Mastery Learning and Stoicism
John Coolidge

Hey John, how are you doing? This was a very nice post and some of the issues that you have, I think I can say that are part of my day by day struggle. I don’t have children yet, but me and my wife work full-time (+ commute) and unfortunately I can’t study full-time either. I am 32 years old and before joining Launch School I was feeling kinda anxious and sad because I wanted to work in a nicer place (different from where I am now) and to be an excellent programmer, I mean, to be good in what I do. That’s how I was before joining Launch School. Well, to be honest, when I started the course, that was my spirit: thinking only about my goal, getting good (without realizing that I had no idea of how or when or what I would have to do to consider myself ‘good’. Will I be considered good after finishing the course? Or maybe after I got a good job? I have never asked myself that). Then, after some weeks at the course, reading about mastery and the importance of not to worry about time, I remembered one lesson of the book Mastery by George Leonard, and how this lesson was the same that is taught by some spiritual masters. I will not use the same words as the book or the spiritual masters, but this is my interpretation on what these lessons mean to me: Be present, don’t think about the future too much. Stay focused on what you are doing and enlightenment (mastery) will come. So if we just follow our own path, accept our reality (as you have very well said) on learning what is in front of us the best as we can, forgetting a little bit about our goals, I think these goals will be reached naturally.

So after learning this, I think something changed for me. I started to feel a lot less anxious. I see lots of friends doing very nice stuff with technology, working in amazing places and I don’t have that same eager to reach them anymore. Of course, sometimes I feel frustrated about myself, feel that I am too slow, I am getting old, etc. But I try to remember the lessons of mastery again and pull myself together, and then keep going on my path.

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