There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.
The master teaches. I’ve been having tendon trouble for a year now. Walking is painful. I’ve been to the doctor and physical therapist. They did their thing but it hasn’t been very successful. Then I found “The Body Mechanic.” He’s got me convinced that we can make it go away. The key word? WE! During treatment he helps me to stretch the tendons. Then he finds the points of inflammation, presses them painfully and doesn’t let up until I’m able to actively relax (opposites – I know!) the area. The pain lessens dramatically. Then he massages the area to move whatever gunk is in there – out. He’s also given me a regimen to work through daily on my own and let me know that it’s up to ME to do it long enough and consistently enough to have positive results. His work is a necessary part of the process now, but with practice and commitment I will be able to continue the process on my own and beat this thing. I am already seeing positive results. He told me today that the word “kung fu” refers to any skill achieved through hard work and practice.
Find someone who teaches you how to grow, even when they are not present.
Talent will not always find its way but commitment will.
Now it’s up to you. What does this have to do with your art? It occurred to me that often we need a Kung Fu master: a mentor who is willing to help us do the hard work. The best teachers will be generous with everything they know. They show you then guide you through each process, helping you to make it your own. They are not afraid to let you fumble but will also encourage you to to get back up and try it again. They know that it is the patient repetition and analysis of the process that will help you to achieve mastery. They know that once they have given you everything they can it is entirely up to you to implement the regimen and achieve mastery in your own way. Remember, Kung Fu applies to any study, learning or practice that requires patience, energy, and time to complete. (You might enjoy this wikipedia entry on Kung-Fu)
What are you committed to?
What daily practice will help you achieve mastery?