A carpenter, who was new at the trade, asked the salesman at the lumber yard if he had any 2x4s on hand. "How long do you need them?" asked the salesman as he pulled out a measuring tape. "Well, we're building a garage," the novice replied, so I guess we'll need them for a quite awhile."
Everyone starts out a rookie but no one stays there long. People either drop out of their field or move on to some greater level of competence. A few, very few, go on to master their field. If you are striving to master your field, remember the words of Randy Marsh: "The power of your ambition depends wholly on the vigor of the determination behind it." What you accomplish will depend on the amount of energy, enthusiasm, and will power you put into the effort.
Here is some of what it takes to master your field:
Someone jokingly said, "I like work. It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours." Of course, to grow in your field requires effort. There is no development physically, intellectually or professionally without effort. And effort simply means hard work. It has been said, "It takes the hammer of hard work to drive the nail of success." You cannot short-cut your way to skill and success
The will to be your best is important, but to master your field takes the will to prepare. Joe Frazier, former heavyweight boxing champion, once remarked, "You can map out a fight plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned. And that means you're down to your reflexes - which means training. That's where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning - you'll get found out now under the bright lights." Muhammad All put it this way, "The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."
Almost nothing can take the place of gaining experience by slugging it out year after year in your field. If you talk to some people about their career experience, they'll say something like, "If have 15 years of experience." Further probing reveals they changed companies every few years without taking on many new challenges with each change. So in reality, they have 3 years of experience repeated five times. Of course, you can change companies and still grow in experience. Whether you advance where you are or change companies, make sure you are being stretched by new challenges and responsibilities in your field.
Someone said, "You had better live your best, think your best, and do your best today -- for today will soon be tomorrow and tomorrow will soon be forever." If you haven't mastered your field yet, just remember: it is never too late to become what you might have been. Get to work.