What is a master but a master student?
And if that’s true, then there’s a responsibility on you
to keep getting better and to explore avenues of your profession.”

-Neil Peart

Master MEL

As a fifth degree black belt, I have the designation of “Master” in the martial art I have studied for over 20 years. Believe me, the title did not feel comfortable at first. I had fears of not living up to other people’s expectations – or worse, my own. It wasn’t until I came to understand the true meaning of mastery, that I could finally embrace the destiny of a Master.

How do you become a Master? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall: practice. Anyone can become a Master, even if they don’t have natural talents or abilities, as long as they are willing to commit time to the practice.

In a world of would-be experts who want to teach us how to hack anything and everything, the question arises: what is mastery? And better yet, why should we care? Some don’t… and that’s okay. Hacking has become the millennial buzzword for a clever quick fix that circumvents and overrides the typical rules.

Mastery is anti-hacking. If you’re looking for a shortcut, the easy route, the fastest way to win at any cost — mastery is not where it’s at.

Mastery is a path. Oh, and did I mention, the path never ends? (Wait a second — whaaat?) Mastery is the endless, goal-less, monotonous practice of the unfamiliar, over and over again. Sounds fun, right?

The path of mastery is a mysterious, even sacred, process of transmuting a skill that was once found to be difficult into something progressively easier and more pleasurable through repetition and practice.

The Master is someone who chooses this path, not expecting perfection, novelty, or recognition at every turn to motivate but rather, the journey is reward, in and of itself. The Master honors ritual and routine, loves the practice and appreciates the subtleties and endless possibilities even in the most basic of tasks.

The Master is one who is willing to try and fail and try again, just for the adventure of it.

For me, the mastery path has had its challenges for sure. I grew up always yearning to arrive at the destination (“Are we there yet?!”), barely enduring the journey to get there. Even now, I’d still rather fly than drive, you know what I mean? However, the path of mastery has been rich, deep and exhilarating. The Master’s path can make even the simplest things more pleasurable… appealing to my hedonistic nature.

What I love about the Master’s path is there are many opportunities to learn and there are also many reasons to celebrate along the way. Perfection is never required, although a good sense of humor and the ability to laugh at one’s self goes a long way! After all, the Master takes risks and is therefore subject to looking silly, even perceived as the fool – which works well for me. I love to have fun and am pretty silly, as you’ll come to know as we get to know each other better.

The other thing that I appreciate about the Master’s path is that you can’t really fail. Yes, there are still goals and bucket-lists and dreams but the emphasis is on the present and enjoying what is now.

How about you? What would you do if you knew you could never fail? Perhaps that is your journey in mastery.


Melodee Meyer aka Master Mel is an international bestselling author, speaker, radio host and mentor who has taught thousands of folks how to love themselves lean, fit and healthy. Her Self Mastery System empowers hungry leaders and passionate entrepreneurs to create the life they want, in a body they love, so they can go out and change the world.

Overcoming challenges in her own life including bullying, bulimia, domestic abuse and life as a single mom, Master Mel uses her expertise in martial arts, psychology, health and fitness to work with women and organizations who are ready for the next level of mastery in their lives. (Is that you?!)

Melodee received her Masters Degree in Spiritual Psychology, is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and is a 5th Dan Black Belt recently inducted into the Karate Union Hall of Fame. She developed the award-winning fitness program, Kickboxers Ultimate Training (getKUT.com), is the creator of Clean KUT Nutrition (CleanKUT.com) and founder of Self Mastery Bootcamp.

Melodee loves to cook, eat and take pictures of food. (Yes, it’s an obsession.) She also loves to livestream, write, teach, and play at Martial Arts Family Fitness, a center she owns with her family in Santa Barbara, CA.


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