True Mastery

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I had the privilege of meeting George Morris at Wellington this past week where he was giving a four day clinic on horsemanship! As I watched, I couldn’t help but feel that it was almost the equivalent of meeting the masters who came before his generation, such as Tom, Ray, and Bill.  The way he spoke, the language he used, the explanations he gave conveyed a sense of the eternal quest for oneness with the horse.

When wise masters like this speak, their words are not chosen by chance, but very carefully arranged in a way that will have a positive influence on aspiring horsemen of all levels. Furthermore, these men in themselves are life lessons on how to succeed at whatever your purpose may be, and to me that is the true mastery of any life!

When talking to George I asked him what mindsets or practices helped him progress over the years?  His answer was classic, he chuckled slightly and looked me in the eyes and said, “Time.”  He went on, “not by the year or years, but time by the decade.”  He paused after that and continued talking about the day-to-day routine of reading, continual study, riding, and mentorship!  Only an answer someone with decades of wisdom would give!

It was by far the most meaningful answer I have ever received from anyone in my life. He was saying that there is no magical cure, but the consistency with which you live your life day in and out over TIME is key!  In that moment, I personally felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  While it was the last answer I ever wanted to hear, it was the perfect answer I needed to hear.

I also had the privilege of seeing John Maxwell speak, and something he said I’m still trying to soak in. To paraphrase, live every day of your life in such a way that anyone you cross paths with is so positively influenced by who you are and what you represent that they want a piece of it. While he was speaking about a person encouraging others to follow the Christian faith through their actions and words, it applies equally to horsemanship. And really, isn’t horsemanship a kind of religion in and of itself?

In trying to take and apply that philosophy to the way I work with horses and interact with people, I asked myself would the way I represent the horse make others want to carry on the philosophy which I’m studying myself?  Would the way I interact with others make them sincerely feel more positive about their life?  Would the way I live my life day in and day out influence others to become more than they ever thought possible?

I can only aspire to someday be as influential as the idols in my life.  They are all living or have lived their lives in a way that makes me want to be more like them.  They are models who represent true mastery in their fields through daily dedication to a definite purpose over long periods  of time.  I aspire to enjoy my journey in such a way that I can show my respect for their ideas through my interactions with others and my partnership with the horse. I aspire to be more like them!

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