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Mastery: The fast horse doesn't need the whip, thus doesn't learn to the deepest level

I'm reading "Mastery" by George Leonard.

The book is odd. It's excellent in some ways, it's an exceptionally grounded and pragmatic book. I recommend it.

But, it's a bit of a downer. For instance, I just read Donald Trump's "Think Big and Kick Ass", and after reading it, you feel ready to go climb a mountain, kill a lion with your bare hands, lay waste to an enemy army, and otherwise build an empire.

Mastery isn't like that. Mastery is someone reminding you that success doesn't come easy, that it's a long hard slog through lots of plateaus, and that you should enjoy the process because that's the only way you'll get through it.

In a way, it's an uplifting message if you can really internalize it. It'll help give you strength during the plateaus. It immediately answered some questions I've had recently. Recently I wrote in "A Strange Pattern I’ve Noticed in Productivity" -

No Attachment to Dust

A half year ago in Malaysia, I met a Polish guy who had trained heavily in ninjitsu and was generally an admirer of Japanese culture and philosophy.

He and I talked for a number of hours, and we swapped a few book recommendations. I had just finished my copy of "The Samurai Ethic and Modern Japan" by Yukio Mishima, so I gave that to him as a gift. He recommended a number of good books and things for me to look up.

One of the books he turned me on to was "Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings" - and he gave me a link to a site where you could read all the stories for free, 101zenstories.com

I go back to the site for inspiration every month or two. I quite liked this one, "No Attachment to Dust" -

Zengetsu, a Chinese master of the T'ang dynasty, wrote the following advice for his pupils:

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