How to Master The “How”: 4 Specifics For Professional Mastery

“The professional masters how, and leaves what and why to the gods.”

-Steven Pressfield

So, you have finally found your super-niche. It took months (maybe, years) to discover, you are beaming with excitement, and now you are ready to jump into action. That’s great and the world is waiting for some positive change, but one essential question remains:

How do you do it?

How do you set the world on fire using your super-niche as a focal tool?

How do you become massively successful with your new found purpose?

First, it doesn’t happen easily.

Second, you must master your craft.

Success comes with a hefty price tag: one that costs tremendous amounts of energy and focus. Assuming you have found a hyper-specific niche, (if not keeping reading, print this out, save it, and read it later. It’s free and yours to keep.) the following post will help you understand the how to master your craft like a professional.

In order to master the “how,” it is always good to start with a basic definition and expand. They are featured below:

Looking ahead, four specifics of “how” will be addressed.

  1. “How” meaning in what manner or way.
  2. “How” meaning to what degree or extent
  3. “How” meaning at what price
  4. “How” meaning in what state or condition

Mastering the “how” of your craft like a professional requires all four specifics to be met 100%. Succeeding like an expert is not a pick and choose ordeal, it’s a long term commitment full of overcoming struggles and facing challenges. Professionals understand that even our passions have small bits and parts that are not enjoyable.  The professional doesn’t pick the good and leave the bad. He charges through both and asks for more.

Now, is the time to grab and pen and pad and take notes.

Let’s begin this small course on mastery.

Specific 1: Professionals master the manner of their craft.

There are three manners to conduct oneself in a professional way:

  • Consistency: A professional’s work ethic doesn’t fluctuate. He understands the importance of hard work. He commits to a routine of taking action, every day. Much like the regular Joe, working day in & day out, the professional cannot afford to take a day off. Competition is too steep. Even if the professional wants a day off, he works first, then, maybe, takes the day off.
  • Dedication: A professional is dedicated to the completion of the task at hand. He finishes what he starts. His work is true to his purpose, solidified. His time is unified with achieving his goal.
  • Determination: A professional is fixed upon reaching his goal. He takes no detours or side roads, regardless of the temptation. His focus is unmatched. The opinions of others do not affect the true master.
  • Endurance: A professional is engaged in his work for the long haul. He knows there are no quick routes to gold. He is stuck to his work until completion. Quitting is not an option. Enduring through thick and thin, a professional outlasts his opponents.

Specific 2: Professionals master every degree and extent of their craft.

Mastery requires understanding the entirety of one’s craft. Professionals view their craft as a circle, not a line. They do not see their work as a starting point and finish line. Instead, they prefer to view it as a continuous process like a circle

Masters go to great lengths. They love mistakes. Each mistake becomes an opportunity to sharper their blade, refocusing their options, and allows them to become a better warrior.

Competition doesn’t scare the expert. He acts like a samurai and welcomes challenge fearlessly. His competition is his greatest strength. His enemy becomes his closest ally granting him an opportunity for improvement.  Competition offers free perspectives that have been tested to work or fail. All the master has to do is monitor his enemy for strengths and weaknesses.

Professionals understand their own limits. Through continuous improvement they attempt to extend their range. A true master doesn’t set limitations. He knows every wall can be climbed over. He knows every mountain can be scaled.

In the words of Bruce Lee,

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

Specific 3: Professionals understand the price of mastering their craft.

A true master knows there is no sacrificing top quality. Perfect quality cannot be replicated or replaced; like its master, it is something truly special and unique.

When it comes to price, a professional asks the important question:

“What am I willing to pay for success?”

Mastery doesn’t require financial over-obligations. It requires a more precious asset than spending money, time. With this price tag, it is simply not refundable. True mastery requires constant sacrifice, a price the master pays for consistent commitment.

Warning: Mastery may affect the ability to create meaningful personal relationships outside of the workplace. Finding time for friends can be daunting with the work load of a professional. Even so, a true master will somehow make it work.

Specific 4: Professionals master their states and conditions.

A few of the situations a master may find himself dealing with include:

  • A professional experiences fear, but courage keeps him moving.
  • A professional gets stressed, but learns to calm his mind.
  • A professional thinks about failure, but is confident he will succeed.
  • A professional may get sick, but he works through his sickness. Health is a master’s greatest friend.
  • A professional stops briefly to rest, but then continues.

A professional understands that states and conditions are just that: states and conditions. He conditions himself to be independent. He is unaffected by others. He learns to counteract his own imbalance through opposing imbalance thus creating a perfect balance- this is the poise of a master. In this place, a master creates with magic. He transcends the limits of normal men and becomes unconditional.

Ultimately, the master lives in a state of being, which is not a state at all. Unaffected by others, he can work in the pure peace of presence.

Though not a specific of “how,” there is one more special tool that every master uses:

Professionals learn from others.

Any master knows his greatest teachers are others. He studies their triumphs and mistakes. He learns from both. He reads their books. He researches each opponent and peer like a scientist, keeping organized notes and documenting each and every move. This gives the professional a unique advantage over the amateur. He masters what others have not. By learning from their mistakes, he reduces this own. This simple formula makes a world of difference for the professional.

When a professional doesn’t know, he asks. The professional is humble and intelligent.

He knows better than to ask only one person.

He examines all sides of a discussion by asking multiple experts on their opinion before jumping to conclusions.

Lastly, the professional sticks to what he knows: mastering the “how.”

He forgets the rest and leaves the “what” and “why” to the gods.

Everything else is out of his control.


How will become a master?

Let’s talk about it or let me know if you enjoyed this topic in the comments section below.

Here is an example of Gordon Ramsay testing his skills against a super-niche sushi master. If you have seen Hell’s Kitchen then you will definitely appreciate seeing Gordon under pressure.

About Stephan Stansfield

Stephan is the owner, creator, and editor of Peregrine Poise.
He is currently traveling and teaching around the world. When he is not helping others discover their true potential, he finds time to surf, read, and reflect on the important issues of living a good life.


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