The aspiration to mastery and greatness is the Pull of Purpose
to greater creativity and contribution.
Your unique genius, your Innate Ability, calls you to create and contribute. Are you listening? More importantly are you acting and following?
This call is the sole (and soul) purpose that you’re here.
Are you willing to suffer for your greatness?
If you have a true passion for it you will indeed suffer. For passion is Latin for suffering.
If you aren’t willing to suffer than you have no true passion—don’t fool yourself.
Are you willing to pay the price?
Are you willing to sacrifice?
Are you willing to adopt unconventional practices to achieve unconventional results?
There’s always a price for the prize.
As we discussed last week, the master genius is typically ahead of his time. History proves that very few of these game-changers were accepted and embraced fully during their physical lives. While some were. Many were not.
Very few were completely understood.
Of course a lot of this acceptance and understanding is contingent upon their particular area and field of genius.
It tends to be much easier for us to accept genius in an area of physical mastery than it is to accept philosophical or spiritual genius. The latter are complete paradigm shifters.
I used the example of Stephen Jobs previously. (reference MGG1) While his brain-child company Apple did well… he was not liked at all by most who knew him. Many believed him to be an arrogant self-absorbed maniac.
Some would say egomaniac, but that’s because they don’t understand the difference between an egomaniac and a monomaniac. Properly understood he was a completely purpose-absorbed monomaniac on a mission. He knew exactly why he was here; and popularity was not his reason for being. Nor was it his focus.
While I never met him… I’ve had enough experience to know that most probably he wasn’t anti-popularity nor was he anti-social. No, he was just pro-purpose and pro-greatness. He was driven to greatness and mastery. Driven to become the greatest artist and to utilizing his Innate Ability to his fullest potential.
When his team created the mother board of the first Apple computer (this is the internal workings that you and I never see) he was said to have demanded that it be beautiful. A complete and total work of art.
One of his team members asked him, “Why does that matter? No one will ever see it.”
Jobs replied, “Because WE will see it!”
After all the iterations, improvements, and tweaks (there were many), it was finally complete. Jobs was satisfied. He told his team to sign the mother board.
They asked why, to which Jobs replied, “Because true artists always sign their work.”
Do you take this much pride and care in the work that you do?
And they will take nothing less than the best from themselves, as well as from all that work with them and around them.
In fact, this commitment to complete excellence is one of the reasons that the master is often not liked by the masses. Many (if not most) of the masses believe that mediocrity is enough. They believe that they must do “just enough to get by.”
The master never does just enough to get by.
The master is always asking how can I give more, do more, become more;
and thereby contribute my greatness; and leave my mark upon the world.
Masters hold themselves to higher standards than anyone else could ever hold them to. Please read that again.
They tend to be hard on others. Hence one of the reasons that they’re often not liked. Because they’re aspiration to greatness is totally and completely misunderstood. This is most often completely un-relatable to the mass majority. (reference MGG2)
They tend to make people uncomfortable who are unwilling to be similarly called and aspired.
When you choose to pursue your greatness
people most likely won’t support you.
For you represent the courage that they don’t have.
The master doesn’t make people uncomfortable because they don’t care about people. Just the opposite. They care more! Truth known, the person that they’re always the hardest on is themselves.
Hold yourself to higher standards than anyone else could ever hold you to.
You see, other people’s standards will get you other people’s results. Your standards, on the other hand, will create your mastery and your greatness. Do you follow?
Many get charged up when a new year begins and they decide to do many personal make-over type activities, right?
Yet, these things rarely last.
The gym is packed for the first couple of weeks of a new year.
Diets are tighter.
Some start to read.
Some attend personal development events or enroll in a new class.
Some find a mentor.
Others take up new life-changing habits.
But these things rarely last because mastery is a long, long road. A really long road! Their heart is in the right place; and the attempts are valiant. But consistently of commitment and perseverance is fundamental to mastery.
You must be willing to suffer and pay a great price for your mastery.
Let no one tell you or sell you otherwise.
I was recently mentoring a woman who stated she was committed to mastery. Her comment to me was, “I’ll sacrifice for a while.” I responded, “Wrong answer! You’ll never get there!”
“If you’re truly committed to mastery you won’t do it for a while. You’ll do it until.”
“Until when?” She asked.
“Until you accomplish what you’re telling me is important!” Was my response.
In other words, for as long as it takes. Masters are committed to greatness until their final breath. No price is too high. No time period too long.
In a quick fix, instant gratification society this harsh reality and truth is about as popular as a plague.
Small things done consistently in strategic places create major impact.
I mentioned last week that we’ll explore the timeframe research proves it takes to achieve a level of mastery in your life and craft. But suffice to say that one of the major reasons that very few people ever reach a level of mastery is time.
More specifically, anemic commitment and perseverance.
We live in an instant gratification society. We want to flip up one video on YouTube and become the next Justin Bieber. And yes Bieber and others have done it… but (unless something drastically changes), Bieber will never be a Michael Jackson.
Not even close.
Things that come fast rarely last; and they never
develop the depth of true mastery.
You may disagree with me on this and that’s okay. And you may think Jackson weird and eccentric—he was. Most who master their genius are “weird” by standard measure; and many experience inner-turmoil.
Michael Jackson overdosed, Van Gogh lost an ear. Beethoven went deaf never to physically hear some of his greatest compositions. Thoreau went to jail, as did Martin Luther King and Mandela.
Ken Wilber (one of the greatest geniuses of our time; and one of my mentors, although we’ve never met), has Rnase Enzyme Deficiency Disease which keeps him bed-ridden and in tremendous and constant physical pain. Stephen Hawking has Lou Gehrig’s disease. Jobs died of pancreatic cancer at an early age.
I could go on but I think you get the point.
Not a compelling advertisement for mastery I know.
“Let’s see James… it’s going to take my entire life; it’s going to take everything I’ve got; every ounce of my time, energy and focus; and it’s going to potentially make me suffer in many ways?”
If you can’t step up, then stand down. For this is what it takes.
It’s almost as if the pull of aspiration and greatness causes these individuals to, at minimum, have challenges functioning in society and/or at maximum have physical suffering and loss.
Like it or not, pain is the mother of all growth.
Like pushing yourself in the gym brings optimum shape…
pushing yourself in life brings extraordinary results;
and in the process it hurts!
What’s going on? Suffering and pain is unfortunately the only thing that potentially peals away the complete bullshit that we’ve been conditioned to believe. What we’ve earlier discussed as “The Lie.” (reference MMG2)
Does it absolutely have to be that way? No. But it is with very few if any exceptions nonetheless. Check history.
Masters hear the call from something grander and greater. And lest you think there’s no reward. Think again.
There is no greater reward then a life well-lived.
To know that you’ve been fully used up for a cause bigger than yourself.
I do believe, and there’s scientific evidence to prove, that everything affects everything. In physics this is called “A Sensitive Dependence upon Initial Conditions” more commonly known as “The Butterfly Effect.”
Wilber in writing about his disease states, that he “explores what he is teaching himself through his disease.” Which by all accounts is a very painful lesson.
I can relate in my own life. Not with physical illness—for which I’m grateful. But through physical loss and mental/emotional anguish, pain and suffering.
This conflict between genius, greatness, and daily life is an interesting study to contemplate. I believe at minimum this is why integration, harmony, and wholeness is such a passion of mine.
But then again, haven’t we discussed that passion is the Latin word translated as “suffering.” Therefore because of my passion I suffer; and I sacrifice.
Don’t be afraid to suffer for your mastery.
For it’s in the struggle that greatness is born.
I’ve coined Harmonic Wealth® as this integration, harmony, and wholeness for mass market consumption. But as yet HW has not been fully understood nor explored in its true depth and definition.
Not even close.
I was continually in anguish regarding how much of the teaching was misinterpreted, twisted and completely off the mark during my time of great trial.
But do I really expect to be understood?
That’s a topic for another time.
And the journey continues…
Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic,