We have given much thought to the notion of mastery. To be a master is to be the epitome of perfection. Right? Wrong. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A master is a master because he recognizes the fact that he is always only halfway there. Mastery is a journey of neverending multidimensional movement, every stage being our teacher and mentor, guiding us on a zigzag path toward excellence. There is no definitive end, just a flowing into a space that is bigger, wider, and deeper than where we began.
For the purpose of this journey, we differentiate between joggers, runners, and masters. A jogger moves with the feet; a runner runs with the feet and mind; the master glides effortlessly with her feet, mind, and spirit all working together simultaneously. Mastery is not something to be ultimately attained; it is simply a process or journey available to all joggers and runners who are willing to walk (or run) the path and never get off.
The path of mastery is not a smooth one, and many factors in your world can (and do) sabotage your efforts to stay on track. Impatience and a lack of perseverance complicate this journey. We are not very good at delayed gratification—we want instant mastery. This, according to the spirit of mastery, is a contradiction in terms. Mastery is the commitment to a lifestyle of excellence, not a destination at which you arrive. Running within is the masterful journey; mastery is important because it facilitates your ability to become your best and experience much joy in the process. The steps to relax, visualize, and affirm your experience as a runner as well as all of the other precepts throughout this book can help to move your running lifestyle toward mastery and excellence.
Metaphorically, mastery is a river. It changes direction and, at times, seems to go back to where it started. The pace quickens rapidly through the narrows, yet dramatically slows as the river widens. Sometimes the water is clear; sometimes murky and cloudy, exhilarating yet placid, raging yet calm. If you try to slow it down, you struggle; if you speed up when it slows down, it will resist. You can't push the river. The most exuberant journey is to give yourself over to its power.
If you could see the river's path (your mastery journey) from a higher perspective, you would see clearly that there is a beginning and a definite direction, a natural progression and flow. And like the river, mastery has its ups and downs, turns and surprises. You need to trust the experience especially when forward progress levels out or plateaus—that you will continue to make the gains toward the larger body of water, the sea, the arena of unlimited potential.
Running Within -- OmRiyadat English