Posts Tagged ‘aikido’

George Leonard’s “Mastery”

Posted 20 Mar 2010 — by Todd
Category Psychology, Stoicism

In any area of self-improvement, a common complaint is that we often reach a plateau and get stuck there, failing to make progress towards our goals. While this is a natural consequence of homeostasis–our organism’s inbuilt resistance to change–the experience of plateaus often leads to frustration and abandoning our resolutions. One person who understood this well and offered sage advice on how to handle the plateau was George Leonard, who recently passed away at age 86.  As an author, fifth degree black belt aikido master, and a giant in the human potential movement of the 1960s and 70s, Leonard’s passing brought to mind his little gem of a book that I first read in 1991:  Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment.  It is a self-help classic that has grown in stature with time, but it is so much more than that. The ideas in this book made a strong impression on me the first time I read it, and it has never been far from my mind.  I picked up the book again this week to take another look and realized how much wisdom it holds, and how pertinent it is to the topic of getting stronger, and persisting through plateaus.  It is a very short book, but powerfully succinct, with profound lessons about the path to mastery in any field. Read More