There is no master who was born as a master. Every professional was once an apprentice. Those who do their learning well, became better masters while others remained mediocre always. There is no shortcut to mastering an art, skill, or area of expertise. One can succeed by accident, but cannot master anything by a chance. Therefore, success does not depend upon learning and knowledge, but expertise does.
Hundreds of examples who we consider the greatest success in their fields provide evidence of hard-earned proficiency. A sportsman, an actor, a singer, a politician, a writer, or a poet - take any of them, they are masters of their craft by a lot of introspection, hard work, and self-analysis. When others are sleeping, they work. When others accept average, they strive for excellence. This is in their nature to not be satisfied with average work. Therefore, they keep putting up efforts to achieve better and better. Finally, it results in the best.
Some people say they are born, but actually they are burned, burned out day and night, to become the glittering gold that they are. Without attempts and efforts, their skills do not shine. Without dedication, their inherent ambitions do not flourish. Their constantly burning desire to achieve a level of excellence makes them master of their pursuit. Their attention to detail and ability to devote time in achieving perfection is one of the main reasons they are so polished. They are busy refining their artistry when others have already finished the job and shelved it. The aptitude to accept only finesse is the fuel for their persistent productivity.
The following three steps can help in achieving mastery in any field:
1. Seeking apprenticeship: When you want to learn something new, seek the guidance of a person who has already achieved expertise in it. One does not have to keep making mistakes and correcting them if there is someone to direct. Investing time and money in learning is the most beneficial investment on the path to achieving mastery.
2. Put up extra efforts: The only difference between an amateur and an expert is their willingness to put an extra hour of effort into the same task. Who searches for an easy way, can never be a monarch of his field. That requires an ant-like dedication to keep walking and keep working relentlessly to stock for bad weather.
3. Unlearn and re-invent: If you keep doing what others are engaged in, there is no chance to do anything special. To be different from others, it is important to unlearn what apprenticeship has taught you and be open to re-invent your skills for a new outcome. However, the skills gained through hard work and learning will always become the base of your new and creative skills.
And, I am not including it in the list, but the desire to achieve mastery is the most important requirement. If one does not wish to progress towards perfection, there is no point in working on any of the three points.