Is Really Real?
    • Key 5: The Edge
  • Part Three: Tools For Mastery
    • Introduction
    • Why Resolutions Fail—and What to Do About It
      • 1. Be aware of the way homeostasis works
      • 2. Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change
      • 3. Develop a support system
      • 4. Follow a regular practice
      • 5. Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning
    • Getting Energy for Mastery
      • 1. Maintain physical fitness
      • 2. Acknowledge the negative and accentuate the positive
      • 3. Try telling the truth
      • 4. Honor but don't indulge your own dark side
      • 5. Set your priorities
      • 6. Make commitments. Take action
      • 7. Get on the path of mastery and stay on it
    • Pitfalls Along the Path
      • 1. Conflicting way of life
      • 2. Obsessive goal orientation
      • 3. Poor instruction
      • 4. Lack of competitiveness
      • 5. Overcompetitiveness
      • 6. Laziness
      • 7. Injuries
      • 8. Drugs
      • 9. Prizes and medals
      • 10. Vanity
      • 11. Dead seriousness
      • 12. Inconsistency
      • 13. Perfectionism
    • Mastering the Commonplace
      • Driving as High Art
      • Household Rhythm
      • The Challenge of Relationships
        • Instruction
        • Practice
        • Surrender
        • Intentionality
        • The Edge
    • Packing for the Journey
      • Balancing and centering
      • Returning to center
      • Gaining energy from unexpected blows
      • An introduction to ki
      • Relaxing for power
        • The First Way
        • The Second Way
    • Epilogue: The Master and the Fool


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




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working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then figure out a coping plan for what you’ve rejected.

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