I grew up inspired by stories about Masters, people who excel themselves and lead by example. Not because they want to but because their community and their peers follow their beliefs.
Mr Myagi’s fictional persona on the motion picture “Karate Kid” or Nick Nolte’s character on “Peaceful Warrior” was my favourite. These Masters know their reasons by heart and they live it. Likewise, a Master musician doesn’t practice the instrument alone. He practices everything.
We all feel inspired with great accomplishments. Michael Jordan’s relentless strive to be the best of the game is only compared (in my humble opinion) by a little guy called John Stockton. He was never the best player of the game. He wasn’t the best in his own team, the Utah Jazz. And in his own words, he wasn’t even the best at home, since his older brother beat young John all the time.
Still, Mr Stockton became the greatest in the game. His name represents excellency, professionalism and mastery. He’s the epitome of what a Point Guard should be and he holds the record for most assists and steals in the history of the NBA. He knew himself and that lead him to Mastery through maximized performance. Now you know why I’ve started “listening” to Jazz.
We all look for Masters. There’s something special in them that goes far beyond our understanding. It’s something we can’t grasp, something we don’t understand but that make us drawn to them…
Like Michael Jordan, we’re fortunate to live in a world inspired by so many. Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, The Dalai Lama, Osho, Pelé, Steve Jobs, Stephen Hawkins, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Pat Metheny, Django Reinhardt, Errol Flynn, John Monash and of course, Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, amongst many others.
In my life I’ve already come a crossed with some fascinating human beings, real masters in “what” they do and “how” they do it. And you can learn a lot with them… not everything. A lot. In the end, you have to follow yourself.
Like Herman Hesse´s “Siddhartha” one must follow his own path. It’s my belief that if you can’t find a Master you should become one.
One can only see real inward mastery through the acknowledgement of his personal “why”. Once you know “why” you should, then, start working on “how”.
After this inner search it really doesn’t matter “what” one do: performing, composing, teaching or just to relish a song. What does matter is the fact that mastery is achievable. We are not going to find it. We are going to cherish it.