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316 of 341 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honor Your Life
Are you one of those people who allows your goal or goals to dominate your life? And once your goals are achieved, do you think of your achievements as, "no big deal?"

While the author describes 5 keys to long-term success and fulfillment,as:
1. Instruction;
2. Practice;
3. Surrender;
4. Intentionality; and,
5. The Edge - Push the...
Published on October 14, 2003 by Carmen Matthews

versus
41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad for a Self Help Book
This book is a self-help book. As such, it is at times overly simplistic, impractical, and more inspirational than instructional. However, unlike many self-help books, this book is actually realistic.

Mastery, as Mr. Leonard describes it, is not something that can be accomplished overnight. It takes time, effort, and dedication. One has to go against one's...
Published on May 9, 2006 by M. James


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316 of 341 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honor Your Life, October 14, 2003
This review is from: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment (Paperback)
Are you one of those people who allows your goal or goals to dominate your life? And once your goals are achieved, do you think of your achievements as, "no big deal?"

While the author describes 5 keys to long-term success and fulfillment,as:
1. Instruction;
2. Practice;
3. Surrender;
4. Intentionality; and,
5. The Edge - Push the envelop.

Mastery is:
1. The process where what was difficult becomes both easier and
more pleasurable;
2. Long-term dedication to the journey - not the bottom line;
3. Gaining mental discipline to travel further on your journey;
4. Being goalless;
5. Realizing that the pleasure of practice is intensified;
6. Creating deep roots;
7. Knowing that you will never reach a final destination;
8. Being diligent with the process of mastery;
9. Your commitment to hone your skills;
10. After you have reached the top of the mountain, climb
another one;
11. Being willing to practice, even when you seem to be getting
no where;
12. Making this a life process;
13. Being patient, while you apply long-term efforts;
14. Appreciating and even enjoying the plateau, as much as you do
the progress;
15. Practicing for the sake of practice;
16. Winning graciously, and losing with equal grace;
17. Placing practice, discipline, conditioning and character
development before winning;
18. Being courageous;
19. Being fully in the present moment;
20. Realizing that the ultimate goal is not the medal, or the
ribbon, but the path to mastery its self (The "I am"
stage);
21. Being willing to look foolish;
22. Maintaining flexibility in your strategy, and in your
actions;
23. A journey; and,
24. Determination
Apply this to everything in your life, to claim your authentic self.
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85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you can now throw out all your other self-help books, December 16, 2002
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This review is from: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment (Paperback)
Leonard is an Aikido instructor in Northern California, and once contributed an article on fitness and athletics to Esquire magazine which I always wished I had kept. Years later, I came across this book, and was thrilled to find that he was the author of that article. There are few pursuits which would not be enriched by the insights and principles of this little book. Unlike the great majority of self-help books, this one looks like the classics: it stays short, and doesn't lose its point in a plethora of unnecessary case studies, examples, and narcissistic autobiographical reflections. Leonard stays focused, doesn't waste his readers' time, yet provides all the information and motivation necessary to put the reader on the slow, steady track to success, whether it be in sports, in business, in the arts, or in a life enriched by all that. It's the antithesis of the quick fix: if you care enough about an endeavor to give your time to it, Leonard will tell you what the learning curve will look like, and will tell you that, if it matters, it's worth giving your lifetime to pursue.
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81 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Though Published in 1992--Still Way Ahead of its Time!, January 16, 2000
This review is from: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment (Paperback)
An easy read that you will share with your friends, family, and business associates. You will learn that todays business focus of "bottom-line" thinking and activity is really destructive and is non-value added in the long-term. In order to get to mastery, whether it's your golf game or family relationships--you must be continuously practicing (learning). When using "bottom-line" thinking--you learn only enough to solve your current problem--and you believe your successful. However, how many times do we have to go back and re-fix or address the problem. If we master the problem (thoroughly understanding it)--we can fix the problem right the first time, completely understanding all the connections. I am convinced this is the book that led Tom Peters to write the "Reinventing Work" series. A great book--you will want to start a reading club / discussion group over this one.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning the Path, October 27, 1998
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This review is from: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment (Paperback)
George Leonard may have used Akido as a masterful allusion of life, or any real challenge in it, but his lessons are universal. Being a three time survivor of brain surgery, I have applied his teachings toward mastering my own path and use his terminology regularly. His explanation of homeostasis and how it prevents us from making definitive change in our lives is the essence of the book. Mastering a change in homeostasis is, in fact, what it's really all about. This book will literally change your life and how you see the things in it. Get on your Path, whatever that is.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the truth about power, July 14, 2000
This review is from: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment (Paperback)
Finally, a book that gives the basics of power. The author shows that one needs valid knowledge and a lot of practice to be a master. Although this seems obvious, many people miss the forest for the trees. This could be called a manual on how to use knowledge. He gives some exercises from his training in the martial arts, but this is not a martial arts manual. The book gives the keys to becoming a master at anything. The keys of valid knowledge and practice is the way to master anything. He also shows that mastership is an endless road. You can never say your perfect and stop. You keep learning and getting better. The book appears simple on the surface but dont underestimate it, its full of wisdom. Although in our society there are those who call themselves masters and even grandmasters, true masters are a rarity. Shakespeare in writing, Bruce Lee in the martial arts, Capablanca in chess, Einstein in science are examples of true masters. But this book is for individuals who are willing to go through the very hard work and study to be a master. A very good book for those pursuing excellence.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A short and very worthwhile read, November 12, 2003
By 
Keith "kc31824" (STAMFORD, CT, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment (Paperback)
There are lots of detailed reviews here so I won't repeat it all. This book is full of takeaway messages that will allow you to approach mastering something, anything (a sport, an art, a language, you name it) more effectively.
There are two big messages, and a lot of support:
1. The reason for mastery -- he compelling argues that it doesn't matter so much what you choose to master, pick something and pursue mastery. It has a life changing effect.
2. The process for mastery -- this is very compelling. He takes the concept of a plateau and makes it understandable. And shows how to reach mastery given the realities of what happens along the way. We're bad at this in today's world -- we want results right away. But that's not how it works. Committing to the process not the outcomes goes back to ancient Eastern religions, and its as true for modern life and success as well.
He's distilled a lifetime of learning into a very short and useful read.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly insightful, October 7, 2003
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This review is from: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment (Paperback)
This is a brief, easy-to-read book (I zipped through it in one evening), but I found it remarkably enlightening about the learning process in general. What especially struck me were three points: (1) The "plateau" is just as important in learning a skill as the rare moments when you exceed yourself, so don't become impatient (or quit) when you hit a plateau; it's where you consolidate your skills, make them automatic, and get ready for the next step. (2) To learn something new, you have to become a beginner again. (3) If you focus on achieving ever higher and higher goals, you'll burn out; but embracing the process and the attitude of being a learner will last you a lifetime. (About 25 years ago, a group of Apple Computer employees paid for a billboard in honor of Steve Jobs' birthday; it read "The Journey is the Reward." At the time I thought this was pseudo-Zen fluff, but I know better now -- and that's exactly the point of this book.)
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome insight!, November 14, 2002
By 
therosen "therosen" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment (Paperback)
This is a book that will help you master any subject that you are looking to learn: Accounting, Dancing, Martial Arts, Photography, you name it...
The author breaks down the nature of improvements as being a gradual rise of plateaus of steady performance. He then explains several pitfalls to improvement, and how to enjoy the activity for it's own sake. At the end you're given tips on how to keep the journey going.
Most of the examples are based from the author's study of aikido, but the principles are universal. Anyone that is looking to improve longterm at a skill or vocation will find great use of this book. (& it's thin enough not to be too much of a waste of time if you disagree!)
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The way to Mastery in any skill, May 17, 2001
By 
"kangarex" (Keokuk, IA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment (Paperback)
There are other books out there on achieving mastery in the martial arts (Living the Martial Way is my favorite). This one takes the principles that Mr. Leonard has learned from his practice of aikido, and translates it into practical principles for following the path of Mastery in any skill. It's simply and skillfully written, and easily understandable - the principles of mastery are easy, it's the staying on the path that's hard. As a born hacker, someone who gets to the level of "good enough" in every area, and then just hangs around there forever, this book gave me the tools I needed to start forgeing ahead again in many things.
The most profound things don't have to be complicated, in fact they're usually simple. It's just that simple things aren't always easy to do.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs Up, March 18, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment (Paperback)
This is a very practical guide to how the brain learns. If the whole "new age" type of stance makes you reluctant to approach this book, just think of it as a "How the Brain Learns For Dummies." It's really a practical how-to book, and nothing more. A very HELPFUL how-to book.
The main benefit to me was to have spelled out a thing I've experienced but never understood, and that is the periods of learning something when no improvement seems evident. And then all at once like a lightening bolt, a big improvement takes place in one day! Like magic. In my surfing, in my writing (I'm a novelist) and in other things, I never quite understood that period of stagnation, and then a big leap forward. Well, that "stagnation" is when the subconcious mind is learning, but you don't know it. So this book encourages me to keep plugging away at things I don't seem to be making progress at. I now know my subconscious IS making progress.
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Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment
Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment by George Burr Leonard (Paperback - February 1, 1992)
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