Becoming World-Class

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.  da-vinci-profile
~ Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo just about says it all. In the grand scheme of life, mastering yourself is the grand scheme. This is Ultimate Performance; and this is rare.

At the end of the day we live in a society that celebrates power and prestige; yet not true mastery.

Our society values their traditional definitions of power… get enough cold cash, the big house, an expensive car, and the big title.

Celebrities are the focus of our young and old alike (reference UHP20).

I recently had a woman pushing 50 grin from ear to ear as she told me her new haircut looked like “Kim Kardashians’.”


These types of obsessions are shallow and have nothing to do with true power. I really don’t care much for it.

I’ve been there, done that, and gotten the tee. I promise it’s not what it’s cracked up to be; and more importantly it can be gone in the blink of an eye.

If you measure your success and self-worth by outside opinions or acquisitions you’re a slave; and you set yourself up for unhappiness and failure.

Ultimate Performance only comes when and if it does come when two things occur:

  • You commit to mastery of yourself
  • You direct that self-mastery towards world-class work.

Your work is your art and the world is your canvas.

Obviously the two items above must come in the order as stated above; and if you’ve been following the series I’ve given you plenty food for thought regarding knowing yourself, feeling your feelings, and exploring your unique gifts and genius.

Only when you develop at least a modicum of item number one above (self-mastery), can you hope to accomplish number two. These two principals have been the primary thrust of this entire series and conversation.

The individual who’s begun to develop self-mastery has taken the first step necessary to a life of ultimate performance and true greatness.women-workout-motivationdetect-fitness-stay-active-and-healthy-build-yourself-3-1024x695

World-class art comes from a world-class artist; and as you should know by now great work and greatness can only be defined by you.

True greatness is defined as accomplishing what you choose to accomplish; in the area you choose to accomplish it; and doing it with a level of mastery.

While doing what you choose to do seems simple enough. It’s very complex. It’s difficult for most of us to step back from our conditioning long enough and far enough to see our deepest and most authentic desires. Our deep authentic self.

The hard fact is that most never take this step back in their entire lifetime. We discussed this previously. (reference UHP20)

Repetition is the second law of learning and transformation.

I’ve mentioned this time and again and yet it bears repeating and repeating over and over. I call this process of stepping back “beginning at the beginning.”

Once you know what your unique gifts and genius are you must put them to work in pursuit of your own world-class art. This is the definition of true greatness.

Are you willing to pay the price for greatness? Read more about it here.

I recently went into Sports Authority to purchase two Nalgene bottles. If you know anything about me I’m never to be found without my water. Water is the number two nutrient of the body and the fact, is that most of us are extremely dehydrated.


I was greeted very enthusiastically by a girl named Debbie. The store was packed. She asked me with a sparkle in her eye and an obvious fire in her heart how she could help me. I told her what I needed. She directed me and also offered to show me if I thought that would be helpful. I told her I thought I could manage finding it on my own.

Upon retrieving my water bottles, I returned to the register and Debbie was now checking people out. She was booming and downright overflowing and glowing with enthusiasm.

People who are living their purpose and bringing their greatness to the world have a fire in their eyes and a certain glow—even when things are tough. 

I said, “Debbie… you love your job don’t you?”

Debbie replied, “Why yes, I do love my job! I get to meet all types of people and help them with a healthy lifestyle; and I also get to hear great stories. You know,” she continued, “I believe any job is what you make of it. I just get up each morning and tell myself I’m going to have a great day and do something good for myself and others.”

I looked her straight in the eye and said, “I really admire you.”

She looked somewhat flattered and embarrassed and blushingly said, “Really?”

I said, “Yes I really do mean it. You see, I always respect and admire anyone who loves what they do; and works to do it with excellence. It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s how you do it.”

Debbie blushed again and replied, “I totally agree.”

Now when I tell this story in the context of world-class art and greatness many look at me like they don’t get it.

You know why?

Because they don’t get it.

Others make comments like, “She’s just a clerk in a department store.”


Thanks for playing!

Debbie is a state changer.

Debbie is a day maker.

She certainly was for me; and my guess is that she is for many others as well.

I’m pretty sure that my guess is right.

It’s not what you do that determines your success, wealth and fulfillment…
It’s how you do it.72a31fded95335e2bac4edc5f923d51c

World-class work can be accomplished in many areas. World-class work is the result of bringing your unique genius and greatness to the world in whatever area that greatness resides.

The key is to never be satisfied with the quality of what you’ve produced. Continuous improvement is a must. Continuous improvement is a fundamental factor of increasing complexity and flow.

“Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration
of the life you deserved.”
~ Ayn Rand

It’s time for you to become heroic.

It’s time for you to bring your greatness to the world.

It’s time to build and leave your lasting legacy.

The question is not “can you” the only question that exists is “will you?”

The time is now.

And the journey continues…

Stay Awake, Love Life and Be Epic!



4 Responses

  1. It Sounds like young Debbie? has a lot of potential, she will probably bring her positive attitude and pleasant demeanor to every job she engages in throughout her working life.
    Hopefully she will see/realize the opportunities that are available to her through education and being purpose driven.
    Surely, as Debbie is described in this blog, she has skills that can take her far beyond that of being a cashier! It is a wonderful starting point for a person who has great interpersonal skills and charisma. Great example of a person with the talent to take it to the next level…..hopefully she will realize all she can eventually be!
    As for the 50 year old Kim Kardashian “Wanna Be” ….. when women are no longer idolized for their body, size, face and especially when they are no longer discounted as professionals because of age vs. what resides between their ears……
    Well, many women will sadly feel the need to emulate celebrities and will obsess over their appearance; Appearing to be shallow.
    Nothing wrong with being healthy or pretty but the lifelong beauty pageant that women are faced with is so sad and such a waste of life energy.
    This 50 year old woman is not shallow, she is a victim of what society holds as important. She is merely trying to hold onto something that was gone in her late twenties. I think it is time women put their foot down and stand in their real power. And what is that power? It certainly has NOTHING to do with looking like Kim, it has everything to do with developing one’s mind, like Hillary Clinton, Oprah or even Ann Coulter (who is not my personal favorite) all brilliant in their own right. Ladies: Shape and refine what resides inside the skull, not on the top of it.

  2. Wow, great lesson James! this is a lesson to read and re-read a thousand times!
    It is so important to love what you do and do things the best way we can. To decide that every new day will be a graet day is the base of real success (inner and outer).
    Thanks for this reminder James!

  3. well:D at least i got also time for read blog:D hm so lovely story:Dindeed:D and
    People who are living their purpose and bringing their greatness to the world have a fire in their eyes and a certain glow—even when things are tough.
    this is, with what i totaly agree:D if u now take some time and ponder:D u know well, why so many people adoring u:D this fire in ur eyes and glow..and love u make people listen u and world is becoming more better place piece by piece:D i really have huge respect on u:D and really grateful that there is internet, that everything is so much easy and better and availeble all over the world:D love it..and isnt said to get ur attention:D because u are simply the best:Dthe truth:D well, but now time to learn some more..for me:D

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