Mastery – George Leonard:
In chapter 5 Leonard shares the first key to mastery: Instruction. As an example he shares about Suzuki’s teaching and learning method regarding horses. I found it so interesting that this comparison is similar to Holland’s “Laborers in the Vineyard” talk about competition. The most rewarding success comes from learning to tap into your own personal potential and, through self-mastery, to improve. I understand now why it is essential to stretch yourself. If something “comes naturally” it is very difficult to become a master at it. The “natural man” tendency is to settle where you’re comfortable, particularly when that settling produces better-than-average results. But this kind of mentality in reference to others’ performance is incredibly diminishing in regards to personal growth and achieved potential. It is my goal to not consider where others are or what they’re doing but to really focus on where I want to be and how thoroughly I’m working to get there.
Success is Gauged by Self Mastery – N. Eldon Tanner
This talk really reminded me of a story my mission president, Larry Gelwix, shared with us as missionaries. He said that he loves pizza more than any other food, but whenever he is in a group, at a party, or with his family, he always waits till last to have a piece, which sometime means he doesn’t get any piece at all. His natural desire is to find the very largest and to be the first in line, but he practices self-control in the small things so that his character is tempered for things of much larger magnitude and importance. I think back to times I have done this myself and I have continued to apply this lesson he shared for the time I have been home from my mission. I consider ways I can develop strictness of integrity as well as self discipline. It is a practice in humility as well as self control since others don’t always know what your intentions are. Sometimes I do one more assignment than I had planned, just to stretch myself. When exercising a do one or two more reps than I first decided on. In these small ways I am practicing for having patience with my children and whatever else the Lord has in store for me as I continue to temper my soul in His service.