Keys To Mastery & Success: Key #5: Play the Edge

August 6th, 2011 by KP

Key 5: Play the Edge

Comfort is the enemy of the artist. If you find yourself doing something where you are comfortable, then you are doing something wrong. What comfort means, is that you’re not growing. Think of a time when you’ve been comfortable, were you growing? Was there an urge to want to grow & progress? What about a time where you were very uncomfortable, and you felt pain in an area, what about then, now was there an urge to grow & progress.

The areas we feel pain are almost always the areas that we are weak in. And that’s why we feel pain.

You have to want to expose yourself, and face down your ugly truths. That’s what can stop you from being a big star, so don’t be afraid to expose yourself.

We are pretty much all incompetent at everything we do. Someone’s fame is just because they became very interested in something and ended up taking it much further than anyone sane would ever have done.

The person who is best prepared is the person that practiced the most.

When you put fear & hope next to each other, which one overpowers the other. It should be neither. Instead, it should be fear vs. courage. But what is courage? Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgement that something is more important than your fear. Ask yourself, is this more important than any fear?

Let go of your insignificant existence, to embrace something that when you walk in to a room people turn their heads & say “Damn there’s (me)”. All of a sudden, your existence effects the whole.

Each of us potentially is a genius. Each of us is unique in the entire universe. Never again will there be the chemical mixture that is me or you. We are all unique.

When so many pieces of the puzzle start falling in to place at the same time, and you start to achieve so many of your goals at the same time, and you’re also having fun doing it, you feel unstoppable. Almost like, what can’t I do? Not in a cocky way, but if you’re reaching your goals by doing something you love, then there’s no stopping anybody in that position.

I really believe, that a great deal of alcohol abuse, neurosis, unease, drug abuse, war, nervousness, crime, uncertainty, fear of failure, can all be attributed to the failure of developing our potential.

There’s nothing more tragic, than speaking to an elderly person and them saying –

“Looking back now, I realize that I wasted my life”
“I wish I did X”
“If only I had given X a shot”

It’s sad. But a lot of people don’t realise how short life is until the reality of time catches up with them. One thing you MUST confront, be comfortable with, and accept, is the one thing that is certain in life & that unifies every single one of us. We are all going to die. What you MUST do is think about that, realise it, and accept it. Not to live in fear because of it, but instead to face life with a new approach. A fearless approach. One where you realise time is running out with every second that goes by. You don’t scramble, instead you are patiently persistent, you chip away everyday at what you need to do, out of urgency to move as fast as possible, but not out of fear, but from a position of power & control over your conscious mind.

No longer do our emotions decide our actions. We now get clear on our goals, dreams, desires, & ambitions. The way to achieve these goals is relatively easy in theory, yet quite difficult in practice. The rules themselves are clear enough, and within everyone’s reach. But many forces, both within ourselves and in the environment, stand in the way. It is a little like trying to lose weight: everyone knows what it takes, everyone wants to do it, yet it is next to impossible for so many. The stakes here are higher, however.

It is not just a matter of losing a few extra pounds.

It is a matter of losing the chance to have a life worth living.

Developing our potential is a matter of upmost importance.

The Keys To Mastery & Success.

Mastery: Live it, don’t speak it.


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Keys To Mastery & Success: Key #3: Mentorship

August 2nd, 2011 by KP

Key 3: Get a guide / Training / Guidance / Mentorship

Charisma & conviction, two keys of a master in their craft. Take notice of that when you choose your guidance or your mentor.

What are you practicing? What if you’re practicing wrong? Then you get very good at doing something wrong. So it’s a good idea to get a teacher/guide/roadmap/MENTOR. You will eventually learn that you are doing something wrong one way or another, but determining how long that will take to learn that lesson is leaving it down to fate.

A guide, training, or a mentor will auto-correct you as you go, zapping your errors the second you make them, fine tuning your “skill” in the moment rather than taking days or weeks or trying something and finally realizing it’s not done by doing X it’s done by doing Y. Mentorship will fix your mistakes in a fraction of the time it will take you to figure it out on your own.

If you take from one person it’s called stealing. If you take from many people it’s called research.

Spend your time taking & learning from the best of the best, the ‘kings’, the superstars, the masters of the craft, and then once you take everything from them, you spend the time in the dark shedding yourself away from them. This is when it becomes “you” rather than you becoming who you learned from. You gather your research, cherry pick what suits you, what you like, adapt it to yourself, then you go. Like Charlie Parker said:

“Master your instrument, master the music, then forget all that shit and just play.”

As an apprentice of your craft, you should never stop learning during the entire apprenticeship. Then when you reach the top, to stay at the top, guess what, you STILL never stop learning & exploring & expanding your knowledge base of your craft. If that isn’t the case, then you shouldn’t be doing it anymore. Remember, the key to growth is getting outside of your comfort zones & getting uncomfortable, so that once you’ve spent enough time being uncomfortable, what used to be outside of your comfort levels is now inside your comfort zone. If you’re not growing you’re dying. So in order to forever be growing, you have to continue to forever not be you.

Everyone that has made it to the top of their game has encyclopedias of knowledge on their craft. Vaults of information & learning aids that they have studied & studied & studied. This isn’t a coincidence. Find anyone, any video, any book, anything, that you can learn from in your craft. If you’re going to be here, then there’s a necessity to make a difference. It takes such a desperate obsessive focus, you have to focus with all of your fibers with all of your heart, with all of your creativity.

Be motivated by your fear of fear. Hate it when you are afraid or scared to do something. Attack your fears.

As the old adage goes, we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

The separation of talent & skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, that are trying to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours & hours & hours of beating on your craft. There’s no easy way around it, no matter how talented you are, your talent WILL fail you if you’re not SKILLED. If you don’t study, if you don’t work really hard, if you don’t dedicate yourself to being better every day, you won’t be able to communicate your artistry with people the way that you want to.

Never show up unprepared.

Surrender yourself to the art to the teacher, but that doesn’t mean you turn over your life to the teacher, you don’t want a guru. You still have to keep the autonomy inside yourself. You are finally the ultimate authority on your own practice.

The separation between failure and success in life is a knife’s edge. That knife’s edge is your attitude, which has the power to shape your reality. If you view everything through the lens of fear, you get reasons to not move forward, to not take action, and to stay in retreat mode. You can just as easily see a crisis, a problem, or a hurdle, as a challenge, an opportunity to prove your mettle. The chance to strengthen & toughen yourself, or a call to collective action. By seeing it as a challenge, you will have converted this negative fearful attitude into a positive fearless attitude purely by a mental process this will result in positive action as well.


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Keys To Mastery & Success: Key #2: Practice. Practice. Practice.

August 2nd, 2011 by KP

Key 2: Practice. Practice. Practice.

Practice is the magic formula, that’s the big fat magic secret out in the open. PRACTICE. Talent is important, but not nearly as important as is practice. Michael Jordan didn’t get selected for his college basketball team draft. Let me repeat that… MICHAEL JORDAN DIDN’T GET SELECTED FOR HIS COLLEGE BASKETBALL TEAM DRAFT!!!

So did he get to be the best basketball player to ever live through his ‘talent’? Was he always just a ‘talented’ basketball player? Or was it through his self discipline & dedication to PRACTICE that is what was the fertilizer for the growth of his so called ‘talent’?

The most important trait you need is tenacity. People try something once or twice, they don’t yet succeed, and they get it in their mind that they can’t do it. They’re right.

Then there’s the people who get faced with the same challenge, and they too don’t succeed the first & second time, but they have the tenacity to keep trying, and they believe in their mind that they can do it, and eventually they succeed. These people are also right.

This goes back to the saying “They can because they think they can”.

To be able to really get on the path of mastery – THIS IS OF THE UPMOST IMPORTANCE – you have GOT to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau where you don’t seem to be learning very much. Where you don’t feel like you’re making progress. A looooooong time. Now suddenly after a long time on the plateau, it could be weeks, days, months (how about an 8 month plateau where you didn’t see a penny come in with IM!) almost ‘miracle’-like, you have a sudden jump up in learning & improvement, and you think, “ahhh I’m learning, I’m moving up the mastery mountain!”…wrong.

You are learning, but you are learning on the plateau. All of the time you are on the plateau, you have to be thinking about what you’re doing before you do it, by being on the plateau you are programming your automatic response system. And after thinking before you do it enough times, eventually you “just do” it without thinking, and that’s when you’ve learned, you learn from being on the plateau.

What a concept information is. Our library of information is directly relative to the value, status & power we have in this world. Knowledge is power.

The important thing is to take your ideas seriously. But to be critical of them, positively, while being a realist too. Don’t fall in love with your ideas, fall in love with the moment to moment aspects of the process, fall in love with the step by step progress. The rest takes care of itself.

Don’t feel that that the little things you have to do everyday are distancing you from your dream. Everything brings you closer to your dream. Every mistake, every lesson, every repetitive task (which is essentially practice) is all taking you another step closer to your dream. It’s just a mindset. It is in fact those seemingly “tedious” or “repetitive” tasks that are the stepping stones to mastery. You can never have too much practice. There is a direct correlation between someone’s level of ‘talent’ and the hours of practice that person has put in.

We are practicing all the time. Remember, what we practice, is what we excel at. So if someone is negative all of the time, they get very good at being negative, in fact they master it! If they’ve spent 40 years doing it, they are master coaches of negativity! They could teach negativity, and they will. So be VERY conscious of what you do, most of the time. Practice the right things, positive & a deep ignition for progress.

Most people take the path of least resistance. It’s much easier to accept the things that have happened to you, and that more of the same things are going to happen to you & that’s just the way it is. That’s the way most people deal with life. Then there’s that one tiny little path that is covered & filled with broken pavement, rocks, dark jungles, forests, rats, snakes, bears, lions, & all kinds of horrors. But the people that take that path, the ones who are willing to overcome all of those horrors & barriers, the hurdles, the conflicts, the obstacles that try to get in your way, and not only overcome them, but USE them instead of letting them ‘affect’ me. Use them to teach you the most important lessons, and not only use them to let you prosper, but also use them to give you the most satisfaction, because you can say “I did it.”

The size of the hurdle, barrier, conflict, obstacle, challenge, whatever you may call it, is ALWAYS relative to the amount of the gratification, satisfaction, & immense feeling of success that you get when you do struggle, you do fight & you do eventually overcome them.

Raw willingness will always win over raw “genius” or raw “talent”. The guy who is willing to go further, who is willing to push harder & through more challenges, will always come out trumps over the guy with raw “genius” or “talent”. Surprise surprise, the guy willing to go one more round when no one else wants to, also doesn’t want to, but he does anyway. That trait is the trait that will make you stand out in life. Raw willingness.

Life is like a UFC fight. The winner is the one who no matter how many times they get knocked down, they always get back up to fight again, no matter how much it hurts, no matter how much pain is causes or how much struggle it requires, until the obstacle or challenge in their path stays down and they overcome the challenge.

People that “work hard” are doing something wrong. I don’t work long hours, I play around with the computer, software & hardware, a lot. It just takes a lot longer than you think. But when you’re playing, it isn’t a ‘long’ time, it isn’t boring or strenuous, because it is playtime. This is a good thing, because if you realized how long it takes to master your passion, you’d never get anything done, you’d just give up in disgust. Because you enjoy the process & it is something you enjoy, you don’t focus on how long it might take, you just take each baby step as it comes. You actually like the details, you enjoy the fine tuning & zooming in with a telescope on the tiniest detail that no one will ever even realize was an issue. That’s when you know you’re on the path to true mastery.

In order to achieve one’s goals, there has to be a serious level of dedication, not just verbal, in fact VERBAL IS NOTHING. Fuck all of the verbal dedication. What’s the point in saying you’re going to do something? Unless it’s to yourself, you’re most likely just doing it to get the short term pleasure of someone saying “good on you”. Actions & results speak a million decibels louder than words ever will on this planet. People say “I’m really dedicated to this project”, then they spend their nights out partying & then the next day they don’t do what they need to because they’re hung over or whatever. For me, this isn’t a 9-5, this isn’t 12 hours a day, or 18 hours a day, this is 24/7 365 life-long passion. It is nothing other than “me”. So of course it is #1 priority.

When I get done with progressing on that, I look at what I need to do next, or the next day, and then I get as much sleep as I possibly can so that I’m fresh and ready to go again early the next morning. As little fooling around as possible, as little booze as possible, as much sleep as possible. That’s when I’m in the zone of quantum progress.

There is a time to let loose & release. That’s when you’ve earned it. When I achieve peaks & levels of success & I earn my release, then I am 100% releasing in the moment. And that’s a whole other side to the coin. 🙂

It’s ok to have a release & to let loose. In fact sometimes it is necessary to have a release & ‘recharge’. Just don’t get addicted to the release. There’s a fine line between releasing & seeking the short term gratification. Releasing can recharge. Chasing the short term fix is a sure fire way to butt fuck yourself in to static land where you aren’t moving forward. And if you’re not moving forward (not practicing) you’re not just staying put or being static, but you’re actually taking steps backwards, and dying in that area. That’s a fact. As humans we are creatures of motion, to evolve we have to be moving, not sitting still.

“You can be on the right track, but you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

You have to be willing to be the glorious fool. The person who is willing to take chances, to jump, and to fall & stumble & look foolish is the one who is on the path to being a master. You’ve got to be willing to look foolish to truly be a master. Take your ego out of it. No one cares, no one gives a flying fuck about you, they’re way too busy worrying about what everyone thinks about them to think about you!

Anything that was truly hard was usually worth the struggle.

Motion attracts success & wealth. Always be moving, even if you feel like it’s around in circles. It’s better than standing still. And even if you feel like you’re on a plateau, and you don’t know where to go or if you even are moving forward, the main thing is that you just keep showing up.

What’s the best way to stop a top athlete from performing? Not to taunt them, or to boo them, that just fires them up more. It’s easy, don’t let them practice for a month. Then they lose their ‘touch’. Practice is the key to mastery, to “greatness” (read my post on greatness to find out what greatness really is).

I get really bored not having anything to do. The thought that I’m not making progress towards a goal, the feeling I get is similar to that of the feeling the character gets in the film “Limitless” when he takes the pill (sick film that takes mastery to a whole new level! It’s loosely based around my life. 🙂 ). I feel like if I’m not progressing or moving forward, then I feel this anxiety building up inside me and if I don’t do something about it fast (make progress on something, anything) then I feel like I’m going to explode. It’s crazy. I love it.

The practice, is living what I do, what I am, what I love. That thing is ‘you’, so practice being ‘you’ everyday, and it’s no longer practice. You’re just getting better at being ‘you’ everyday. That’s why it is essential you press pause, take a step back & re-evaluate life & where you’re headed. Is this where you want to be going, is this what you were destined for, is this path why you were put on this earth? Is this your life-long purpose, your dream? Take some time off from the world, and take the time to be with yourself, to figure this out. Figure out what your passion is, what path you are destined for.

The mark of the masters is one who is not only willing to stay on a plateau for a long period of time & keep training diligently, but it is to love the plateau, to cherish the plateau. Even to say “Fine I’m on a plateau, now if I stay on this plateau I am destined to have a jump upward”.

Let “the highlight of your life” be the ignition. Imagine that, standing there and realizing, this is the best moment of your life. That’s what all of this is for.

Discipline yourself, diligent, patient, long-term practice & you’ll be ok.

Practice, work your ass off, practice, one baby step at a time, practice, you cannot take no for an answer, practice, willingness, dedication, tenacity, practice, practice, practice. You often get to the point where you don’t quite know where to go, and the most important thing is that you continue to show up.

Until Key #3, no better time than the present than to go practice.


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Club Banger….

July 8th, 2011 by KP

Laidback Luke – Till Tonight

Open up your arms, spread them wide
Nothings gonna hold me back this time
I’ve been waiting for you all my life
Counting down the minutes till tonight

Open up your heart, let me in
Let the love finally begin
Cuz I’ve been waiting for you all my life
Counting down on every minute on till tonight

Sick Lyrics!
Read the rest of this entry »

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