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Mastery (Plume) Paperback – 1 Feb 1992

4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reissue edition (Feb. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452267560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452267565
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.2 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"George Leonard is a remarkable man who embodies what he teaches: an amazing curiosity, a passionate intelligence, and the rare combination of someone who has both a broad vision and the focused mastery of details."
Dean Ornish

"If he's rightand Leonard has been right so many times about prevailing zeitgeists that you have to wonder if he has a third eyethe upcoming decade might be known as the decade of mastery."
San Francisco Chronicle

"George Leonard translates the wisdom of Zen into a self-help program for sticking with itwhether you want to learn aikido or need support in realizing long-held goals."
The New Age Journal"

About the Author

GEORGE LEONARDwas a writer, editor, and educator, who introduced Leonard Energy Training (LET), a practice for centering the mind, body, and spirit, to more than 50,000 people in the United States and abroad. He was the author of a number of books on human possibilities and social change, as well as President Emeritus of theEsalen Institute, President of the Association forHumanistic Psychology, and President of ITP International. He died in 2010."


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 28 Oct. 1998
Format: Paperback
George Leonard may have used Akido as a masterful allusion of life, or any real challenge in it, but his lessons are universal. Being a three time survivor of brain surgery, I have applied his teachings toward mastering my own path and use his terminology regularly. His explanation of homeostasis and how it prevents us from making definitive change in our lives is the essence of the book. Mastering a change in homeostasis is, in fact, what it's really all about. This book will literally change your life and how you see the things in it. Get on your Path, whatever that is.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book after a recommendation from a guy on YouTube.

Book has some useful insights on realities of getting really good at something.
It talks in general term which can be applied to any subject and reinforces with concrete examples; eg referring to sports or music or physics.. and I found easy to relate to my own specific interests.

Book is relatively short, to the point and I found I had faith in the author that he knew what he was on about.
The last chapter I found a bit waffly and less useful eg breathing and 'centering' exercises, but the majority of the book was an interesting and useful read, scattered with a few gems.

For me the most useful points were to get an idea of what I needed to do to progress more on my interests; book emphasised regular consistent practice, also explained that being on a 'plateau' for significant period of time, where you feel you are not progressing, is normal and natural and something to embrace rather than get beat up about.

Overall, if you are interested in getting really good at something, beyond average, I think you will find this short book a helpful guide on your journey!

Best
Rich

P.s. let me know if you found this comment useful, I have lots more reviews I can leave on similar books, just takes a bit of time to type but willing to do if helpful!
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Format: Paperback
Having read "The Way of Aikido" three times, I was eager to read "Mastery", but had to wait for it to come into stock. Having obtained it, I read it twice in fairly quick succession, and can say that it was without doubt worth the wait!
Rather than being of the super-enthusiastic change-your-life-in-a-flash genre, this book carefully analyses the steps required to achieve any specific goal, realistically analyses the reasons why goals are so often not achieved, and emphasises the need for long term commitment to learning and practice.
I am especially drawn to the author's emphasis on enjoying the journey as much as the destination, and his observation that the most boring thing of all is to be constantly searching for novelty and superficial stimulation.
This is a deeply satisfying book, and an excellent companion to "The Way of Aikido".
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Format: Paperback
Leonard tells us that when we decide to become very good at
something, whether it is sport, technical endevour, or
whatever, the keys are to locate someone that is already
good at that and get advice - basically the apprentice
system. Then practice, practice, practice. He gives examples
from pro baseball - many top stars weren't that good as kids
but had a deep desire to succeed and thru long practice,
surpassed the more naturally gifted players.

So there's hope for you and me.
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Format: Paperback
I expected yet another booh-yah you-can-do-it self help book but I was very wrong. This book has a powerful message delivered in a clear and yet subtle way. The narrative style is almost gentle yet the strength of what's being said can hardly be argued with.

Leonard states explicitly why Mastery is out of vogue, why we've come to want it even more than ever but have forgotten what it actually is. Advise such as how many years it takes to just become good at something let alone master it might unsettle us at first. We wouldn't be reading this book if we weren't desiring mastery in some respect.

Yet it is presented in a way that encourages the reader. Yes, it will take a long time to attain mastery, but he shows why this is the only way and the best way. He reminds us the journey and the destination are non-different and leaves us looking forward to engaging in it.
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By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After the excellent 'Way of Aikido' I found 'Mastery' to be a bit of a let down. It didn't seem very coherent and took a whole book to say what could have been expressed in an article or essay. Considering this is based on an article the author wrote you can see why this would be. The ideas aren't especially original or new and if you've read other management or martial arts books then these ideas will have been expressed before and often in a clearer way. My advice would be to buy and read 'Way of Aikido' which is great, but you can miss this and not be too worried.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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Format: Paperback
This book was recommended reading for developing 'potential leaders' from my erstwhile, fad-centered, American employer, so my expectations were low. When I saw it was written by someone who was into the totally alien world of martial arts, my expectations fell lower still.
But in fact it's a really simple, sensible book about gradual and long-term development, being prepared to listen to someone else, taking your time, always looking to be better.
As someone versed in the Christian monastic way, I was struck by the parallels with the Rule of Benedict. Here is a practical reflection on stabilitas and the journey.
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