Mastery is a Choice

Today was my fourth book launch, and it’s still a very intense process. Because being a master of your craft is continuous work with your customers, and then chronic reflection on how to make it better than the last thing you made.

the competitor in me 3-1500PX (002)

We have a choice: master your craft, or go the easy route. Many authors take it easy, as do others claiming to be a master of their craft. They know how to make something without much thought, and they are confident someone—perhaps many someones—want it.

Mastery is the often difficult road. It requires pause, in the name of getting feedback from beloved customers. It’s also the more relevant, meaningful road. Isn’t that what we are aiming for, making a difference? Creating meaningful work? Ah, but we must be willing, and open to change.


Willingness is the essence of my latest book, The Competitor in Me III: Letting Go. There are victories and learning in surviving cancer, being a mother, a wife, and an Ironman triathlete. I have learned that being willing is core to conquering mediocrity. When we are willing to grow, our hearts and minds open to the abundance around us. When we can do this, the impossibilities of life become entirely possible.

The Competitor in Me III: Letting Go is dedicated to my father, a true master of all of his crafts. Because he is willing. His most recent endeavor, wine making, is a manifest and decadent showing of mastery. As a teenager I dreaded this philosophy; as an adult, I choose it and crave it. It is a difficult road, loaded with rewards.


Companies encourage workers to have “mastery and purpose.” It sounds so nice, yet most corporate environments don’t allow for much of it. The collateral career damage that so uncomfortably surrounds us is proof. And so we continue to crave it. But companies are not the enemy. The greatest enemy of craving mastery is forgetting we have the choice.

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