Take your first steps to mastery with this Bruce Lee bodybuilding guide.
In his milestone book Mastery, George Leonard tells the tale of Jigora Kano, the founder of judo.
According to legend, as Kano approached death, he gathered his students around him and issued one final request: he asked to be buried in his white belt.
But why would the highest-ranking martial artist of his discipline embrace the emblem of the lowly beginner?
Well, the answer is a revealing one. Because for Kano the journey of mastery never ends.
Your path to mastery means giving the best you have to be the best you can be at your most important work.
The last part of that statement deserves special mention. Why? Because when you choose to master the right thing, then pursuing mastery makes everything else you do seem easier.
Here is why choosing what you master really matters.
I talk about this concept in my Bruce Lee bodybuilding guide Ninja Strength Secrets, explaining how simplicity and the principle of Tao can supercharge your training. By focusing on just The ONE Thing, you can witness some powerful changes.
Martial artist Bruce Lee realized this early in his career. During his pursuit of mastery, he would apply a laser beam focus on his weight training.
Meticulous in his research, the actor owned a vast library of more than 2,000 books. Over the years The Little Dragon would apply their teachings on his routines until his workouts resembled a fine-tuned and expertly engineered machine.
As the benchmark for understanding mastery, we can turn to psychologist K. Anders Ericsson's study into elite performance.
His findings revealed how deliberate practice over the course of years in elite performers made them what they were - elite. Effectively debunking the prodigy myth, Ericsson would show how talent only gets you so far. To really succeed takes practice, and lots of it.
But practice alone isn't enough.
If you want to excel at anything (and this includes your weight training), you must narrow things down to their core elements. Only then, can you take your first steps on the path to elite performance and mastery.
And the progress you make swiftly begins to grow. As your confidence and competence builds, you will make an amazing discovery: those first steps to mastery are no different from one pursuit to the next.
Why is that? Well, submitting yourself to mastery serves as a platform for other things. In the same way a tumbling domino will knock over further dominoes, knowledge builds on knowledge and skills build on skills.
So, the next time you train, ask yourself: "What is your ONE thing and most important work that can make your efforts in the gym most effective." When you have your answer, you will have taken your first steps on your journey to mastery.