America’s got a war for everything. From the war on poverty to the war on drugs. There’s a war on crime to go with the war on AIDS. We even have a war on homelessness. Well, there’s one war that silly ol’ Uncle Samuel is intentionally neglecting to tell you about: America’s War on Mastery.

In this article we’re going to explore the war, and define definitive defenses for surviving and thriving during the heat of the battle.

Are you absurdly enthused in anticipation of what you’re about to read? Oh yes, I can just picture your pupils dilating now. Dude!

A Quick Lesson on Mastery

Ultimately, it’s a path, a process, and a journey.

One that includes a mindset of never-ending improvement toward a specific skill or trade that you’re developing. To become a Master at something, you practice persistently and diligently, but primarily, you practice for the sake of the practice itself. Sayonara suckers!

Finding the Value

Let’s start with values.

You know, as in meaningful morals of self and having a personal code of conduct. What do you believe in? What do you stand for? Something? ANYTHING?!

A century ago, a human’s value system was instilled in them from sources like their tribes, their village elders, their religions, and their spiritual practices. In 2011 America, ha! The notions of this nation’s values are of mere hilarity.

George Leonard in his double decade old brilliant book, Mastery, says:

“If you’re planning to embark on a Master’s journey, you might find yourself bucking current trends in American life. Our hyped-up consumerist society is engaged, in fact, in an all-out war on mastery. We see this most plainly in our value system…

Our society is now organized around an economic system that seemingly demands a continuing high level of consumer spending. We are offered an unprecedented amount of choices as to how we spend our money…

Each time we spend money, we make a statement about what we value; there’s no clearer or more direct indication.”

The days of quality value attainment through intellectuals and philosophers are few and far between. People are more likely to pick up “ingenious” ideologies from Kanye West, Tiger Woods and Ari from Entourage. {{Lloooooooooooooyd!}}

The culprit to keep keen awareness of is the endless stream of climactic moments that mainstream media portrays as normal. In other words…

Instant Gratification Kills!

It’s pervasive and perverted, the American way.

A quick fix with a side of temporary fast relief. We’re taught to value results more than process. Getting results are great, but the process of attaining them is equally as excellent.

DANGER: If you train your unconscious mind that anytime you run into a problem, there’s a magic pill — what’s gonna happen when you run into a problem of real significance?

  • Stressed out from work? Let’s hit the bar for some drinks.
  • Wanna get rich quick? Play the lottery yo!
  • Looking for some fun? Let’s get hiiiiiiigh…

Attention spans are shrinking. Did you know that multitasking with phone calls, emails, and text messages (the holy trilogy) will lower your IQ score more than smoking pot will?

Or how about some TV? {{Which i cut outta my life over a year ago}} You’ll be hard-pressed to find a commercial that keeps one camera angle for more than 2 seconds. Why would they? Who’s gonna dish out drug-lord dollars for extra airtime that entails the process of practice when they can simply show these shots:

  • Second 1: Daytime boredom at work.
  • Second 2: Early evening beers at the bar with bad-ass blonde chicks.
  • Second 3: Naughty nightcaps at the casa with nymphomaniacs.
  • Second 4. Drink Budweiser – The All American Beer!

Anyone who’s ever sat unstimulated in a non-captivating career cubicle can attest to the arduously painful amount of time that ticks between “Second 1” and “Second 2” of our above commercial.

Fucked Fact: Did you know that Americans spend more money each year, wait for it, wait for it, wait for it… than they make?! What does that tell you about our values? We spend money that we don’t have on a bunch of crap we don’t need. Weaksauce.

Awareness Can Build Momentum

Now you know what you’re facing, I propose two options:
    1. Renounce all of your possessions and more to Nepal. {{Bonus points if you’ve seen Wedding Crashers}}
    2. Embark on a Master’s journey and fall in love with the path of practice.

George Leonard may have put it best here:

“For a Master, the rewards gained along the way are fine, but they are not the main reason for the journey. Ultimately the Master and the Master’s path are one. And if the traveler is fortunate — that is, if the path is complex and profound enough — the destination is two miles farther away for every mile he or she travels.”

Learn to love the plateau – the time in between climaxes. It will account for 90% of your life.

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