The process of mastery - Dealing with plateaus

July 9, 2023

George Leonard's book "Mastery" discusses embracing a process of continuous improvement and growth. In it, he introduces a concept that is relevant to learning shorthand: that of the "Plateau." This is a stage where upward progress seems to halt, or stagnate.

The plateau can be frustrating and demotivating for individuals who are seeking continuous improvement. It is often during this phase that learners may feel stuck or question whether they should continue. It is vital to understand, however, that plateaus are completely normal and often occur after a period of rapid improvement. Every Teeline shorthand student has been there. Instead of being viewed as a problem, plateaus should be seen as a period of consolidation, where the mind and body are integrating the new skills or knowledge acquired during the previous phases of learning.

This consolidation period is essential for building a stronger foundation before further progress can be made. Plateaus also provide an opportunity to revise your knowledge. By identifying weaknesses and experimenting with different strategies, individuals can expect to break through the plateau and reach new levels of performance.  

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" - Mary Anne Radmacher

While plateaus can test one's patience, it's necessary to remain dedicated to the process and trust that progress will resume with continued effort. Patience is key during this phase, as it may take time to experience a breakthrough and start making visible improvements again.

Remember the old saying: "Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better."

Embracing a learning plateau is essential for sustained growth and long-term success. Rather than becoming discouraged, view it as an opportunity to refine your skill, deepen your understanding, and make subtle adjustments that will lead to additional breakthroughs and new levels of proficiency.

By recognizing the plateau as a normal part of the learning process, learners can remain committed, patient, and persistent in their pursuit of mastery. It is through consistent practice, dedication, and a willingness to push through the plateau that individuals can overcome stagnation and continue their progress towards mastery.

Always remember:

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