Professions, crafts and skills are passports that take us through life. Mastering a craft takes hours of training over a period of time. There are no shortcuts to excellence.
Everyone has the ability to master at least one thing. When choosing a skill, profession or craft spend time alone thinking about the things you are naturally good at and the things you love to do.
There is much to do in this world. The things you can choose from are endless. You can also come up with something that has never been done. Your craft is an outlet to express your individuality.
Importance Of Having A Skill/Craft
Mastering a craft is one of the wisest self investments as it entails acquiring a valuable possession that cannot be stolen.
It is better to master one skill at a time. Taking on too much at once often leads to mediocrity.
A craft gives purpose and hope, channels energy and releases stress.
Crafts and skills may start as hobbies but turn into lucrative enterprises later on.
Mastering most crafts and skills requires hours, days, weeks or even years of training and studying. This process develops observation skills, discipline, patience and insight.
Find Your Why (Motivation)
Motivation is energy, the more you have the better you perform. The right motivation pushes you past detractors and obstacles. Lack of motivation makes the simplest task difficult.
When choosing a skill ask yourself this simple question: Why am I doing this?
“Why” is the principle that supports everything. Answering this question creates a solid foundation and provides you with the proper motivation to keep going daily. On gloomy days when you feel like giving up you can return to the reason you started. A reason gives purpose.
Being motivated by praise is superficial and gives other people too much control over your life.
Although motivation is important if you are serious about mastering a skill you will have to practice on days when you have no motivation.
Take Sensible Risks
Sometimes people discover what they are passionate about after they are already established in another profession. They come to the realization that they don’t love what they do and daydream about living their dream.
It is never too late to switch professions. However the transition must be executed with care. It is sometimes tempting to drop everything and quit your job to do what you love but before making such a radical decision consider the following:
Master your new craft/skills: It’s a good idea to master your craft before quitting your job to do it full time. It is easy to get excited and passionate about doing something but feeling good about doing something is not synonymous with being good at something. People sometimes confuse the two and quit their current employment in all the excitement only to regret it later.
Those who leave their employment before mastering their new profession must aggressively learn along the way.
Put The Hours In: Before your venture takes off you will have to work much harder than you did at your previous job which was safe and familiar.
Quitting works in some cases. Carefully think about advantages and disadvantages before making the decision to quit your job.
I Don’t Have Enough Time
People often complain that their current occupation occupies too much of their time and prevents them from learning a new skill. In most cases the time is there but it is not obvious as it is squandered on trivialities.
These seemingly harmless trivialities take up time that could be spent working on exactly what you want. The 30 minute sitcom, the 1 hour soap opera, the 13 minute youtube video, reading comments on blogs and social media all add up. Over the days, weeks, months and years the time spent on trivialities accrue into time that could be used to master a skill or profession. It is not necessary to completely remove trivialities or fun time from your life. This may lead to strain, and unhealthy isolation. Reduce the time spent on trivial pursuits. Spend most of your time mastering your craft.
People who are not naturally talented at something they wish to excel in usually work harder than the ones with natural talent. When people rely on their natural talents they get comfortable and do less training. As a result many people who are naturally talented fail to reach a level of excellence in that field while the others who were not gifted surpass them with hard work. If you are naturally talented at your craft you must push beyond your limits and train like someone who has no talent in that field.
Patience Consistence and Persistence
Be patient, consistent and persistent in your pursuit of excellence.
Patience is realizing that hard work doesn’t always generate fruit immediately. Patience is being calm and taking the proper steps to achieving your goals. Patience is respecting your journey and process.
Consistency means working on your craft each day for a certain amount of time. Give yourself a daily time limit that you won’t go below. Each day practice for at least 10 minutes. A few minutes of practice is better than nothing at all.
Persistence is to keep going regardless of the hate, envy and discouragement you might get from others. Persistence is to keep going even when you get discouragement from friends and family.
Before multi platinum artist Lil Wayne got his big break he would call Birdman and Slim at their office every day asking for a chance to showcase his talent. When they finally said yes to giving him an appointment and he arrived at the office he would have to write daily for one year before he saw a microphone.
In his own words:
“They gave me a card with a number to the office and I kept calling. I kept calling the office until they said come up to the office. I came up to the office, mind you the office wasn’t nothing but three little rooms and there was nothing to do in the office but sit around the office and write raps all damn day and that’s where the story starts.
“I sat in that office every day and wrote rhymes until they said here’s the microphone and here’s the beat. I was 12 years of age that time it took a year for them to record me.”
Hate him or love him. Patience, consistency and persistence is what made him successful in his field. The same patience, consistency and persistence can work for anyone and can be applied to any field in life.
Do It Daily (From Doing To Being)
The most important rule in mastering a skill is to do it daily. You don’t have to do it in the same capacity every day. You might do it for three hours some days and ten minutes on other days. Some days will be practice, other days will be theory. The important thing is to do something concerning your craft daily until it becomes part of your natural expression.
Do it daily until you no longer have to try.
Do it daily until it is no longer work.
Do it daily until it becomes engraved in you.
Do it daily until you shift from doing to being.