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Going through the personal growth or self-help sections of books stores or looking at the course titles at places like the learning Annex, I’m struck at the ridiculous promises being made. “Master relationships/money/career.” “How to earn a fortune in real estate, how to make her beg for more.” The list goes on and on.

Not to say that you couldn’t earn a fortune in real estate, or make her beg for me, it’s just that these promises imply that there’s some ultimate point that you can reach. Do you really think that if you make her beg for more once, you’ll always be able to make her beg for more?

You could make a great argument that this is the case, that you could reach some “best” point, especially if it’s a personal best, and I would agree. My point is that it’s not helpful to focus on ultimate points, especially when the road to them is “made simple” or “for dummies”.

Why I don’t like the marketing of programs or experiences as “mastery” is that they encourage an unworkable relationship with the concept of mastery. They make us think that the road to it [mastery] is easy [with their help], and that once attained you’ll have it forever.

Congratulations you’re a master, Master. Now what?

Ask Tiger Woods what happens to his mastery when he stops playing. You don’t need the famous masters to test this out, take a look at anyone you consider a master and notice that they are constantly engaged with the thing that you think they are a master at.

Now the funny thing is that one of the best books out there about living your life as a practice is entitled “Mastery:the keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment.” The book is by George Leonard who together with Michael Murphy founded Integral Transformative Practice or ITP. Mr. Leonard’s concept of Mastery is spot on with many of the essential elements of what I mean by living your life as a practice. And as such I’m right on with his concept of Mastery. Check out George’s book. It’s a quick read and I would say very helpful if you want to take on living your life as a practice, or as a Master. 😉


I use the word “learning” instead of “learn” because letting go is an art that you will spend your life practicing. Yet this is nothing to be discouraged about. The whole idea of living your life as a practice is that there is no final state of perfection. You always can improve.

Letting go is an essential practice for what George Leonard calls “Mastery”. Letting go, or surrendering is an essential practice because resistance is the adversary of the Master.

Looking back on my own life, I can see how I couldn’t let go of looking good. I never stayed with many endeavors because I couldn’t surrender to the clumsiness, awkwardness, uncertainty, confusion and frustration that comes with learning a new sports/skills/arts. Unless I could learn in private where no one could see me.

Even with skills that I had natural talent at I turned away from because of this fear of not looking good. The fear of what others would think of me because I wasn’t already skilled and accomplished kept me from practicing to acquire that same skill and accomplishment.

Letting go is such an essential practice that I’ll be posting about it many times. Would love to hear any thoughts you have on the subject.