The Path of Mastery


It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Nothing worthwhile is done half-heartedly. When you put all of yourself into something, the rewards for success are great, but so are the pains of failure. Yet, to not put your whole self into something you care about, is meaningless and mediocre.

To walk the path of greatness is to answer the call of mastery. That empty and gnawing feeling can only be fulfilled by a devotion to something greater.

Life is the great master and teacher.

Self-improvement is the path, and at the end of the path is self-mastery, but it is just out of reach, so that we’ll always keep going forward.

There comes a time when a boy must become a man. Then he chooses to become a professional. Then he realizes that something has always tugged at his heart, and he may choose to walk the path of mastery–or the path may choose him.

Like magic, his road then stretches infinitely before him, and his world expands into the far reaches of the universe. All the things that used to burden and weigh him down fall away–he keeps his own counsel, carries his own light–and becomes a beacon for those that follow.


image credit: Pixabay

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