Taking on Life’s Apprenticeship means dedicating and focussing your time and efforts into one area of which you aim to become a master.
Recently I’ve been enjoying the works of Robert Greene, particularly The 48 Laws of Power and Mastery. In Mastery, Greene talks about having a Life’s Apprenticeship.
A Life’s Apprenticeship is a way of thinking about how you become a master in any given activity and/or field in which you value your own learning and development over life’s distractions. By identifying your path of passion, often by looking that what has stimulated you from a young age, you can begin to take action and create goals which will see you rising to become the very best version of yourself.
By identifying your path of passion, often by looking that what has stimulated you from a young age, you can begin to take action and create goals which will see you rising to become the very best version of yourself.
While spending many, many hours over the years perfecting your skills and knowledge within a specific passion or field will naturally lead you into a position of mastery whereupon money, status, and power will tend to follow, this cannot be the true goal of your apprenticeship.
The true goal should be based within the process of what you are perfecting, not specifically the outcome. In other words, you need to be fully absorbed in what you are creating or doing because it taps into something personal to you, the outcome should come second to this.
If someone is too outcome-focussed in these things and does not find enjoyment in the present, it likely cannot be considered a real passion.
Identifying Your Life’s Apprenticeship
Figuring out your perfect Life Apprenticeship can often be half the battle for many.
You have likely found from experience that you have things you are proficient at, but do not overly enjoy. By contrast, you probably have identified activities that you are not naturally astute at but nevertheless enjoy. While the latter could contain something you could use to direct your apprenticeship, finding something that you both enjoy and also show some promise for is the perfect candidate.
In Mastery, Greene tells the stories of many great writers, inventors, and sportsmen and women who found their Life’s apprenticeship early in childhood and subsequently became enormously successful over long periods of hard work and determination. While these are examples of terrific human beings who began their Life’s Apprenticeship at a seemingly young age, it is never too late to begin your apprenticeship.
When you identify something special that you can improve in through gaining more knowledge, having more experiences, and practicing more techniques, you can begin this apprenticeship at any age. What people often find when they achieve this revelation of what they want to focus on is that they can trace the fascination back to childhood in a range of different ways.
Consider what it is that has always fascinated you, something you were always drawn to during childhood. Link this to what you find captivating in the modern day and allow yourself to be absorbed by all it has to offer.
Value Learning & Experience Over Money, Status, & Power
The core outlook to adopt in developing your skills within your apprenticeship is one of learning, experience, and knowledge being your number one priority.
Very commonly in the modern day, we focus and subconsciously rank jobs and positions within a tight framework of how much money someone makes, how positively they are perceived by those around them, and how much influence they have over others. An apprenticeship with these things as goals will kill creativity and stifle self-improvement.
Your goal is to shorten the metaphorical gap between you and your chosen skill or field, to become so absorbed in your curiosity that it becomes naturally part of who you are. People who reach this amazing feat of mastery are indispensable, and they did not do this with money and fame in mind.
Become devoted to self-improvement, learning, and experience. Take any and all opportunities to develop further. Don’t shy away from taking on low-paying jobs or even working for free if it means getting ever closer to people and resources that will positively influence your apprenticeship.
Become a Master
The impressive figures pioneering the latest scientific discoveries, creating revolutionary new fields of study, and helping others progress in their own apprenticeships did not get to where they are today using any shortcuts that increased their level of mastery.
They put in the thousands of hours needed to become who they wanted to be, they searched for doors of opportunity and knocked on all of them, they were bold and made mistakes over and over again so they could improve and improve with every passing day.
It is this level of focus and dedication that is required to become a master and everyone has the potential to join them.
Have you identified an area of knowledge or skill that you consider your Life’s Apprenticeship? How do you continue to improve every single day?