252 – Leading as Masters

The master has his own way and no one understands him. He is a master, after all. Teachers are for understanding, but masters are for improving. The way of the master remains a mystery that dazzles all who behold. Thinking that you understand proves that you need a master to remind you by sheer demonstration of his own skill that you know absolutely nothing.

The master might have you haul buckets of water or punch a bag while he goes about his own training. You may think that he doesn’t notice, but he gauges your form out of the corner of his eye with accuracy you can’t fathom and subtlety you’d never suspect.

Only with time, diligence, frequency, and old age can you reach the stage of the master. In some ways, you have the status of a master. Usually, the best way to handle those difficult situations is to see where you are already a master.

Once a man asked how much money I made. I told him it is bad form and bad luck to disclose income. When he suggested some numbers I smiled, chuckled, and told him specifically how cute he was. I may not be the master by the social numbers, but I was certainly the master in the moment in the art of saying, “No.”

When people push you, just “master” right back at them. A little comedic superiority could lighten a heavy mood, only a sissy would be so offended, as many shed tears in the shadow of the master.

Above all, the master knows only to teach what he has mastered. Being a young master is most difficult because one has mastered so little in one’s youth. Knowing what you can’t teach is a hard pill to swallow when you know that you can’t teach most anything because you’re not a master yet. So, first master yourself: Look down your nose, straighten your back, and say with lazy confidence, “I should never even try to teach such a thing since I’ve not mastered it yet.”

Never serve dual masters and never sign up for dual loyalties. Choose your skill, study its master, and only teach what you’ve done.