Last summer at the Nantwich Show, I spent 15 minutes watching a craftsman handmake a pair of clogs. He outlined the shape of a foot on a wooden block with a charcoal crayon, then with a variety of ancient tools he crafted and shaped the wood into a beautiful clog. His precision and accuracy with the heavy cumbersome tools were amazing to watch. I was surprised he could achieve such a delicate finish.
I often find myself thinking about “professionals” and what brought them to their current high level of skill. Where did their journey begin? How did they master their craft? Who taught them? How long did it take? What drove them to dedicate their lives to their passion? I’m thinking about professionals in the loosest sense.
Of course, the obvious examples are in sports, but widen this out and think of a professional as a true master of their craft. They could be our clog maker or maybe a musician, gardener, writer, painter, artist, dancer. The list is endless.
Are you seeking to master a skill? Do you want to get better at something in your life? Do you want to create something or build something?
Through watching the clog maker and countless other “masters” in their fields, I have come to realise that they are in love with the journey. They take pleasure and pride in the small things.
They have reached a point in their life where they have realised that life isn’t about doing big things. Instead, it is about doing small things with extraordinary care. Mastery comes from repeating this pattern again and again.
So today, when you are working towards your goals. Concentrate your thoughts and energy, not on the destination but the small things. Execute the tiniest detail with the same passion, care and attention of a professional. Enjoy your journey. You only live once. Remember, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.