How to become a master?

Last year I learned to divide problems in urgent ones and important ones. And that you get the best result when you solve the important ones first.

About a month ago I talked about my main objectives to complete before the end of this year. The important one is to accept myself as I am, the urgent one is to be able to express myself through music. Urgent because in a few months I will have my masters exam. Important because I feel that I can’t really express myself when I don’t accept or know who I am. So, the difficulty is to accept myself in order to achieve self-expression.

When I was younger, I thought I was different because I acted differently (and I thought that was my own choice). Now I know I act differently because I am different. As a teenager I liked being noticed because I was different, now I sometimes wish I were normal (although in the end I always realize that being strange is more fun). Because of this change in viewing point, I have a lot of questions about myself

How do I..

– learn to see my qualities as real qualities instead of something out of the normal?

– accept and embrace the fact that I really am different from everybody else?

– accept that other people aren’t able to think and reason the same way I do? [They’re not lazy, they just don’t have the same capacities I have. That doesn’t mean that I am better, they have qualities too, and their qualities are often more usefull than mine.]

– manage to not see myself as a victim, nor as a superior being?

– learn to not always yearn toward acceptation by others (even if I don’t always admit I do that), but accept my own opinion when I think I did something good?

– know what is good enough, seen as I am a perfectionist, but am aware of the fact perfection as I have in mind can’t possibly be reached?

– know when I do good enough, seen as I know that many of my prestations in the past have been lower than my possibilities?

My original objective for this year was “to pass the exam and get my diploma”. I’ve been told that wasn’t really a great goal to work to. But it was a possible one. I wonder if the above is possible or if it can only be that way in my perfectionist mind.

I am, however, more convinced of the possibility of succeeding after reading about the difference of a performance goal and a mastery goal yesterday (in Enjoying the gift of being uncommon, page 117).

A performance goal is about obtaining some well-defined result, like grades at school or production targets at work.

A mastery goal is about becoming proficient – a master – in the process of learning or working.

My original goal, to pass the exam, was a performance goal, and it didn’t give me any motivation. The new goal(s) sounds at times really difficult to achieve, but that only gives me more motivation. It’s not about proving to others what I am worth, it’s about proving to myself that I’m worth being me, and I’m able to keep trying to be better than myself. It’s about learning to express myself in a way that I can say: “This is me; this form of expression shows you a part of my unique identity.”

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