Mastery & the Goldilocks Rule

2 min readJun 5, 2024


Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash

When you do something that’s too easy for you, you might get bored and leave it off.

When something is too hard, it might become so difficult that you’d have to leave it.

How do you find the middle ground between these two?

That’s the Goldilocks Rule.

The Goldilocks Rule

This is about maintaining motivation, and achieving peak levels of desire, only when you work on things that are of manageable difficulty.

What’s the difference between the best athlete and everyone else?

At a point, it all boils down to the person who is able to endure the boredom of training everyday.

That’s also what makes the difference between professionals and amateurs.

For amateurs, on days that they are not interested or it doesn’t feel right for them, they might not show up.

But professionals always find a way to show up, even when they are bored and have no motivation.

Even when they don’t need to show up, they still show up.

It’s also by showing up every time that you gain mastery because you keep repeating the same habit.

On mastery

The best way to profit from mastery is not by doing the same thing every time.

But it’s by increasing your achievement every now and then.

Get better a little every time.

Also increase the difficulty of learning the moment you become better at this thing.

The greatest threat to success is not failure, but boredom.

Mastery is a combination of habits, plus deliberate practice.

How do you ensure deliberate practice? And how do you review habits and make adjustments?

Through reflections and reviews?

Refine your identity

Don’t be safe, but be tender with your identity.

Instead of saying, “I’m an athlete,” you can say, “I am the type of person who is mentally tough and loves a physical challenge.”

The aim of presenting it this way is so that if anything happens or life changes, or you find yourself in another situation, you’re not going to be glued to your belief about yourself.

You’ll be able to shift with the moment and adjust to a new situation.

You need to be self-aware. And the only way to be self-aware is to do reflections and reviews at times that you choose.

If you’ve followed this far, I hope you’re having a great time?

1 more day to go.

Subscribe here to get the next summary in your inbox.

Share this with everyone who haven’t gotten a chance to read Atomic Habits but would be interested in a book summary.

Catch you in the last summary.

This is Day 12.

Make your comments, ask your questions and let’s start a conversation in the comments section.




Techie. Writer. Mentor. Teacher. Editor. Entrepreneur. Growth Marketing