I used to think that mastery was a function of education, training and experience over time, place and circumstance.
I was dead wrong!
Mastery, like ethics, I suspect, is an aspirational goal.
As such, it is not an end-point along a singular way; rather, it is one of many ways to achieve a useful result.
One can “master” the alphabet, however, the use of letters to create meaning from words is a life-long process.
Competence in the utilization of building blocks does not guarantee becoming a master builder.
Of course, there are technical skills which necessitate high levels of proficiency to render a service “good and true.”
Yet, even in these instances, a so-called “master” still has much to learn.
I have had the privilege of providing psychological services to thousands of people for more than thirty-seven years.
Only now, after almost 77,000 hours of diligence as a practioner of the healing arts, am I beginning to "get it!"
Invisible psychological motives readily stick-out like “sore-thumbs.”
That which is not said often “screams-out” with such “sharp relief !”
What used to take 1-to-3-to-6-to-12 hours to formulate an accurate diagnosis now takes 1-to-3-to-6-to-12 minutes!
What used to take months or years to successfully treat a troubled client now may occur in a few weeks or a in few hours or in a single encounter!
Admittedly, there are always “polymorphous perverse” and/or complex “refractory” cases which take much longer.
But mastery is a faithful disciple of deep and profound respect, for the mystery, awe and wonder about the aspirational goals of our endeavors.
To master anything means learning to challenge oneself over time, space and perspective no matter the struggle!
A great master is ever-the-humble disciple who has no particular need to lead or teach or be the great master.
So I think I finally “get it."
I “get” that I don't “got it!”
I “got” that in order for me to really and truly “get it”...
I have to “keep at it” until I breathe my last breath.
Only then will I have achieved a “thimble-ful” of mastery.
And only up to that meaningful, useful and relevant end-point...
Along my particular way.
Author Note: Dr. Larry B. Gelman is a Clinical Psychologist and a Personal Mentor
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Dr. Larry B. Gelman, Dr. Glenn B. Gelman, All Rights Reserved.