Unlike its more famous namesake, this Mastery is a smaller, more personal and practical book on the path of the master.


The fascinating thing about this book aren’t the “keys” - it’s how the author discovered them first-hand on his journey to an Aikido black belt. George Leonard has laid out in his own words what we now call Deliberate Practice, Mindfulness, or the Craftsman Mindset.

Like most masterful folks, Leonard is at once philosophical and practical. I found great value in the little things the author did to practice mindfulness. How do you convert something as mundane as the daily commute into a pleasurable practice of mindfulness? How do you apply deliberate practice to relationships and raising children? If you find yourself wandering, how do you rebalance yourself?

The final thing that intrigued me (and was the initial hook for buying the book) was the description of the 3 types of anti-masters: the Dabbler, the Obsessive and the Hacker. I saw glimpses of myself in each of these personality profiles, and the desire to fix that is what led to the purchase. I haven’t regretted it!

Note: this is part of my 2016 reading list. Check out the complete list here.