I feel I have been living in a fog for the last few years. Sure, there have been standout moments. I finished my master’s degree in Management and Organizational Leadership. I have taught multiple courses in web design, multimedia, and video production. I was a B-camera operator on a feature-length film.
But in the back of my mind, something has been bugging me. I hate the plateau I find myself on. Everything I do creatively feels the same. It takes so much effort to start and finish the simplest of projects. Is this normal?
I never thought this was normal until I discovered Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment by George Leonard. In this gem, Leonard describes the plateau as “the long stretch of diligent effort with no seeming progress.” He further states: “If our life is a good one, a life of mastery, most of it will be spent on the plateau. If not, a large part of it may well be spent in restless, distracted, ultimately self-destructive attempts to escape the plateau.”
Wait a minute, how can a plateau lead to a good life?
- By leading us to a lifetime of learning and practice.
- By moving us from a life devoted to finishing goals to developing skills.
- By teaching action over indecision.
My fog is best described by Leonard: “Indecision leads to inaction, which leads to low energy, depression, despair.”
Makes sense. So, what do I do?
“Liberation comes through the acceptance of limits. You can’t do everything, but you can do one thing, and then another and another.” – Leonard.
I’m grateful for Mastery. It is teaching me critical lessons at a time in my life when I desperately need change. I am going to embrace the plateau by learning and practicing. I am going to keep moving forward one day, one action, one thought, one task at a time.