Becoming A Master
Updated: Feb 19
The paths to mastery may vary from one to another, even if the practiced art or field at hand is the same. However, one common aspect in these paths is the same, in most if not all of them, and that is the practitioner has to be persistent in their training even after optimal mastery has been acquired.
Mastery is no longer the sole property of the elderly and the highly-educated, nor to those who have an immense amount of followers. In this world where much knowledge and wisdom are available to be attained, even often without the need to exit our houses, everyone with enough persistence and determination can become a master of literally anything that can be studied and practiced, regardless of the way it is done. Whether it requires certification in order for one to be deemed worthy to practice it, is something else.
This includes being an expert in certain video games, to the point of being able to finish it faster than most of those who play it, to writers like me who have, truth be told, the ability to write long and concise articles in less than an hour or even half an hour.
The problem with admitting one is a master, however, comes from societal reception. People largely prefer others to compliment them, than hearing others compliment themselves (or, you know, admit their own virtues). That's especially true when the people in question have yet to either witness or fully realize the merit of the other.
In that case, anyone who calls themselves a master in a genuine tone can either be seen as condescending, delusional, narcissistic, or egoistic, even if in reality they are not... Even saying that you are very smart can be considered arrogant, even if you indeed told the truth.
Hence why the authority of norms expects you to be humble about yourself and praising of anyone who isn't you, even if it will entail keeping what you are convinced is the truth — to yourself.
Honesty is more preferred when admitting your faults than when praising your merit, most especially when you are considered too young, as the younger you are, the more of a beginner you will likely to be seen, even if you are not. All because of the stereotypes associated with those who think good of themselves "too much" for their own good.
The young are regardless considered novices because of ageism. (Look how much I wrote. As of 2023 I am 25. 26 by the end of this year.)
One of these stereotypes is a common misconception, that those who believe to be of great merit, believe they are greater than others in general. History has produced many masters of their craft who were, practically, inferior than the "common" men and women of their time, in many common fields.
From Mozart and Beethoven to Newton and Tesla, many great masters had extremely poor social intelligence, and had great trouble socializing with others, making friends, and even engaging in romance and sex. Activities that arguably were done skillfully by the large majority of humankind.
We can also learn from this the following, that even masters can be terrible in some practices, and thus are obviously far from perfect, if there ever was a perfect human being.
The recognition of one's merit is often imperative to discovering who they really are beyond the glasses of society, to their self-confidence, and to the foundation and preservation of their legacy. In this day and age, we have already decided that some forms of positive self-recognition are acceptable without descending to the association of negative traits, notably on the orthodox social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
People showing their beauty, their financial prosperity, their romantic partners, and their massive amount of followers. Such self-promotion is most often common amongst younger audiences, but could be an indication that in the future, such praise would be desired and appreciated in the next generations of humankind.
And still, the public recognition of self-expressed mastery, especially in more esoteric fields, are either viewed with suspicion or with condemnation. This also reveals that mastery can be compared to a muscle — despite your endeavors, if you will not practice in your craft enough, your skill can be decreased as if you have done nothing to increase it, both practically and in the eyes of others. You can even forget skills.
This is also one of the reasons to why I've been spending years writing books and articles in 2 languages. That's even though the monetary benefit was small, and even though, technically, most of my life is before me, rather than after. I've missed quite a lot... of regular life, philosophizing in solitude.
Having dedicated much of my short lifespan in my attempt to perfect the art of written philosophy, I believe I have reached a point of being a master in said art, to the point of a specific follower (whose privacy is kept) calling me a master from time to time. Nonetheless, I actually think of myself as inferior to most people rather than its expected opposite. I will probably never experience other people experience so easily... I am not a social being, and the shallowness of this world brings me sadness.
To many people, my lifestyle would make them feel imprisoned, frustrated, and lonely, as if they are actually prisoners, and would attempt to restore their original lifestyle. Knowing the life-limiting power of my disabilities, I have turned to writing philosophical content and providing it to the world, simply because I wish to be satisfied, productive, and contribute to the world in my own way.
Now you tell me if I am condescending, when I am to admit the truth: That I've been practicing philosophy since 2013. People are free to delude themselves that I've been doing my first steps in philosophy these recent few years. No. It's just that I did much of it in isolation, without teachers, guides, advisors or even much reviewers.
Even without my personal example, the point is clear: with enough dedication, practice, and at times, sacrifice, anything can be mastered, and anyone who has truly mastered something, should be worthy of the title "Master."