Personal mastery is the result of setting goals and achieving success and is rooted in continuous self-improvement, especially towards gaining a competency in skill or knowledge. Some people have large lofty goals like surpassing Bill Gates’ net worth of $79.2 billion or creating an Oprah-sized media empire. Others may have specific target goals like losing five pounds, getting into shape or having a peaceful home life.
Regardless of one’s goal, an important fundamental task for achieving personal mastery is purposeful living. Or establishing clarity around what you are doing, why you are doing it, and understanding the greater benefit of what you are doing. The best way to get that type of clarity is through a personal vision.
Creating A Personal Vision
A personal vision is basically big picture thinking. It’s the concept behind your goal setting because it shows you where you are headed and can provide all of the possibilities of many directions that you can travel. If you don’t already have a vision for your life, the best way to identify one is connect with yourself, your inner being, and began to picture an image of the future that you would like to have.
Here’s a very quick mindfulness exercise to try: Try closing your eyes and actually seeing yourself as the person you want to be. What are you doing? What can you see? How do you feel? Are you alone or with others? How are people relating to you? Embrace this image and when you are ready, open your eyes. Now back in the present moment is where the real work begins. This is often the hardest thing for many people to do, but write down what you saw. Doesn’t have to be fancy words, just describe it in your own words, and this is the beginning of crafting a vision for your life.
If you ask anyone you admire how they accomplished their level of success, and they will emphatically tell you they set a goal for themselves, created a plan, and worked hard at mastering specific tasks. At the core of their goal was a personal vision with an anticipated outcome. Yes, there may have been some life detours, but the vision remained constant, and this is a person who is living on purpose.
Committing to Self-Discipline
Another key element of personal mastery is self-discipline. Just like a runner preparing for a marathon, one must be disciplined enough to follow an exercise and running regimen to ensure their body is trained and prepared to endure the rigors of the race. That’s the same type of motivation required for mastering personal success.
I recall sharing my vision of running as an example of goal setting in a study skills class of high school students. I told them that in my mind I see myself running, but I never take action. I have the vision and can see me running but I lack the self-discipline to commit to running. I explained that self-discipline is holding yourself accountable to do what is right to meet your goals and objectives in life. It motivates the action that is necessary to fulfill your personal vision and stay the course.
On a personal note, I still hold steadfast to the vision of running, and have begun small steps to motivate myself towards that end. Your approach towards achieving self-discipline may be to just jump in and just do it, as the Nike slogan suggests. But always do what works best for you. No one else is the best indicator of your heart’s desire, capabilities or personal circumstances. It’s better to feel good about your vision, goals and progress than set up false expectations and later abandon the vision forever. When you stay the course, no matter how long it takes, that’s personal mastery. And in time, you will also have a great story to share about overcoming obstacles to achieve personal mastery that will be a motivator for someone else. That’s real purposeful living when your experiences positively impact change in someone else.
The desire for personal mastery begins with awareness of purposeful living. Next, a personal vision is the roadmap to guide your living. And lastly, self-discipline promotes the action that is necessary to achieve success. Wishing you all the best towards your own discovery of personal mastery.
Enjoy (And Visualize)!