Five Rituals to Develop Personal Mastery
July 30, 2020
Personal Mastery is key to a satisfying life and being effective in your career. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius advises his son, Laertes, before the young man travels abroad for university; “Give every man thy ear but few thy voice. Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” Polonius’ advice is summed up, however, with the lines: “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” “To thine own self be true” is prudent advice that will lead to Personal Mastery if followed. The following are five rituals to develop personal Mastery and live a charged life.
Ritual #1: Priming
In psychology, priming is a technique in which an individual’s exposure to a stimulus influences their response to a subsequent stimulus without any awareness of the connection. These stimuli are generally associated with words or images that people see during the day. For example, exposing someone to the word “red” will evoke a faster response to the word “apple” than it would to the word “banana.”
Priming your mind for success is best done within the first waking hours each morning. It can include activities such as meditation, expressing gratitude, and visualizing the life or results you desire. Once you prime your mind in the morning, you will become more in tune with your environment and more alert to the available opportunities in getting you your desired results.
Ritual #2: Exercise
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your overall wellbeing. Regardless of age, sex, or ethnicity, everyone can benefit from exercise, since we were all design to move. Physical activity increases metabolic rate, lowers blood pressure, increases energy levels, reduces stress, releases endorphins the happy hormone, and changes the mood.
Try to exercise early in the day. Of course, the best time to use is whatever times work for you; however, research has shown that breaking a sweat in the morning has been more beneficial than later.
Ritual #3: Prioritize Your Time
Prioritize your time by organizing your schedule in advance. An excellent approach to scheduling is to use Sundays to plan your week. Schedule your activities in terms of priorities. Schedule what’s urgent first and then what’s important next. Be sure to add things such as sleep, breaks, self-care, time with family, and personal development time, as part of the urgent activities to get done. Also, remember that things that get scheduled are the things that usually get done.
Ritual #4: Daily Learning
Personal Mastery is a journey towards continuous improvement. It involves envisioning your future, being aware of your present reality, and reflecting on your progress. One of the best ways to continue on the path of Personal Mastery, therefore, is daily learning. It was Sir Francis Bacon, who once said, “reading makes a full man.” Reading fills the mind with knowledge about a variety of subjects and will enlighten you on the best decisions to make when asked to do so.
Reading for an hour each day is a good practice if you are to develop Personal Mastery. Suffice it to say, if you learn more, chances are, you will earn more.
Ritual #5: Practice Awareness
Practicing awareness is a powerful way to stay on track with your goals. Since you cannot change what you are not aware of, it’s essential to find time to reflect on your journey, the progress you have made, where you want to be, and how to get there. Setting aside 15-30 minutes each day, envisioning your future, taking note of your present reality, and reflecting on your progress is an invaluable exercise in Personal Mastery.
If you discover after your awareness exercise something that you don’t like, go ahead and change it. If you feel like you are not on the right path, change course. Besides, be honest with yourself about where you are and where you desire to be, and remember that consistency compounds. Above all, “To thine own self be true.”