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The Master vs. The Dabbler – Which One Are You?

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the master vs the dabbler which one are you

Today I want to talk to you about the master vs. the dabbler.  Which one are you?

I believe that mastery is the path to living an extraordinary life. If you look at the most successful, happy and fulfilled people in the world, they are masters.

A dabbler is somebody that starts something but they never finish it, whether that’s a business, a goal, a course, or a relationship. They love the initial excitement and rush of starting something new.

The master is somebody that commits to everything. If they cant find the way, they make the way.  There is no plan B. They burn the boat, so they have to take the island, and they understand that there is a process to everything.

When the dabbler hits a plateau and they get challenged, they jump ship. They move onto something else because the initial newness has worn off.

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Sure enough, the dabbler repeats the same cycle, again and again. They are easily distracted, they don’t go deep with anything, and inevitably, do not achieve success.

The master looks for a coach or a mentor to help support them through the challenges that they face.  They don’t give up and throw in the towel at the first sign of adversity.

They understand the newness and novelty of something, but when they hit a plateau, they keep going. The master views a plateau as an opportunity to grow and find a new answer.

There is a great book called, “Mastery:  The Keys to Success and Long-term Fulfillment“.  In his book, George Leonard says, “To love the plateau is to love the eternal now, to enjoy the inevitable spurts of progress and the fruits of accomplishment, then serenely to accept the new plateau that waits just beyond them. To love the plateau is to love what is most essential and enduring in your life”.

Let’s use the metaphor of building a bridge. Let’s say there is a gap, symbolizing where you are versus where you want to be.  In order to close the gap, you need to build a bridge, whether that is a new business, relationship, course, activity, etc.

The dabbler builds the bridge and then they get bored.  An excuse happens, they stop building it, and then they build another bridge.  Sure enough, they stop building that one, and so on. They never get to the other side. They never get to where they want to be.

On the other hand, the master builds the bridge, they hit a plateau, they get busy, they experience obstacles, but they don’t jump ship. They commit, and when they build the bridge, they make sure that they improve it and make it stronger, so that it will last for many years to come.

Bruce Lee once said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10000 times”. Mastering that one kick, as opposed to dabbling with many different techniques and strategies, is a lot more powerful.

Ask yourself – which one are you? Are you the master or the dabbler? One way to find out is to look at your life and your results.

Choose to be the master. Commit your life to mastery, because this is the path where everything becomes available.

Please leave a comment below or let me know any questions you have.  I’d love to hear what you think!

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The Master vs. The Dabbler – Which One Are You?
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  • BradMcEntire

    Stefan, I’d love to see a riff on this topic in another video. Or maybe two vids. One would account for trying a bunch of new things to see what you’re into (dabbling to find out, so you can narrow down what it is you wanna invest time in to master). The other vid might start before the assumption that everyone already KNOWS what they want to be “masters” in. That picking up and putting down things/skills/goals/etc. actually could be a kind of process for figuring out what is a good fit. It is a damnable thing to head off without a direction. In such a black and white way, to commit to something just because its better to commit than to experiment. Maybe even another vid that talks about quitting as a route for process (have you done one of these kinds already?). All goals are not equal. Anyway, I enjoy checking in with your YouTube and blog. Keep up the great work.