Lesson in Mastery from Snowboarding Teen Genius Mia Brookes

Today we are going to hear a lesson in mastery from snowboarding teen genius Mia Brookes. We are always in awe when we are witnessing artists or sports personalities who perform their art or their sport at the highest level of performance and competition. However, we often assume that creativity and brilliance just appear out of nowhere, the fruit of natural talent or perhaps an alignment of the stars. Not quite. Those high performers have reached this level of performance through a process called Mastery.

This article showcases a recent demonstration of Mastery by the British snowboarding teen genius Mia Brookes who made history on 27 February 2023 at the world freestyle skiing and snowboarding championships in Bakuriani Georgia when she became the first woman to ever land a CAB1440. [I didn’t know what a CAB 1440 was until recently, more on this later – keep reading to find out.] This exploit earned her the title of Women Slopestyle Snowboarding World Champion of 2023.

This article is written jointly with Alexandre Levy who was on the ground in Georgia witnessing this historical event and who reached out to me to write about it. Alexandre’s bio reads as follows: “I am Alex. It took me 38 years to finally get connected with my real nomadic self and start cycling around the world. In my previous comfort zone life, I used to work in sales for a language service provider, now I am my own mercenary discovering a whole new world of possibilities and challenges.” You can follow Alex’s adventures around the world by following him on Instagram @ecosamurai7.

Lesson in Mastery from snowboarding teen genius Mia Brookes

Giving all you’ve got and conquering your discipline on your first world championships at the young age of 16!

On 27th of February 2023 in Bakuriani Georgia, Alexandre Levy was on the ground witnessed history being made at the world freestyle skiing and snowboarding championships, where 16-year-old Mia Brookes (from England) defied gravity, and kept her composure throughout the whole run, to win the world championship but also make history along the way.

How did Mia Brookes make history? By becoming the first woman to ever land a CAB1440 double grab – four full frontside rotations while grabbing the board. A jaw-dropping figure that brought all the spectators and commentators to be completely blown away from what was happening in front of their eyes. And as if this was not impressive enough, this was her first world championship.

In slopestyle snowboarding, each rider gets given two runs; the strategy is to take the maximum risk on run 2 once you know that you had achieved a good score on the 1st run.  And that is exactly what Mia did, giving everything she had, realizing her ambition, and not letting any excuses nor obstacles or her young age get in the way of glory.

Not only did Mia scored a hammering 91.38 points, but she also scored her name in the history books of slopestyle snowboarding discipline, as a pioneer who has landed, (pardon the pun) on newfound lands of performance and achievement at the tender age of 16 years old. In comparison. runner-up Zoi Sadowski-Synott, Olympic gold medalist and previous world champion is 21 Years old and scored 88.78 bronze medalist Onitsuka Miyabi is 24 years old.

What can we commoners draw from this young warrior of the Xtreme Snowsports? There is always somebody who will beat a record, push back known boundaries, and establish a new feat. Lebron James became the new all-time best scorer of the NBA, Novak Djokovic has claimed 378 weeks as world tennis #1, add to this list Mia’s 1440 feat.

Could it be that 2023 is the year of new horizons for humanity?  I say, let’s watch and learn. Let’s all be inspired by these athletes to do better every day, and to keep working at our craft. To become a Master in our field.  

Lesson in Mastery from Robert Greene

In Mastery (2012 ), author Robert Greene argues that everybody can achieve mastery of a skill or field if they follow the established steps of historical and present-day masters. He describes Mastery as creative power and excellence that shows you’ve fully grasped your discipline.  It involves technical proficiency and social know-how. He believes that you achieve mastery when you bring those skills together with reason, intuition, and experience.

Robert Greene explains that Mastery can be nurtured in 3 phases.

  1. Apprenticeship. This is when you learn the basics of a certain field.
  2. Creative -Active. With immersion and practice you deepen your understanding of the field and experiment with your own methods.
  3. Mastery. You have such a high level of focus, knowledge, and experience that you can see the full picture and can achieve spectacular results. It typically takes 10,000 hours of intense practice or about 20 years to attain the required combination of skills, knowledge, and intuition.

What is extraordinary about Mia Brookes is that she achieved Mastery at the young age of 16. Take away a couple of years and here and there to give her the time to learn how to walk and discover snowboarding then you have in front of you a snowboarding genius, who showed up, did her thing, and made history.

Mia Brookes on making history.

But let’s hear from the woman herself. Let’s hear what Mia Brookes had to say about how she prepared herself for the championship and who gave her the best advice so far.

You often hear athletes getting ready for a big event by doing a lot of visualization, breathing techniques, and meditation. For Mia Brookes none of that. She got into the zone in her own style. Just before she hit the slopes, she was listening to hard rock music (Rage Against the Machine and Metallica!).  She said during interviews afterward that she knew when she started the 2nd run that she had already done enough to finish on the podium so she went full-on for the 2nd run. She said: “I knew everything would be alright. That I just had to trust myself and believe in myself. I could feel it was going to happen.”

Mia Brookes gives credit to Jamie Anderson a two-time slopestyle Olympic gold medalist for her calm mentality. “Jamie has been my hero for a while now because of what she’s achieved, her mindset, and how she deals with stressful competitions. Whatever the environment, she always just seems to be really chilled out and really calm. Jamie gave me a letter a few years ago saying if you are grateful and happy you will do well in whatever you’re doing.”

And this my dear friend is Your Quest.

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon, or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

Want Good Things to Happen to You? Try Patience

Want Good Things to Happen to You? Try Patience

Good things do come to those who wait.”

Abraham Lincoln

People don’t like being put on hold, waiting in line, or getting stuck in traffic. In the olden days you had to wait for days for a letter to reach you through the post. Now you can send a text message across the world in a few seconds and expect a response back to you coming from the other side of the globe in no time. 

We are living in a world where easy 24/7 access to technology, laptops, smart phones, regulate the speed at which we want things done.  The expectation nowadays is for things to happen instantaneously; and when it doesn’t, we get frustrated even angry. According to a 2007 study conducted by Fuller Theological Seminar Profession Sarah A. Schnitker people who exhibit impatience and irritability tend to report more health problems and difficulty sleeping.  Being patient is a virtue that has been forgotten. In this article, I would like to help you get re-acquainted with this concept and to help me do that, I have sought advice from Mother Turtle.

Great Turtle Spirit, I seek your lessons of tremendous patience

Seeking Wisdom from Mother Turtle
  • Great turtle spirit
  • I invite you into my life
  • I seek your lessons of tremendous patience.
  • I seek your lessons of the shore
  • Lead me along that place
  • Where water touches earth,
  • The space between movement and stillness.
  • Remind me that I carry all
  • I need with me at all times.
  • Awaken my senses
  • So that I am prepared for
  • Opportunities as they arise.
  • Help me trust that all happens
  • When and how it should.
  • Shield me from harm and share
  • Your primal wisdom.
  • Please, help me remember that
  • My home is with me wherever I go.
  • Mother Turtle
  • I call to you.

The Turtle Prayer was written by Travis Bowman and published in Native History Magazine in 2013. The turtle is a sacred creature among Native American tribes. The Turtle represents longevity and teaches us the meaning of time, it encourages us to slow down the pace of our life, to be mindful, and present and to think carefully before we offer our thoughts or opinion on a particular subject. It is all about the power of divine timing and the ability to wait in a constructive manner and not to rush the results. The magic is found along in the journey as well as at the destination.

Turtle encourages us to slow down the pace of our life, to be mindful, and present

The Turtle represents creativity and abundance. Her motto is, use what you have and start where you are. Turtles are omnivorous, they eat almost anything that comes along their path, whether it be ants or a wide variety of plants or fish, and even occasional small mammals. They remind us that we are surrounded by opportunities that feed us along our path, but most people are too busy rushing around from one thing to the next to pay sufficient attention to what is right in front of their eyes. Be adaptable, awake your senses.

A turtle shell is its home and protection. The turtle reminds us to withdraw into ourselves and examine our feelings when we are bothered by the actions, inactions or words of others, and when we are getting impatient in a fast-moving world.

Patience is a gift when given or received

What is waiting? It is essentially experiencing a certain period of time without any rewards.  We have all heard of the famous marshmallow study conducted by psychologist Walter Mischel at Standford University in the early 1970s, where researchers offered four-year-olds a marshmallow now or two marshmallows if they waited for 15 minutes. In that study, most children tried but failed to wait the necessary 15 minutes in order to have two treats; but for the small group of children who had enough will power to wait,  the study demonstrated that those children had higher test scores and a healthier body mass years later.  This study demonstrates the benefits and power that delayed gratification can have on our lives.

The Marshmallow Test

Waiting can drive you crazy, make you irritable, angry, frustrated, unhinged, but at the end of the day those roller coasters of emotions will not affect the outcome one inch. If things are not happening as fast as you expected it, the best thing to do is to go with the flow and make the extra time count for something. Patience doesn’t mean passivity or resignation; it doesn’t make you a doormat or unable to set boundaries with people.

Patience is power.  It is a way for you to practice emotional freedom. You can choose to be annoyed and frustrated by the delay or you can choose to use the time  and turn it into something productive.  It is your choice.  It doesn’t come naturally but you can learn to transform frustration and adversity into patience.

Patience is essential to daily life and might be the key to a happy one. Having patience means being able to wait calmy in the face of frustration or adversity. So anywhere there is frustration or adversity, we have the opportunity to practice it.”

Dr Judith Orloff

For people who have little patience, all is not lost, patience is a skill that can be improved with a little bit of practice. Recent studies have been conducted in order to find out what can be done in order to increase patience; and as it happens, it all depends on the value of the reward, a person willingness to wait patiently for a reward will increase if the reward is large enough. Most people will wait for the newest-soon-to-be-released iphone because it makes total sense to wait a little to get the latest version instead of rushing to buy an old model now.

In public it is the impatient one that grabs all the attention, but patience is a skill that you practice quietly, behind close door, just like professional athletes who step away from the limelight taking some time off to heal their injury so that they can come back stronger, step back into the arena and compete another day.

To reach mastery you need patience

In the olden days, if you wanted to enter a profession you will have to find a master who will be willing to take you under his wings and enter into an apprenticeship to learn the craft.  The normal length of an apprenticeship was 10 years; learning the craft required patience, discipline and dedication. The modern concept of this is the 10, 000 hours required to master a skill as described by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers.

Robert Greene calls this Mastery. He wrote a whole book about it.

Anyone who would spend ten years absorbing the techniques and conventions of their field, trying them out, mastering them, exploring and personalizing them, would inevitably find their authentic voice and give birth to something unique and expressive. Embrace slowness as a virtue in itself”.

Robert Greene

We have a tendency to want to take the quickest, easiest path to our goals, we are impatient and want to see results quickly, but remember “there is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” The best way to cultivate our natural impatience is to cultivate a kind of pleasure in pain – like an athlete, you come to enjoy rigorous practice, pushing past your limits, and resisting the easy way out.

And this, my dear friend is your Quest

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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.