The Thrill of Mastery
What are you good at? What do you take pride in doing well?
By Michael Schroeder Hubert
There is a certain thrill that comes with being able to overcome challenges and do something well. When that something requires skill to do, when we finally gain the experience to do it well, it’s called mastery.
I like to sing. I’ve been singing in choirs for most of my adult life, and I’m pretty good at it. But when it comes to singing alone, the stakes go up.
Recently, I’ve been challenged to up my game and learn how to sing karaoke. One of the great things about karaoke is that you don’t have to be Beyoncé to have a fun time singing Beyoncé songs. But to be really good is to take karaoke to another level.
One night not long ago, one of the singers stood up and blew everyone away with a rendition of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.” He didn’t need the words on the screen; he probably didn’t even need the backup track. He just let loose and sang. He mastered that performance. That’s the level that I’m looking forward to reaching.
At work, I’ve been able to get to that level of mastery in some areas as well. In a past job, some of the things that I got really good at were putting big objects into tight spaces with big pieces of equipment, manoeuvring wide loads through the city (sometimes 15 feet wide), and being able to wield a hammer with scalpel precision.
In my current job as a trainer, I’m always looking to get better at delivering my courses, and I’m getting close to mastering my materials and communicating each course effectively. With this comes a level of satisfaction, and when I really nail a delivery, the thrill of having done the job at that mastery level. And this adds to my confidence that I can do it again.
What are you good at? Enjoy being good at it.
What are you getting better at? Look forward to the satisfaction, confidence, and thrill that comes with hitting that mastery level.