Personal Mastery... Selfish? LO17421

Joseph Voros (
Sun, 15 Mar 1998 22:29:56 +1000

Replying to LO17411 --

Tadeems wrote:
> I enjoyed Dr. Joe's response on this thread.
> > The basic premise was that you need to attain personal Mastery before
> > you can be of full Service to others. . . In the context of Learning Orgs,
> > this suggests that personal Mastery is,
> > in some sense, a necessary condition for being able to give full Service
> > to others, un-contaminated by unspoken, covert neediness and
> > expectation, in order to attain an interdependence and synergy with
> > colleagues acting to achieve a common goal (one way of conceptualising a
> > LO).
> That's a tall order, of course. It seems, though, that much of our
> Personal Mastery comes about as we struggle to be of service to others.
> I'm not sure it can be worked towards or achieved fully separate from
> Service. In my experience, my more significant (or at least noticeable)
> gains in the area of mastery came about as a result of my interactions
> with others; I think mastery supports and is a necessary condition for
> service, and in turn service provides new opportunities for mastery at a
> different level.

Hmm. I think I might need to uncover more of my mental model of what
Personal Mastery is.

To my way of thinking, Personal Mastery is a *process* not necessarily a
destination. That is to say, I do not envisage ourselves suddenly arriving
at some mystical state called Personal Mastery; rather, I imagine that
Personal Mastery is the series of actions, habits and beliefs with which
we move forward in our quest to become "better." As we dis-engage purely
egoic reactions and start to become aware of how our programmed responses
can control us, we can have a choice about whether we wish to continue to
allow the old programs to run, or to short-circuit them with another

So, that is what I mean by attaining Personal Mastery. At some stage we
start to realise that we can "have our stuff" and get on with things,
rather that letting our stuff "have us" and staying stuck. This is not to
suggest that we will never have stuff; just that we can learn to move
through it more quickly to get to somewhere more useful than being on our
programmed behavioural treadmills.

Thus, I agree with what Terri has said. Action and Service are the
training grounds to discover what covert patterns run us. Recognising them
and moving beyond them is a large part of Personal Mastery. Needless to
say, we resist discovering things about ourselves which we don't like, and
tend to see it outside of ourselves. This is why Jung had something to
call Shadow and Projection :-)



Joseph Voros <>

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