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

The Secret to Survive and Thrive in This Crazy World Is That, There Is No Secret

Wherever we are in the world, we all want the same thing. We all want to survive and thrive. We want to be happy, healthy, and wealthy. Surely, there must be a secret to get to this Eldorado. I’ve got news for you: the secret to survive and thrive in this crazy world is that, there is no secret.

We are living in a world where everybody’s life is on display for all to see. People will generously display on their social media their amazing lifestyle, careers, looks, clothes, six packs, etc, for all to see. There are two ways to react to those picture-perfect images: they can either motivate you to wake up, dress up, show up and do your thing or they can make you feel like a total failure and red with envy.

We have a tendency to describe certain successful people as lucky because they just happened to be born with talent (that eludes the rest of us) and that talent and maybe a certain amount of luck, is what ultimately made them succeed. Certainly, talent and luck play a role, but if we look a little closer, we will find out as Thomas Edison famously said that “success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

Success is an iceberg. What people see on the surface: confidence, wealth, beauty, relationships, seniority, often don’t see what is hiding below: persistence, failure sacrifice, disappointment, good habits, hard work, and dedication. Some people will pay a tremendous amount of money to get access to gurus, life coaches, influencers in order to obtain their secrets. I repeat. The secret to survive and thrive in this crazy world is that, there is no secret.

The secret to survive and thrive …

The secret to survive and thrive in this crazy world is that there is no secret. Photo by Look Studio via freepik.

All the information we need to survive and thrive in this crazy world is already out there. The only skill you need to find this secret is to know how to use a laptop or a smartphone, and then you need the drive to do something with the information you found online. There are two types of people in this world, marathon runners and sprinters.

Marathon runners are those who are curious enough to observe the world they live in; they ask themselves questions and take the time to look for some answers. Once they have the information, they act upon it. Then you have the sprinters who get excited at every shiny object that sparkles in the distance. They are attracted by the prospect of quick success, they start the race without preparation or training, they lose interest quickly because of the lack of preparation and also because they are lagging way behind the experienced sprinters who spent years working on their skill. So, they end up stopping this race early on deciding to wait on the sideline for the next shiny object to present itself in front of them.

Those who survive and thrive have the fortitude, discipline, willpower, and patience to work on the information they have gathered. Every day they wake, up, dress up, show up, and do their things. Those who are struggling are those who complain all the time, think of themselves as victims, they want the rewards without the pain, they lack discipline, patience, and willpower.

“Timing, and perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”

Christopher Isaac, Co-Founder of Twitter.

The secret to survive and thrive in this crazy world is that, there is no secret

The secret to survive and thrive in this crazy world is that there is no secret. Photo by Look Studio via freepik.

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.

The motivational speaker Les Brown articulated the concept of struggle and adversity pretty well. What he explained in one of his memorable speeches is that one of the greatest tragedies of our time is the way we perceive success:

“We perceive success as the belief that successful people just happened to be successful because they were lucky enough to have been born with some talent and that talent is what got them there, and destiny is what brought them to the finishing line. That belief is wrong because that kind of thinking takes the journey, the struggles to get to the top of the mountain, the setbacks, the pain, the fear and throws it all out of the window.

It completely mitigates what is most important. In the real world, it doesn’t matter who you are. You are never entitled to a result. Victory is a product of the fight and the biggest favor you can do yourself is to progress through life’s ups and downs and keep fighting the fight. Struggle is perfection in progress. It is a sign that you are in the midst of what separated the great from the average.

It is a necessity, and it is the most important step you will ever take because 99% of people cannot see past it. The world sees struggle and hardship as the time to pack their bags, to walk away, to be intimidated.”

Les Brown

Everybody knows that in order to have a healthy body you have to eliminate toxins as much as possible from your environment, eliminate tobacco and alcohol, eat healthy nutritious food, exercise and keep active. This information is no secret. It is out there, and it is available to everyone. Those people who walk around on the beach in their bikinis with a toned body and a six-pack didn’t get there by accident, they worked on it days in and days out. They didn’t take a secret pill that gave them a fit body overnight, they honed their skill quietly and patiently.

The expectation nowadays is for things to happen instantaneously; and when it doesn’t, we get frustrated even angry. Being patient is a virtue that has been forgotten. We should get re-acquainted with this concept. In public it is the impatient one that grabs all the attention, but patience is a skill that you practice quietly, behind a closed door, just like professional athletes who step away from the limelight taking some time off to heal their injuries so that they can come back stronger, step back in the arena and compete another day.

And this my dear friend, is the secret recipe to your success.

The Secret to survive and thrive in this crazy world is that there i sno secret. Photo by Vectorup Studio via freepik.com

Personal Note

DDI Chat – Personal Growth – One-to-one Chat with Joanne Reed

In addition to publishing my articles on my website, I have also been publishing on Medium. I have been working closely for the past months with Data-Driven Investor (DDI) Publication.  DDI has recently launched a new marketplace/platform where people can book a paid one-to-one session with an expert of their choice.  DDI asked me to join their panel of advisors/experts in the Leadership, Coaching, and Personal Growth category.  Here is my profile. If you wish to book a one-to-one chat with me you can do so on this platform.

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

Everybody Is As Lost as you are. Nobody has it figured out

I wrote an article recently titled Why being confident matters, the main idea of the article is that being confident matters a great deal because it acts as a protective shield. Bullies and predators’ favorite types of victims are those who are weak, easy to conquer, and less likely to put up a fight. If you are walking in the street with your eyes on your feet and hunched around, you broadcast to the world your vulnerability; but on the other hand, if you stand up straight with your shoulders back, if you walk tall and stare forthrightly ahead you broadcast to the world that you are solid, ready to face whatever life is throwing at you, and you know where you are going.

The question is do you know where you are going? Do you know what you want in life? Do you have your future all figured out? Most of us would no doubt visualize our future as being bright and happy, with success attached to our name, living comfortably with people we love around us. This is what most people want, right? But how do we get to that picture-perfect-happy place?

Everybody is as lost as you are

Social media is full of people looking their best and leading a ‘perfect’ life, but nobody really knows what’s really going on behind the scenes. Things may look pristine on the surface, but pretty messy underneath. Moreover, you never know what it took for people to get to where they are, all the hard work, all the rejections, the sweat, the tears, the setbacks, the doubt, the number of years it took them to become an ‘overnight’ success.

Nobody has it all figured out because life rarely works out as planned. Having a plan and doing everything you can to implement it is always a good idea; except that things happen, unexpected events, delays, setbacks are bound to show up when you least expect it and mess-up your plan. All those things could take you down a path that you did not envisage and certainly didn’t plan for. This said, being rigid about the plan is not going to help.

Everybody is as lost as you. Nobody has it figured out, but I am very good at making plans, and I stick to them – Photo by http://www.slon.pics via freepik.comking plans

Remember the points I made in this other article I wrote titled Rules to break: Make a PLan and Stick To It . On one hand, making plans and sticking to them is a good idea because it encourages discipline and demonstrates one’s ability to persevere despite difficulties and setbacks. As a general rule being disciplined and persistent is a good thing. Whatever you do, give it your best shot and try it long enough to figure out whether it is a goer or not. If you quit too early and too often, you may never see your efforts pay off.

On the other hand, you have to have enough foresight to see that sometimes your ideas and vision don’t match reality, and being stubborn about it can cost you more than just pride. There is no virtue in sticking to the plan merely because it’s the plan. Sometimes you have to adapt, pivot, and rectify the plan if and when necessary.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck

Dalai Lama

Being lost and not knowing where you are going in life may fill you with a sense of dread, but instead of panicking, pause for a minute or two to have a conversation with yourself to try to figure things out.

Nobody has it all figured out, but you can start with your why to make sense of it all

In 2009, Simon Sinek gave a TED talk called How Great Leaders Inspire Action; in this talk, he invited business leaders to start with why. The talk went viral which gave Simon the perfect excuse to turn the 19 minutes talk into a whole book titled Start with Why. The core of the book centers around the Golden Circle Concept. There are three parts of the Golden Circle: Why, How and What. Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why does your company exist? Very few people can clearly articulate why they do what they do. How is your process and it describes the specific actions you have to take to realize your why. It is your unique selling proposition. What is the result of the why, it is the products or services that you sell.

Everybody is as lost as you. Nobody has it figured out, but I found my passion – Photo by http://www.slon.pics via freepik.com

Knowing your why gives you the highest level of confidence you can get: I know it is right. If you want to find out why you are lost and try to figure out where you want to go, you should start with your why, which will become apparent to you as soon as you trust your gut feeling and stay true to your cause or belief, your passion.

It is right for people to want to live their lives with passion. The problem is that people believe that their passion is hiding somewhere, maybe behind a tree or underneath a rock. We should be first and foremost passionate about life itself. The truth is that our passion comes from doing things right. Get into the habit of injecting passion into all the things that you do. If you do this consistently, a time will come when something stands out above all the other things, that is the thing to devote more time to doing passionately.

For those who have found their passion but feel discouraged by the lack of validation and recognition, my advice would be to stop focusing on the outcome and start focusing on the work itself. Pursue the things you love doing and devote yourself on a daily basis to practice and hone your art until people cannot take their eyes off you.

Everybody is as lost as you are. Nobody has it all figured out but you can start with your why to make sense of it all.

And, this my dear Friend, is your Quest.

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.

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code

Insignificant, Yet Important

Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it because you can’t know. You can’t ever really know the meaning of your life. And you don’t need to. Every life has meaning, whether it lasts one hundred years or one hundred seconds.”

Mahatma Gandhi.

This quote from Mahatma Gandhi is profound in many ways, it teaches us that the insignificant is important, and who we are and what we do have an impact on people around us and on the world at large; we have more influence than we think.

The insignificant is important because small choices + consistency + time = significant results.

Have you heard about the concept of compound effect? The compound effect is the strategy of reaping huge rewards from small, seemingly insignificant actions. Darren Hardy wrote a whole book on this fascinating subject. Success is doing half dozen things really well, repeated five thousand times. Your life is a result of your moment-to-moment choices and the compound effect is the operating system that has been running your life whether you know it or not.

Compound Effect. Photo from Alfah via freepik.com

Small changes done consistently each day can add up to a big reward further down the line. The doubling penny example illustrates this point quite well. If I offer you $1 million dollars right now or a penny that would double in value each and every day for the next 30 days, which would you choose? Most people would jump at the opportunity to grab $1 million and make a run for it. However, if you spend a little time thinking it through, you would be better off choosing the second option. If you double a penny every day for the next 30 days, you will end up with $5.3 million dollars. Sure, you may be thinking nobody knows where I would be in the next 30 days, I may be dead, so might as well grab $1 million now. The chance is, you will be perfectly fine and alive in the next 30 days and if you opted for the second choice you would be sitting on $5.3 million dollars. Not insignificant!

The insignificant is important because no man is an island

Every life matters because we operate within a chain of existence where everything we do or don’t do affects our environment and the people we interact with. Every person you come in contact with is somehow impacted by your presence.

Today you wake up happy and in a good mood, ready to make the most of the day ahead of you. You go out of your building, cross path with a stranger, and decide to hold the door for that person to let him in the building; that gesture will likely trigger a positive reaction from that person who will smile back, say thank you, and wish you a pleasant day. Good manners go a long way and can create a positive ripple effect. So now we have two happy people out and about with a smile on their faces.

At the end of a stressful day in the office you come back home, you are tired and in a bad mood. You walk towards your building, cross paths with a stranger by the front door, and lash out at that person for being in your way. Your lack of civility will have a ripple effect on that person’s mood and you may have just ruined the rest of their evening. So now we have two unhappy people out and about with a grumpy expression on their faces. Those examples show that you have the power to make someone‘s day a great day or a shitty day.

Insignificant, Yet Important. Photo from Alfah via freepik.com

The majority of people go about their daily life without considering the impact their words or actions could have on someone else. Our impact on others is largely unconscious. We do things without considering the repercussions or even realizing that our actions and words matter. We dish out our opinions on social media without a second thought about the possible ripples effect that our comment may cause to someone. We wrongly believe that our words and/or actions don’t matter that much because who are we to think that we have the power to shape the world around us?

This belief is wrong. Each and every one of us has a great deal of power over our environment, there is no doubt that we can have a positive or a negative impact on this world through the choices we make every day. You do not need to be famous or wealthy or write a book to be influential. Assuming that you don’t live under a rock, you will be surrounded by family, friends, colleagues, random people you come in contact with all the time, and this in itself gives you some kind of influence.

Do not underestimate the impact you have on others. The impression you leave on this life and on others is your legacy, and this in itself is a big deal. Be intentional about the way you live your life, because that is your legacy.

“Please think about your legacy because you are writing it every day.”

Gary Vaynerchuk

It’s the little things that count. Way too often, we just stop. We stop trying, stop caring, stop moving. For sure accomplishing great deeds of valor is a worthwhile pursuit, but at the same time, we should not underestimate the power of doing small acts that are just and right, a touch of a hand, a smile, a kind word, and doing them over and over again, no matter what; those are the things that count. Insignificant, yet important!

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.

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code