Is there a common path to mastery?

Cooking is a love of mine, each year I look forward to the UK competition: Master Chef – amateur chefs with diverse backgrounds from around the country compete to be crowned Master Chef and start a career as a professional chef.

The participates are thrown into all kinds of culinary challenges during the competition – the overall winner being the one that keeps their head, remains motivated and consistently produces high quality meals that are externally verified by leaders in the culinary field: 1-, 2-, and, 3- star Michelin Chefs.

It got me thinking… what does it take to be a Master Chef and what are the parallels to mastery in other fields…

Some of the things I noticed about the three finalists are that they:

  • Have a ‘big’ goal (but don’t necessarily know how they will achieve it) (i.e. win Master Chef!)
  • Have a goal beyond the goal (i.e. after Master Chef ‘I want too…run a restaurant’)
  • Take small incremental steps to towards their goal
  • Execute each step precisely – ensuring quality at each step
  • Constantly adapt and ‘de-scope’ when necessary
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Learn from their ‘mistakes’  (see Pete’s previous blog)
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Maintain motivation
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Love what they do
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Create new ‘products’ by combining, or connecting, ingredients in new and palatable ways
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Define mastery for themselves through the goals that they want to achieve

These steps seem like a simple recipe (pun intended!) towards mastery…  a process if you like… that reminds us that we can all aim for mastery in our chosen field.

Is versatilism another type of mastery path? And if it is, what are the steps to mastery of versatilism? And, what is the practice that we need to be giving attention to achieve mastery?

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2 Comments on “Is there a common path to mastery?”

  1. […] we have pointed out before if there is a common path to mastery (of anything) it is that you are prepared to set challenging, but achievable goals, and practice, […]

  2. […] about it or drawing pretty pictures using fancy modeling tools. As discussed elsewhere there is no easy path to mastering any subject, rather it takes regular and continued practice. If you are passionate about what you […]


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