...A Master Of None.
“I have no master, because if I did, I would be limited to their own shortcomings.”
(but, I think, Alexander the Great—I also paraphrased that one a bit…)
In my life, I have made it a point to diligently (almost disciple-like) learn under as many people as I could who were both close enough to me as possible and the best in their chosen field that they could be. Whether it be the first Canadian UFC world champion, or the most successful yoga studio owner in my area, or the last remaining master teaching Arnis in the place where I had visited in the Philippines; to me, it is always important to chase greatness. However, while chasing greatness, it is always just as important to know when to walk away.
To learn from greatness and to know when you have filled your cup is to know how to be great, yourself. And I don’t mean “learn a bit”, and then go “I’ve got it now” out of arrogance or laziness, but to learn as much as you can until you are truly (only you can know) satisfied enough to move on. I am also, personally, forever grateful to all of my teachers; however, so as to not limit myself to their own shortcomings, I am also not limited to their singular set of teachings, alone.
The world is a very big place with many different minds and geniuses in their chosen craft. The point isn’t to stick to someone else’s greatness, but to learn from it, cultivate it, integrate it into your own daily life—and then: move on.
Perhaps that is also why I keep reading so much... I am always chasing the great knowledge of highly successful people in their chosen philosophies and crafts (those who interest me, at least). I believe you can’t ever really know everything that this world has to offer, so it is always important to take great wisdom, cherish it, and move on with more rhyme and reason than when you first started. Again, the point is to always move on.
As a caveat, if you are someone who I have learned from and are currently reading this, please take no offence. It doesn’t mean I don’t respect you, it just means that I understand that we were all brought into this world with the same level of understanding as everyone else who first came here (which is none) and you have compiled a great skill, which you have graciously shared with me, but now I must move on. In your own life, you had dedicated your time to mastering something and the world (or, at least, my world) is better off for it.
That also being said, if you are currently reading this and you covet something that I know—perfect! Learn from me, understand what it is that I have to share, and then (please) move on.
It’s funny, you know… putting out all of these articles, podcasts, and perspectives into the world, you’d think that I’d want “fans”. I truly don’t. But what I do want is free-thinking individuals who come and go within my sphere of influence and take something away with them that they may have found interesting or valuable during their stay.
The world is a constant flux and flow of motion and ideas. Limit yourself to no one because you are, truly, limitless.
To be a master, yourself, is to recognize other masters for their own unique and great skill—and then knowing when and when not to put on the student cap.
-study hard… but always, always, always move on.