2007.10.18Mastery1 of 14 Master your profession … in 10 short years. Dr. Bill Garland firstname.lastname@example.org@mcmaster.ca Exec. Dir, of UNENE www.unene.cawww.unene.ca Acad. Dir. of CANTEACH http://canteach.candu.orghttp://canteach.candu.org Prof. of Nuc. Eng., McMaster Univ. www.nuceng.cawww.nuceng.ca Click to proceed at your own pace…
2007.10.18Mastery2 of 14 Hypothesis The only real joy is in doing something well that you value. –Hobbies, family life, etc. Lets dissect this to see what it really means and how it is achieved. –1. What is this feeling of joy? –2. How do you do what you do to feel that way? –3. What does well mean and why is that important? –4. What do you value and why? What does this mean to your studies and to the workplace?
2007.10.18Mastery3 of 14 1a: Joy - the importance of mindset Life is not static. –It is a process involving activities. An activity can feel like work or like play. –Work saps energy. –Play energizes. –Why is that? The same activity can seem like work or play, so the difference is your mindset. –You can control that – sometimes and to varying degrees. –To turn work to play, you thus need a play mindset.
2007.10.18Mastery4 of 14 1b. Joy: feeling the Mastery mindset Its that feeling and mindset when you are into whatever you are doing and lose track of time. –You enjoy the process and it is more like play than work. People talk of being –in the groove –in the sweet spot –in the zone –in the flow The literature refers to this as Flow: the optimal experience This is joy. It applies to human interaction as much as it does to work and play activities.
2007.10.18Mastery5 of 14 2. How to get the flow experience Be in the now –Focus on the job at hand Need to remove distractions –Proceed at the optimal pace Too slow and you get bored Too fast and you get overwhelmed –Strive for quality Master the task at hand Pirsig quote (see later slide)see later slide So this is what you do: proceed with a sense of quality. More than anything else, it is a state of mind. ability complexity The Zone Bored Overwhelmed
2007.10.18Mastery6 of 14 3a. Quality – the primal directive Consider the notion of the daily thermal cycle caused by the rotation of the earth as the basis for the heat engine that unzips and zips DNA - helical sugar - phosphorous strands (the energy stores) joined by cross-link bars (the genes, the information stores). We are energy seeking machines. We have evolved sensors to find and exploit sources of energy. Pattern recognition is, thus, fundamental to what we are and how we survive. We thus have evolved to recognize patterns that lead to the satisfaction of needs. The feelings (sensors and emotions) we have are part of the control and regulation of our actions that seek to optimize success. Good and Bad are thus defined. Rational thought extends the complexity of interpretation of what is Good and what is Bad. Our passion for music, for a hobby,.... for life … is really just a manifestation of the quest for Good and the avoidance of Bad. We value Quality. Passion is the reflection of your inner voice (inner engine) and it needs to be heeded. Else internal stress goes up and, if unheeded for too long, leads to a destructive distress.
2007.10.18Mastery7 of 14 3b: On quality "When one isn't dominated by feelings of separateness from what he's working on, then one can be said to "care" about what he's doing. That is what caring really is, a feeling of identification with what one's doing. When one has this feeling then he also sees the inverse side of caring, Quality itself. I think that if you are going to reform the world, and make it a better place to live in, the way to do it is not to talk about relationships of a political nature, which are inevitably dualistic, full of subjects and objects and their relationship to one another; or with programs full of things for other people to do. I think that kind of approach starts it at the end and presumes the end is the beginning. Programs of a political nature are important end products of social quality that can be effective only if the underlying structure of social values is right. The social values are right only if the individual values are right. The place to improve the world is in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there. Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind. I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle. I think that what I have to say has a more lasting value." - Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, page 290-291, Bantam Books, 1974.
2007.10.18Mastery8 of 14 4. What do you value? Need an overall context – your meaning of life –I have my views – see Nuclear Energy in Context (http://www.nuceng.ca/refer/facts.htm)http://www.nuceng.ca/refer/facts.htm Need to place the current task into your context to give it value You can give meaning to most tasks by –Relating to your goals (your context) if you can, or by… –…treating tasks as opportunities to practice being in mastery mode, i.e. proceed with a sense of quality.
2007.10.18Mastery9 of 14 How this relates to learning Need to set up an environment and a mindset conducive to learning. Need time to learn –Space out the classes to give you time to think and integrate the new ideas into your current understanding. –Use e-classroom to bridge the gap between infrequent marathon sessions necessitated by geography. Master the pre-requisites –Take refresher courses. –Use the e-classroom and online courses. –Self-paced with checkouts. –Build your confidence. Mentorship and apprenticeship –Work with someone more experienced if you can.
2007.10.18Mastery10 of 14 The tortoise and the hare Some people learn slower than others. Some people have lower ultimate capability than others. But a slower person can have higher ultimate capability. Often, a person is slower because he or she is thinking more deeply. It takes time to integrate new ideas into what you already know and believe. So dont be swayed off your path by the apparent speed of others. Time on task competency
2007.10.18Mastery11 of 14 Toward a better learning environment Constraints in industry based courses: –Compressed modules –Diverse backgrounds and readiness levels –Geography –University and industry have different mandates and needs Countermeasures – driven by Mastery considerations: –Give people the time and resources to get up to speed and to keep up to speed Use e-classroom to counter geography and decompress the modules Refresher courses –Professional development courses at the undergraduate level to provide courses of value
2007.10.18Mastery12 of 14 How this relates to the workplace At work, you have goals and objectives to achieve. In goal mode you work toward a future goal. –Enjoyment comes for that brief period after attaining the goal and before you realize that the next goal awaits. –That is a depressing and draining way to live. The irony is that mastery mode gives better results in the long term. –Mastery is empowering and energizing. –There is nothing to stop you from working toward goals while mastering the techniques and carrying out the tasks needed. Important side effects: –This is contagious – others will sense it and value it. As Ghandi said: We must be the change we wish to see in the world. –Remember, your company is seeking quality work and will reward quality.
2007.10.18Mastery13 of 14 In short… The only real joy is in doing something well that you value. –So you should proceed with a sense of quality. Do you agree? What has been your experience? –Think about situations that flowed for you and those that did not. –Can you correlate your frame of mind and the degree of flow? There is no time quite like the present. –What frame of mind are you in right now? –If you are not in the groove, what is stopping you from being in Mastery mode (proceeding with a sense of quality)? –If you are in the groove, what did you do to get there?
2007.10.18Mastery14 of 14 Further reading… Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found at http://www.siliconyogi.com/andreas/it_professional/sol/ complexsystems/FlowThePsychologyofOptimalExperience.html Mastery: the Keys to Success and Long-term Fulfillment by George Leonard found at http://www.vnoel.com/content/view/137/54/ http://www.vnoel.com/content/view/137/54/ Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, page 290-291, Bantam Books, 1974.