Achieving mastery means having the drive, self-discipline, and laser focus on the process of learning every day so that you can excel. And that’s not where it ends. In fact, achieving mastery is more of a lifestyle you adopt when you want to succeed at something that means a lot to you, like nursing.
It’s not for those who are content with just making it through life, just having a job, or just passing a college course. Because, let’s face it, that’s the easier path to take. But mastery can be a lifestyle for you if you find yourself wanting to learn more, get better, and improve to become the best version of yourself.
So let’s break it down and see what it takes to achieve mastery.
ONE. Achieving mastery means you have a specific goal that is driving you to succeed.
When you have a goal you’re working towards, everything you do in your daily life has a greater sense of purpose.
Make sure your goal is specific. For example, don’t just say that you want to get a job, be fit, have a large salary. Instead, say you want to get a job offer for a specific job title that pays a certain annual salary so that you can develop specific skills you have as well as those you’re working towards.
Make sure you are focused on your goal. You can increase your focus by starting each day with the question: What is the ONE THING I am committed to completing today? This question forces you to prioritize, helps your brain focus better, and streamlines the work you need to do on that particular day. The result of all that is you don't feel overwhelmed with making too many choices, and instead you're free to focus on what’s most important to you.
TWO. Achieving mastery means you need to develop your strategy.
Goals are important, but so is developing your strategy. It’s all about having the big picture in mind: while you are focusing on what you want to do right now, always keep your future in mind.
Take into consideration different approaches you can take to get closer to your goal. Be flexible and don’t always stick to what you’re used to doing as you solve problems.
Don’t think of only achieving short-term success. Being strategic isn’t just what you’re doing right at this very moment; it’s also about feeling the benefits of your present actions in the future.
Don’t focus on the person you are today. Instead, think of who you want to be in 10 years. By being strategic, you'll empower yourself to achieve long-term results that you'll benefit from in the future.
THREE. Achieving mastery also means you should conquer your environment.
In order to be successful at anything, you need to know your surroundings so that you can adapt and learn how to master them.
Focus on gaining a firm grasp of the field or industry where you want to be successful. There’s a lot of research you can perform to better know your target industry. For example, you can research the industry landscape, the major players, the competition, the qualities that are respected in experts, the top rated books in the field, the most relevant websites, and any other resources that can help you understand the subject, industry, and environment.
Follow what successful people are doing in your field. Do you know what makes them unique and what are the traits they all have in common? When you identify specific patterns in the behaviors of others, it becomes easier to emulate them and develop those same successful traits in yourself.
FOUR. Achieving mastery requires you to work and develop skills you need to become successful.
You can’t be successful if you don't have the required skill set in your field of work, regardless of whether it’s studying for a PhD, becoming a software engineer, or training to become an athlete in the Olympics.
First, identify which skills are necessary for you to succeed in doing your job. List them all. Think not just hard skills, but soft skills too.
Second, work on developing your skills. Create a plan to devote a certain amount of time each day for your development, even if you only set aside 15 minutes in the beginning.
Third, keep practicing each skill consistently. Sure, the 10,000 hour rule is something that many people swear by. But it’s not all in the numbers. It is, however, about doing your deep work: focusing without interruptions on something that requires analytical thinking. This deep work is essential in mastering your necessary skills.
FIVE. Achieving mastery means offering a unique solution to a problem.
Success isn’t necessarily repeating what other people say or do, even if they’re successful. It’s your unique contribution, your own spin on things, that will make a difference. Answer the following questions so you can gain a better understanding of what sets you apart from others and give you a greater chance at success.
What makes my work good? Is it unique? How does it set me apart?
Which problem have I solved? Is there a solution I’ve come up with that can benefit other people? Can I offer any insights, shortcuts, or tips to make their job easier?
Where can I improve? What are specific areas where I can get even better at what I do? What’s the next level I need to reach where I can excel at what I’m doing? What plan should I create that will help me achieve mastery?