What Makes the Master, a Master?


The story goes that Pablo Picasso once sat in a bar in Paris, having his lunch.
A woman who recognized him came over and asked him “excuse me sir, aren’t you Pablo Picasso?”. As Pablo confirmed, the woman handed him a napkin and asked “can you please draw something for me?”.
Pablo took the napkin and got to work. 10 minutes later he was done and as he handed over the napkin back to the woman he said “that’s €10.000”.
The woman looked flabbergasted and said “€10.000? But it took you only 10 minutes to draw that!”. Pablo looked at the woman and said “Yes, but it took me 25 years to know how to do this in 10 minutes”.
We often don’t see what makes somebody a master.
As we tend to only see the results of mastery, we don’t see how many hours they’ve put in when no one was looking. We don’t see the doubts, the struggles and the personal battles. We only see the results and figure that this person must be born a genius or have some special DNA or talent.
And we figure that they must be special and we’re not.
The truth is that this person, before becoming a master at his craft, started doing things in a different way long before it became visible to the world. The results just showed up for the world much later.