Mastery – Part I 1

I’m currently re-reading an excellent little book by George Leonard called Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment. I’ve read it several times now and have a few short posts coming up on it. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning any craft, skill,art — or learning anything at all.

In his book, Leonard talks about 3 personality types or learning habits: The Dabbler, The Obsessive, and The Hacker.

The Dabbler starts each pursuit with extreme energy, but soon dwindles out. The process of getting started is addictive, until the new quickly becomes the old.

The Obsessive lives for constant results. Like the dabbler, the obsessive starts out strong, but does not give up so easily. In fact, the obsessive is unable to accept anything but constant progress at all costs, often at the expensive of long-term results. The dabbler quits out of boredom, the obsessive quits out of burnout.

The Hacker gets the hang out things but thats about it. For him, there isn’t much use in doing more than good enough. The goal for the hacker isn’t to master an art, it’s to get by and maybe be part of the clique.

I see these personality types all the time in both my teaching and my personal life. (Of course you can have different approaches to different areas of your life.) However, as far as Mastery is concerned, each of these types falls short. In contrast to these three types, Leonard discusses “The Master’s Journey”, which will be the subject of Sunday’s post!


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