Soul Earth

The Process Of Mastery

The path towards Mastery is exactly that, a process. It’s not a destination, that after ten years of hard work you simply arrive. It’s an ongoing practice that builds upon itself, a winding road that will knock you off course, derail you, and ask you if you really want it. It’s a commitment, and just like any commitment, it will test you. It’s not given, it’s earned.

Mastery is not the realm of genetics, but it is huge a factor. It’s consistent practice over the course of years that matters. However, without a genetic (innate) predisposition for certain skills or qualities, the process of mastery will probably elude you – through boredom, difficulty, or some other block that will come up along the way. According to psychologist Miriam Mosing of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, who studied 10,000 twins on their musical abilities, found that genetics influenced about 38% of their skill level. Which isn’t everything, but it’s a lot. Without the innate drive, it probably wouldn’t make sense for you.

10,000 hours rule: Back in 1990, The 10,000 hour rule, from Anders Ericsson, came about. Since then, it has been somewhat debunked by science. First of all, it’s the quality of the practice that you put into something, that determines what you will get out of it in terms of skill level. You can put 10,000 hours of practice into something over the course of 10 – 15 years and still not achieve mastery over a skill. It’s the deliberate, intentional, and conscious focus on becoming better at something that allows someone to attain mastery. It’s the pushing yourself (at times) when you hit a plateau, that matters, and tears the muscle so it can grow anew.


The factors contributing to mastery are many, but these are the ones that felt the most vibrant to share:

Mentors & Teachers: Learning from those who have been where you want to go, in a direct relationship, is potentially the fastest way to accelerate your learning process. Being able to ask nuanced questions, in real time, based on your specific scenario or situation is the quickest way to receive constructive and relevant feedback that you can you use to further your path.


Immerse Yourself In Related Material: In addition, having a plethora of books, videos, podcasts, webinars, & events that tailor to your specific field of study will expand your horizons and awareness of the field your diving into. By learning from as many teachers as possible you’ll begin to grow a diverse and broad perspective that will allow you to deal with the subtleties of our complex world with a sense of ease. You’ll begin to see patterns and trends, people that contradict each other, and you’ll begin to understand why. You’ll create an understanding of the world that goes beyond the self, or the people you know. Your mind will be stretched as you begin to challenge even your own presumptions of how you were raised.

Studying your chosen craft, from a multitude of angles, will gift you with a holistic perspective that will allow you to be more creative and flexible in your approach to the world, life, and work.


Practice, Neural Plasticity, & Synaptic Pruning: They say the brain’s development begins to solidify around the age of 25, and our executive functioning begins to be fully formed. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, as our brain still learns and develops well into old age. That said, the younger you are, the more neuroplasticity your brain will express. Meaning, your mind will be quicker to create new connections and form new understandings the younger you are.

As we grow and evolve through our process, our brain will naturally begin to choose certain neural networks over others. Use it or lose it is the simplest way to explain the synaptic pruning that occurs naturally throughout life, and specifically when you sleep. However, everything we’ve experience will always be stored in your subconscious mind, but retrieval of certain information will become less readily available depending on how frequently it’s revisited.

As you choose different modes of thinking, people, content, and behaviors – your brain will begin to reflect these choices, and mirror it back to your body. Overtime you’ll become what you think and act upon every day. You’ll form a set of neural networks that will deepen, building roots that reflect the underneath of the forest floor.


Mental Rehearsal & Visualization: In the process of becoming, we’ll be thinking of many things. Our desired future outcomes, should be that which we meditate upon most – from a place of detachment and realism. This is your future self, in your minds eye. The mind doesn’t know the difference between a thought & ‘reality’. It transposes mental images and creates the physiological effect, as if it were happening in real time. In visualizing, your brain will also begin to rewire itself, as if you were participating in the activity. Your brain will begin to become, that which you’re creating.

Two Studies:

  1. A study done by Kappes & Oettingen (2011) looked at time management and the realistic side of visualization. With two groups, one visualizing all the success that would occur in the coming week, and the other visualizing the process from a neutral standpoint (positives & negatives) of the coming week. By the end of the week, the ‘fantasy’ group had less energy and felt less in control than the neutral group. Unlike the neutral group, the ‘fantasy’ group had already begun to physiologically prepare for the success, without overcoming the obstacles. This led to a feeling of dissatisfaction as the reality they had envisioned required more energy than they were prepping their bodies for.
  2. Another study on visualization from Dr. Blaslotto in Chicago (1996) on the power of free throws and visualization. There were three groups – 1. No Practicing – 2. Physically Practicing For 30 Minutes A Day. – 3. Only Visualizing For 30 Minutes A Day Hitting Every Free Throw. After 30 days each group was asked to show up in the gym and shoot their free throws. The results speak for themselves – 1. The ‘No Practice‘ group showed virtually no improvement. – 2. The ‘Physical Practice Group‘ showed a 24% improvement. – 3. The ‘Visualization Group‘ showed a 23% improvement.

The latter study illustrates how effective visualization is in goal attainment and self-improvement and the inextricable link between our mind and body.

The point is, visualize the process, not the end goal and you’ll be wiring your mind and body for the challenges as well, not just the successful rewards of those challenges.


Habits & Routines: We’re creatures of habit. 90 – 95% of our daily behaviors are on autopilot, and recycled from all the days before. We have around 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts in a single day. This means that to create efficiency and effectiveness in your life (to streamline the process), you have to build in the habits and routines on a daily basis to continue building your knowledge and skillset. Carving out daily time in your life, just for you, to dedicate to your practice is essential. As is removing all the people, habits, and behaviors that aren’t in alignment with your highest.

Somethings make sense at certain stages, but not at others. Your intuition will help you do the distinguishing. Imagine yourself as a tree, growing both deeper into the Earth, and further into the Heavens. You get to clip off the dead leaves each new season, allowing space for new growth to occur.


The standard model of education was formed in the industrial age, and is built on a rational, reductionist way of learning. Where individual topics are broken down into their subsequent pieces and meant to be learned and retained. This model of education was meant for a time when we were just learning to produce things at scale. Now, we’re growing out of the information age, and the educational model is changing to online – to fit to the needs of both the individual and the collective.

I believe in the weaving together of everything you value. In the creative immersion in all that you love. Growing through the passion and challenges of becoming what your soul is truly seeking. In the process of mastery, you will grow into someone who can truly give your gift to the world.

The master artist doesn’t do art, they are an artist.

In the same way, you become that which you pursue, consistently.


With Love,


Recent Posts

Soul Earth

…Is Just Beginning