In the first post, I introduced the concept of the MAP, an acronym describing a path to help you find direction, particularly when other task systems and apps have failed you, and for those times when feeling scattered or empty.

Today, we look at the first component, Mastery

A Gentle Path of Mastery

A new task system! I’ll dive in and make this one work!

For a while it even does work…

What neat ideas! I can do this! I can change that!

Those deep voyages can be thrilling. The rest of the world fades away, the inner critic finally quiets down, and we enter flow. We picture the pristine future of a smoothly organized world.

But at some point, the numbers on that new app’s badge begin to climb revealing an overwhelmed Inbox, our new planner sits unused in the corner of the kitchen, and our ideas have nowhere to go.

And we crash into the couch…

Maybe I was just procrastinating the whole time. I’ll just leave the planner there to remind me of my latest failure.

And so, cycles of shame and fervor, systems and crashes, build again and again.

But what if there was a gentler path?

Gentle Waves Carve Mountains

Mastery, how we learn, is a crucial part of any MAP for growth.

Most of mastery is a mastery of the basics, a back and forth, returning and rebuilding from foundations.

The trouble is that the basics are rarely obvious. Even finding them, knowing that you have to look for them, is often a hidden task.

But when you learn them, perhaps with the help of a trusted guide, you can return and rebuild, sometimes even enjoyably so.

Even better, when the basics are lined up clearly, you can engage, release, and return at your pace.

Good video games work the same way. You play something very difficult and suffer defeat again and again. But when the game guides you back to the beginning to rebuild from the basics, there is a sense, at a deep and intuitive level, that each run builds you up to take on the advanced.

Eventually, even advanced obstacles dissolve as your waves of focus wash them away.

When you find a gentle path, you no longer have to fight yourself. There is no need to leverage shame, force motivation, or yell at the mirror.

It is only about showing up when ready.

  • Kourosh

PS How do you find mastery? Do you have somewhere in your life that engage on a regular path? A hobby? A craft? Comment below to let me know.