- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Plume; Reissue edition (February 1, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0452267560
- ISBN-13: 978-0452267565
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 265 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment Paperback – February 1, 1992
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Praise for George Leonard and Mastery
“George Leonard is a remarkable man who embodies what he teaches: an amazing curiosity, a passionate intelligence, and the rare combination of someone who has both a broad vision and the focused mastery of details.”—Dean Ornish, New York Times bestselling author of The Spectrum
“If he's right—and Leonard has been right so many times about prevailing zeitgeists that you have to wonder if he has a third eye—the upcoming decade might be known as the decade of mastery.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“George Leonard translates the wisdom of Zen into a self-help program for sticking with it—whether you want to learn aikido or need support in realizing long-held goals.”—The New Age Journal
“The practical wisdom in George Leonard's book will have a great influence for many years to come.”—Michael Murphy, author of Golf in the Kingdom and The Future of the Body
From the Back Cover
"George Leonard is a remarkable man who embodies what he teaches: an amazing curiosity, a passionate intelligence, and the rare combination of someone who has both a broad vision and the focused mastery of details."
"If hes right and Leonard has been right so many times about prevailing zeitgeists that you have to wonder if he has a third eye 00 the upcoming decade might be known as the decade of mastery."
San Francisco Chronicle
"George Leonard translates the wisdom of Zen into a self-help program for sticking with it whether you want to learn aikido or need support in realizing long-held goals."
The New Age Journal
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The process Mr Leonard describes in this book is straightforward, easy to understand, and even easier to apply - as long as you can learn to love the journey! This will offer you a great insight into your successes, and other results, and show you a clear path to achievement. You'll be able to understand your own behaviors, and those of others, better and be more mindful of them to help yourself and others achieve your goals while enjoying the process (which is the actual goal itself).
A quick warning: this can be a painful read, since we all have times in our lives when we have, and even still will, participate in the patterns Mr Leonard describes as 'Anti-Mastery'. Many have a problem with this part, but it is necessary to accept and come to terms with it, there is no shame in the feedback from past adventures unless you continue to not learn from them, this requires humility and letting go of pretense. If you can manage that you'll be on the path to Mastery sooner than you realize, without even realizing it!
An excellent read in conjunction with Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) or Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life (Masterminds Series). Mastery describes how to love the path and progress, Flow describes how to stay engaged and progress when on the 'plateaus' that we all encounter along the path of Mastery. Either on their own is incomplete.
George Leonard takes the reader through the 5 steps of mastery:
5. The Edge
In each case, there are practical applications, interesting vignettes, and entertaining reading. The book is darn near a page turner, and that's pretty unusual for a book of this genre.
While perhaps not as well known, or now getting older and less publicized, this is one of the finer books of its type out there. A must read and must own.
Specially in a world of instant gratification, I think this is a must so everyone understand what it really means to achieve success or more than that to enjoy what you do in your life and what it really requires to develop our skills into mastery.
1) It is presented with exceptional clarity, often with sparing use of words.
2) The concepts or ideas presented are simple at first glance, but have profound implications hidden below the surface.
3) Only a minority will truly appreciate and benefit from the wisdom presented. The majority will either shrug it off, ridicule it, misapply it, or flat out miss the point entirely.
This book contains valuable wisdom... and you don't have to be a fan of eastern religion, aikido, or west coast liberalism to appreciate George Leonard's observations. (Book jackets and chapter headings often show the heavy hand of publishing-house salesmen; in the name of marketing they tend to inflate claims, stamp out nuance, and shout needlessly at a stereotyped target audience.)
This book won't change your life, of course. Only you can do that. If you expect to walk away with some new power or magical understanding that you didn't have to earn, you'll be sorely disappointed (see wisdom characteristic #3 above). But the main idea that Leonard presents here, and the advice he gives regarding it, is worth taking very seriously and pondering in depth. Like most books that center around a powerful idea, the content weakens when Leonard strays from the main focus. But he strays little, and the main focus remains extremely valuable.
This is not really a self-help book; nor is it really a motivational book. (Perhaps that is why I like it.) Leonard's goal is more to explain and to guide than to motivate. To stay on the path of mastery he describes, the passion must be cultivated separately (or already be in place). In other words, Mastery will not help you do better at your job if you are only working to bring home a paycheck; it will not help you improve in the hobby / pastime of your choice if it is just "something to do on weekends." Books like this offer clues as to how passionate effort can best be directed. But without passion, the magic doesn't work. If you don't have at least one area, any area, where your motivation is in some part excellence for its own sake, then pass this one by. (Or better yet, find something excellent to get excited about!)
As an investor and a trader, I would recommend this book to all who take their craft seriously. If you are already on the path, Mastery could help clarify an understanding that has been in the back of your mind all along.