Balanced Mastery: setting yourself up for mastery in the new world

You can decide how and where you fit into this new world. Learn new ways to get things done and maybe even leave a legacy of achievement in your own currency
Shutterstock 686332135

Napoleon Bonaparte, self-proclaimed Emperor of France, won half of his major battles and lost the other half. Some argue that more books have been written about him than any other personage in the history of the world.

Napoleon’s famed 1805 victory at Austerlitz (Moravia/Czech Republic), called the Battle of Three Emperors, showcased strategic cunning and military genius as he outsmarted the much larger armies of Francis II (Austria) and Alexander I (Russia).

Like many of us, he could never let go of an achievement that once brought him praise and glory.

Single-focused virtuosos rarely maintain success

History is being written through the lens of a world-wide pandemic destroying lives and wiping out economic progress. Nations restructure while industries rewrite their futures. Now is a perfect time to for you to assess the core purpose of your life and make changes in line with your natural-born humanity. There is a better way to become Emperor of your own world without ravaging a continent and ruining your life.

‘Balanced Mastery’ is a way to polish your achievement while hardwiring balance into your life.

And yes, you can do both—you must.

The Argument

A balanced life opens the curtain to high achievement. Well-rounded people perform better and longer. Ancient, recent and pandemic history show the resilience and grit of being a person with equilibrium in life. Single focused people burn out, flame out or just check out.

Tenets of Balanced Mastery

1. LIFE OUTRANKS WORK: Plain and simple, your life is more important than your work. Our ‘rugged individualism’ and bloated sense of accomplishment at any cost has short-circuited our wiring for being truly human.

2. HONOR TOP 5 PRIORITIES: The number one action anyone can take to combine balance and achievement in their life is to select and honor one’s top five life priorities. These should be written, diagrammed, scored and posted.

3. MIMIC TOP ACHIEVERS: Not just any achiever—pick the ones who have or had ‘a life’ and sustained their achievement over time. You will find that, like most humans, they struggled with purpose and meaning in their lives. Perhaps unlike you or me, they marched ‘steady on’ towards goals with meaning and actions that eventually produced results. And, believe it or not, most had a status quo shattering fiasco sometime in their lives.

4. HABITS FIRST—RESULTS LATER: Build habits that lead to dreams—not the other way around. Dream big all you want, but your daily-weekly-monthly habits will determine which of those dreams will materialize. The delay in results is a test of your fortitude. This balanced mastery tenet will set you apart from amateurs who never learned the value of working hard, staying balanced and then, patiently waiting.

5. “APPROACH” MASTERY: The ‘master’ rarely claims mastery while the amateur proclaims it from the rooftops. The attitude that you are always on the path to mastery is protection against prolonged self-doubt and insulation from the critics living under rocks. As Theodore Rosevelt said, at least you are in the “arena” and fighting hard.

6. DEFINE YOUR CURRENCY: Is your primary measure of success the head, the wallet or the heart? The achiever has a currency of the head; the money maker of the wallet; the giver of the heart. When your personal currency matches that of your nation, your industry, your neighborhood, you will be happy and aligned. If your currency is a mismatch for your surroundings it will be a constant struggle for you to align and find happiness in that setting.

You can decide how and where you fit into this new world. Life will not go ‘back to normal.’ It’s your time to celebrate a unique freedom and hit the restart button. Learn new ways to get things done and maybe even leave a legacy of achievement in your own currency.

Be clear that balance is a tool and achievement is the goal. Confusion on this topic is what brought the ‘work-life’ balance movement to its knees in many corporate settings. Going forward, use the triangle of achievement and infuse your major aspirations with consistency, variety and moderation.

Napoleon obsessed about achieving another Austerlitz. It wouldn’t happen. The defeated Russian-Austrian coalition expanded their alliance against him. With Napoleon’s classic defeat near Waterloo, Belgium, his life spiraled downward. He carried diamonds and poison to escape capture. After a second exile, our single-focused, fifty-one year-old Emperor died of stomach cancer on a rock called St. Helena.

Rick Griggs speaks on Balanced Mastery, The Samsara of Life and his Rolestorming creativity tool. He is a former Intel Corporation training manager. He can be reached at or 970.690.7327.

Categories: Business Insights, Management & Leadership