The Long Path To Mastery

MattLifestyle3 Comments

I want to speak about a book today that I’ve mentioned before. It has many applications for our filmmaking and business lives and it’s well worth a read, if you haven’t already.

I’ve been reading Mastery by George Leonard recently. It’s one of the main ones recommended by Eben Pagan.


It’s a small book, a great read thus far, and well worth a look. It contains some very interesting concepts that don’t get much attention in mainstream business thought. I guess this is partly down to it being a book rooted in ancient  wisdom and thought.

Leonard speaks about the need for indepth study and practice of the fundamentals of whatever task/journey/goal/etc that you’re attempting.

He tells of the Master’s Journey, and reminds us that it’s a slow and arduous path. He says there are many different paths, but all of them feature plateaus and peaks as one’s learning is gradually internalised.


Some of this stuff may sound esoteric or outside the bounds of our understanding, but I think there are parts of this book that are easily relatable for just about anyone.

I can relate to so much of what he says (especially about mastering the fundamentals and learning exactly why a technique works), as I (like Leonard) come from a martial arts background.

He also speaks out against our consumerist, quick fix society – a society always in search of that elusive magic pill.

His stuff isn’t directly about filmmaking, but much of it is easily applicable to our art. He speaks of mastery is broad terms, be it sport, business, school, etc.

Here’s a video of George Leonard speaking about awakening your body’s energies. Yeah, sounds a bit ‘woo-woo,’ but give it a watch:


Oh, and by mastering the fundamentals, he means that practically (as well as theoretically).

He doesn’t just mean sit on your ass and read about stuff all day – Leonard is all about getting out there and putting stuff into practice. I think the example he uses is learning to play tennis. He describes the tough path of a guy learning the basics of tennis right up to pro level.

Here’s a great quote:

“How do you best move toward mastery? To put it simply, you practice diligently, but you practice primarily for the sake of the practice itself. Rather than being frustrated while on the plateau, you learn to appreciate and enjoy it as much as you do the upward surges.”

So this wraps up today’s post. Hope you got something out of it. Maybe it presented you with some new concepts that you hadn’t considered before. If so, I did my job.

Feel free to drop a comment below.

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3 Comments on “The Long Path To Mastery”

  1. Pingback: How To Find Your Voice, Your Market And Elevate Your Career In Filmmaking • Filmmaking Lifestyle

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