As a Life Coach and Sports Mind Coach I am always interested in learning from other people who I admire. Last weekend I listened to a recording of Robert Fripp, the legendary King Crimson guitarist, speaking at the National Speakers Association in America. He was talking about the principles of moving from being good to being great. In fact, he says you have to move from bad to good before you can move to great!
Although he is talking about mastery of the guitar there is plenty in what he says that is true for anyone who wants to achieve mastery in any field. He sets out 7 steps:
- Have an aim. Having an aim helps to guide your actions. Fripp’s aim at 11 years old was to be the best guitarist in the world.
- Find someone who has been there before and is willing to teach you. That can be an instructor or mentor or teacher. Normally it will be someone who is one rung above you in terms of mastery and as soon as you are as good as them you need to find the person at the next level.
- Get out of bed. You need plenty of time to work and practice
- Practice. Remember to listen to yourself when you practice. Notice what you are doing and make a record of it so that you can learn from it.
- Work with people who are better than you. That gives you a chance to learn and one day you may get an opportunity to stand in for them.
- Work a lot. If work is not coming to you, go and find work.
- When you are unemployed or ‘resting’, keep practicing. That way you will be ready when the chance comes along
I think those steps apply to most skills. There is a theory that you need to practice for 10,000 to attain mastery of any skill. I suspect Fripp has well exceeded that.
A final thought from Robert Fripp:
“In strange and uncertain times…sometimes a reasonable person may despair. But hope is unreasonable and love is even greater than this. May we trust the creative impulse.”