There is a distinct difference between mastering or just learning. Even if we rarely have the patience to truly master anything any more. In the middle ages craftsmen spent a decade in apprenticeship just to learn how to paint. Nowadays we expect more immediate results. Endless books claim to give us results in 30 days. And if it does not work it is the author’s fault, or society’s or our parents’ genes or fast food’s.
It is liberating to live according to the ‘No Blame Rule’. It is entirely up to us to study, listen to experts, make wise choices and produce results. We have the same information available to us as everyone else and plenty of role models.
In CrossFit there are thousands of success stories and they certainly came from all walks and athletic backgrounds (or lack thereof). If we do not produce similar results it is not CrossFit’s fault, but ours. It is a tough but necessary pill to swallow that we may fail and have to try again but all worthwhile results have that recipe. Mike Burgener would tell you that it takes 5 years at a minimum to be any good at Olympic Lifting. If you are lucky. There is no 90-day plan to weightlifting success. Same goes for gymnastics, endurance running but also our food choices and health. Doctors and coaches are advisors but it is our job to make choices and own them.
It is also true that we cannot possibly master everything so we have to decide what is really important to us and master those, like our health, fitness, finances, relationships and career development. Then agree to the rule that there cannot be others to blame if you fail. Not Lehman Brothers, not the government, not the experts and not your coaches. In the most important parts of our lives we own the results. We may stumble and fail fairly often and that is fine, but we will stick to it and do our best. Which is in turn much much more than some will ever do. And that is our edge.
If we decide that we’d rather be experts at baseball, astronomy or fishing we have to realize that those will be the areas we can be successful in and we may fail in finances, fitness or relationships. We can outsource anything we want to ‘experts’ but cannot expect others to care as much about the results as we do. We must major in major and not minor things. Or we get much less than we deserve. Blaming others for lack of success may give us relief but can never make up for a lower quality of life. Ever. So we’d better suck it up, put in the time and master the things that matter to us…