In order to make rapid progress in a field, it is necessary to follow in the footsteps of masters who have excelled in that same field either because they have had incredible results or because they have succeeded in theorizing and systematizing the steps that led them to a certain degree of excellence.
The Adept Complex
One of the main problems with this approach is that it can lead to the development of the “follower complex”, i.e., on the one hand one idealizes the example one follows while believing oneself incapable of surpassing it.
The follower complex is problematic in that it automatically limits the progress that can be made (corresponding to the level reached by the said master).
Fighting the Adept Complex
To combat this idealization, you need to humanize your model. You have to deconstruct all the myths that may have been developed around her person while trying to “get inside her mind”. It is necessary that you realize that what separates you from this person is nothing more and nothing less than work, dedication, obstinacy, three things that you can develop within yourself. On the other hand, it is essential to find the flaws in this individual so as not to make this person an icon.
You also need to change your name. Do not use terms such as “genius”, “gift from heaven” etc. since this will help you develop a fixed state of mind (or “fixed minset”) that will prevent you from believing in your possibilities of progress.
To deconstruct the master, have several masters
To avoid this phenomenon of “guruisation”, you need to have several examples from which to draw inspiration. By having a multiplicity of models, you will realize or at least, you will know unconsciously that success is possible since many people have succeeded in excelling.
Then, you need to take what is good in each of these models to concoct your own recipe.
Finally, go beyond the master
Then you need to know what will set you apart from these masters: your secret ingredient, your own sauce. If you constantly imitate those who have gone before you, you will only be able to remain in their shadow, which explains why it is more than necessary to think of one or more ingredients that will set you apart and allow you to surpass them.
In order to do this, you need to tap into who you are and be creative, especially through a fluidity of ideas. The fluidity of ideas consists in drawing inspiration from a totally different field to create new models in your own field. For example, using a minimalist approach from the Japanese Zen tradition to create a telephone (see iphone).
When you tap into who you are, no one can outrun you, you have an advantage over others. This work is perhaps the most profound since it implies a very good knowledge of oneself, a nakedness that can be uncomfortable, yet it is the one that all the greats of this world have followed before you.