One of the five disciplines ,which Peter Senge has included in his list of Five Disciplines in his famous book(The Fifth Discipline) is Personal Mastery.I have not tried to find out the sources of Senge's ideas.But every time I come across his writings, I am reminded of Yoga Sutra of Patanjali .Both Yoga Sutra of Patanjali and The Fifth Discipline of Peter Senge have personal mastery as one of the ideas in common .Personal mastery is personal growth and learning.
Is it possible for every one or any one to achieve personal mastery? Yes, though the goal is not easy to achieve .It is not correct to expect grand and instant character transformations.Any such expectation will be a mistake and will breed cynicism.The goal of personal mastery is a life long goal.One has to take this goal seriously , if one wishes to achieve it .Peter Senge describes in his book strategies to achieve personal mastery , some of which are:
3.Telling the truth.
4.Remaining connected to others (compassion)but simultaneously retaining one's own individuality.
Yoga Sutra describes five ethical disciplines (yama) for personal mastery:
5.Non -coveting and non-possessiveness.
Yoga Sutra also gives five Rules of Conduct (niyama):
1.Purity and cleanliness.
4.Study of the Self.
5.Dedication to the Lord.
To the above list of Patanjali . certain additional yamas and niyamas have been added by latter thinkers after Patanjali.
Additional ethical disciplines(yama);
7.Fortitude ,non-giving up in adversity.
9.Non-hypocrisy or sincerity.
10.Measured diet(Neither over-eating , nor under-eating)
Additional Rules of Conduct(niyam);
6.Belief in God.
7.Charity ,sharing with others.
9.Thinking and reflecting to understand.
10.Religious and social ceremonies.
In addition to the ethical disciplines and Rules of Conduct ,Yoga Sutra also prescribes the other six parts of Yoga:
1.Control of breathing.
2.Withdrawl of mind from senses and external objects.
5.Super-consciousness-being one with the object of meditation.
If we compare carefully , all the strategies of personal mastery mentioned by Peter Senge are included in Yoga Sutra.In fact , Yoga Sutra tells us many more methods to attain progress in personal mastery.
We should not only pursue in our quest for personal mastery , we should also encourage others in our neighbourhood and organizations in their quest for personal mastery.It will help in making our own self,our society and our organisations stronger ,more prosperous and peaceful.