Honing Your Divine Craft

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." - Bruce Lee Your Divine Craft. Those 3 words tend to bring some religious intonation but that is far from the relevance of today's article. We encounter countless masters and professionals in our day-to-day. A master programmer, a pro-sports athlete, the smartest business man, just to mention a few. I'll use a master most of us only see in the movies: Bruce Lee. (At this point, you can tell I am a software developer) Bruce Lee was and probably still is one of the most influential figures in the realm of martial arts. He demonstrated what the human body is capable of achieving when it is pushed to its absolute limit. His biggest movies, Enter The Dragon & Fist Of Fury, showcased his prowess. Standing at just 5 feet and 6 inches, his small frame did very little to emphasize his mastery of Chinese martial arts. However, on the field of battle, it was a whole different story. The story of Bruce Lee is a long one. I'll leave the research to you. For now let us focus on his craft. Fighting was all he knew. From 13 years, he crafted his body to be the perfect weapon. Flesh and bone. He teaches that it takes time, patience and extreme focus to become a master at your craft. Modern science tells us that it takes 10000 hours for your brain to be fully transfigured to be one with your craft. 10000 hours roughly averages to 10 years. Bruce Lee started training at 13 and become a Hollywood success at 24. The magical number 10. What a coincidence. Not convinced yet? Albert Einstein, perhaps the most famous physicist, (the man who proved you don't need a clean shaven head to be successful), revised and ironed out his famous Special Theory Of Relativity in the year 1912. He began his research on the theory when working at a patents office In Switzerland. Can you guess which year he started his job? You guessed it right, 1902. Your Divine Craft could be anything on the spectrum of interest. Sports, technology, agriculture, business etc. I use Divine Craft to signify its importance as a calling and not just another job. I will introduce 2 words for this conversation; Passion and purpose. Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, describes passion as something you want to or like doing. You like painting, it is your passion. He describes purpose as something you must do. It is what you are put on this earth to do. You want to establish a new form of art. That is your purpose. Passion is selfish, purpose is generous. Both play a role in the journey of honing your craft. More often that not, we are compelled to believe that the more you know, the higher your chances of success. A jack of all trades but a master of none. Now, when you are starting out, it is ok to venture into the unknown. Sample a little bit of everything. Eventually, inevitably you will find something that catches you eye. You will find something that draws you to it. It could be art, music or science. Like with all matters of the heart, you will know when you find it. It is important to note however, identifying your craft is only half the journey. Honing a craft is the difficult part. It takes intense focus and godly amounts of persistence to wither the failure, handle the successes and withstand the long periods of time with no significant improvement. The 10000-hour rule has stood the test of time and proven to be true. There is no way of hacking the system. In fact, my favorite author, Robert Greene, in his book , Mastery, teaches, 'The very act of looking for shortcuts, makes you unsuitable for mastery'. Your brain is an amalgamation of millions of years of evolution. Technology cannot and will not override the normal functioning of the brain. For you to be, not just good at what you do, but amazing at your skill, you must put in the work, put in the hours to achieve what you truly deserve. Ever seen someone who has done something for such a long period of time that they can do it half asleep? I see such people and it sometimes scares me. Such is called the fingertip feel. You have done something thousands of times that it has become second nature. It has become an extension of your body. That is what we should all aspire to achieve in the journey of becoming masters. I am also learning the importance of taking your time to master your skill. At times I find myself drifting off. Boredom tends to set in occasionally. Boredom is where mastery lies in your journey. It has never been harder to pay attention to one item at a time than in today's world. We are constantly being bombarded with one flashy thing after another. We are in a race to have the newest and shiniest piece of tech, fashion amongst others. It is becoming increasingly difficult to focus on one task or item when tens, even hundreds of others are fighting for our eyes and brain. Boredom tests our resilience with a skill. If you can tackle a problem relentlessly, shielding your heart from the opinions of others, guarding your mind from the tedium, you will unlock knowledge that you previously thought was hidden from you. It sounds much better to know 10,000 kicks compared to only 1 kick. Maybe Bruce Lee should have accounted for that. But, what gives you more confidence: 10000 kicks that can barely hurt a fly, or 1 kick capable of killing a man? Mastery is warfare. Only those who take the time to prepare, to learn, to sharpen will come out victorious.

Wainaina

jesse.wainaina@3qs.co.ke

< >