George Leonard didn’t start Aikido until he was 45 years of age.
Most people would assume that’s too late to start a martial art.
But that didn’t stop George.
And George didn’t stop.
He became a fifth degree black belt. And years later he wrote the book, Mastery. It’s a great book on the power of commitment.
During World War II, George served as a fighter pilot in the Southwest Pacific. He returned home with a question…
How can you create the kind of life-changing experience of living at your edge, deep camaraderie, trust and friendship and the flow that happens during battle – but without the need for war or the risk of death?
In answer to that question, he created the The Samurai Game® and it’s been played by thousands of people, for almost 50 years.
It might be called a game but you can’t do any advance preparation. It’s challenging and it’s psychologically intense. It’s fast-paced and highly unpredictable. You face your fears and your doubts. The very limits of your commitment and your integrity are tested. And you come face to face with your habitual ways of dealing with challenges and uncertainty.
We played the Samurai Game this weekend in 4PC. This photo was taken after the game. We survived!
It’s rare that we bring guests to 4PC but when we do, they play at a very high level. The Samurai Game was led by my friend Scott Coady.
Scott is an extraordinary leader who was a navigator in the US Navy’s Assault Craft Unit One, performing ‘insertions’ and ‘extractions’. He’s a former athlete who competed at the World Championships for track cycling and set the record for the flying 200-meter time trial in 1996. He co-designed and co-lead NASA’s award-winning leadership and culture change program. And his clients are billion dollar corporations.
Scott told us something profound, “Embracing discomfort is the fastest path to Mastery.”
Most people don’t want to hear this. Most people want to skip this step. They want to know, instead, how they can be an overnight success.
The media feeds this with stories of tech ‘unicorns’ – companies with billion dollar valuations within a year of being founded – and shows like American Idol, where people become famous after a single moment on tv.
Anne Lamott, the author of the book, Bird By Bird, has taught hundreds of students how to become writers. During an interview she commented that so many students want to be published – they just don’t want to write!
4PC is my community of high level leaders and coaches. They are already Masters in their fields…
Our 7 newest members include a former personal aide to President Obama, a former Hollywood talent manager, a former director at Microsoft and Facebook, a former professional soccer player, a former actuary at one of the top consulting firms, an advisor, with equity ownership, in a female founded AI startup and a consultant to Fortune 300 firms, who has been doing this for over 27 years.
Here’s the thing about Masters… They know that the game of Mastery never stops…
And, as George Leonard says, “If you intend to take the journey of mastery, the best thing you can do is to arrange for first-rate instruction.”
I love sharing resources and books that I love. Please note that the links in this article are my affiliate links. If you prefer not to use my affiliate links you can search for any of these titles directly where ever you purchase your books.
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