The book

I tracked down my copy of Mastery by George Leonard. It was about halfway down in a box of books that I seldom go through. Along with this book are some remnants of things I’ve started and never finished. Leonard talks about three types of people. I think they’re accurately described as three types of failures one might see (in oneself) on the road to mastery: The Dabbler, Obsessive, and Hacker. My activities, healthy lifestyles, exercise routines have at one time or another been victim to all of these.

Elsewhere in the book, Leonard says that quitting is often due to the body and mind’s natural resistance to change. This I’ve seen recently when last year I stopped working out and eating healthily. Forget that I had some sort of routine going. Ignore the fact that I was feeling more energized than ever!

People say that you shouldn’t do too much too soon. I find that the smaller the change I make, the more quickly I bounce back to poor habits. For me, ground rules are the most important part. A regimented daily routine also helps me. As this routine becomes more ingrained, I may be able to open up more flexibility.

I will take Chapter 11 to heart. A number of tools are presented and I plan to start with Maintain Physical Fitness and Set Your Priorities, along with Make Commitments, Take Action, of course. Therefore, I will come up with a list of tasks and priorities this evening. Atop the list, and most importantly, will be a morning and evening Physical Fitness routine.

The only problem I have with this process is one of Instruction. I understand that finding a good teacher is the most important part, and I agree. Teachers and classes, for most activities, are very expensive. I took Tai Chi until my school closed suddenly (it may have reopened with fewer classes). The entire school didn’t close, but the main branch of it is far away. (In retrospect, I should have continued on with the school). I’d love to restart, but one class per week was something like $50 a month. I’d have loved to take more classes, but now even one class at that price is very expensive for my family (my second child is due in about a month). I would like to see what can be cut from my personal budget (or a big raise would be nice), but I doubt if I could do this anytime in the next year or two. I’m sure there are things to cut, but we don’t live extravagantly.

Over the next few days, my plan will come together. I will discuss it here.

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