As we begin to explore deeper and further our understanding of these virtues, you will notice how they are all interconnected. Or that each master virtue is the product of multiple sub-virtues that every individual must examine within themselves. Wisdom and mastery are both virtues to aspire to, as well as the gateway through which a virtue can be acquired. The wolven virtues, in their most useful form, are not something a man is inherently given. They must be developed and mastered through trial and tribulation.
Mastery is the result of our applied focus over time. The length of the path to mastery is always the same, but how quickly we travel that path is dependant on the intensity of our focus upon it. Therefore, the ability to master any skill is a skill within itself, that can be honed and manipulated for our benefit. Once you gain the ability to learn more effectively, it opens up infinite doorways that lead to new levels of independence. The man who is a master of many skills requires less from others, but also has more to offer his tribe.
Knowledge Vs. Wisdom.
Knowledge is a gateway to wisdom, but acquiring knowledge does not make you automatically wise. Wisdom requires the experience that allows you to make sound judgments in the moment. It is the effective application of previously acquired knowledge. If your mind is a weapon, then knowledge is your ammo. But it is wisdom that allows you to effectively decide what ammo to use and when to use it.
The difference between knowledge and wisdom evens out the gap in human cognitive ability. We all know someone who is brilliant when it comes to memorizing facts, but at the same time, can’t seem to stop tripping over their own feet. Each of us must realize that we are not immune to this fault and that no matter how much we progress, it is necessary to keep ourselves from being blinded by our ego.
The Foundations Of Mastery
Before we discuss a more specific process for mastery, it is important that we acknowledge the traits that will assist you in your success. It is necessary that we not only recognize the following qualities, but also clearly understand what they mean and what they demand of us.
Discipline: The strength of one’s ability to control their body or mind in a habitual way, in order to generate the desired outcome.
Every skill requires repetition to turn it from a hobby into an instinct. The habits required to master a particular skill might vary, but discipline itself remains the same.
Patience: The test of our will’s tolerance for setbacks, delays, or suffering without losing control of our emotions.
Does the man who becomes angry when sitting in traffic alter his situation through his anger? No, his anger doesn’t suddenly part the sea of cars in front of him. Instead, it becomes a self-inflicting wound that leads to unnecessary stress, as opposed to solutions. Mastery requires that we experience failure or situations that test the limits of our patience. A man without patience will spend more time feeling sorry for himself than he will spend working to overcome the areas in which he is weak. This will destroy the intensity of his focus and lengthen the time it takes for him to travel the path to mastery.
Commitment: An oath that we make to ourselves and those who hold us accountable. It is a means of restricting our freedom of action and focusing our energy on a specific cause.
Patience and commitment go hand in hand. Mastery of certain skills could potentially take years to earn. The man who quits too early might be on the very brink of mastery but will never obtain it. Breaking the promises we’ve made to ourselves is a weakness in our focus. It is a way in which we dishonor ourselves and bring shame to our names. Once the wolf sets his sights on his prey, he does not stop until he can taste the sweetness of victory.
Temperance: Our capacity to override natural and automatic tendencies, desires, or behaviors; in order to pursue long-term goals, by resisting short-term attractions.
There will be many distractions on the road to mastery. Often we are presented with temptations that will test the endurance of our discipline. If we fail to resist these temptations, it only serves to directly sabotage our progress. It is the voice that wants you to consume garbage when your physical goals demand strict nutrition. It is the distraction that captures your focus away from your purpose. It is the desire to delay action in favor of immediate comfort. Our choices either lead us towards our goals or away from them. Whether or not you achieve true mastery, or how long it takes you, is entirely up to the choices you make. No one else can take the blame.
The Five Steps Of Learning.
Step One: Acquire the most basic knowledge necessary that will allow you to begin to implement practice as soon as possible.
Step Two: Deconstruct the skill and focus your energy on the factors that are most important to it.
Step Three: Schedule deadlines and times for daily practice, while working towards short and long-term goals. Also, it is highly recommended to ask people to hold you accountable to the goals you have set.
Step Four: Examine your mistakes and self-correct them. Learn from them, instead of expecting instant gratification. Get out of your comfort zone and into unknown territory.
Step Five: Track your progress on a monthly basis and adjust your practice according to your needs.
Ascending To Power.
It is time to give up on the idea of talent, acknowledge your capability to learn, and adhere to the sub-virtues of wisdom and mastery. Strip yourself of excuses and embrace the higher path of the wolf. Hold yourself accountable for your own ignorance and sharpen the weapon of your mind. We live in a time where information can be instantly conjured from our fingertips. What legitimate excuse do we have to allow ourselves to be dependent, incapable, and willfully ignorant?
Odin sacrificed himself on the world tree for nine days to obtain the secrets of the runes. He also removed his eye in exchange for great wisdom. What price are you willing to pay? The answer to that question might very well determine your future.