One of my favorite joys is seeing the work of a pro. I'm okay at a lot of things, primarily driven by sufficient confidence to try things and curiosity to learn. But some people are absolute pro's — at a level that seems almost incomprehensible. The difference in output is not just one of speed, though they are usually more efficient. A pro can accomplish something that normal people wouldn't be able to, even given as much time as they wanted.
George Leonard offers this short book about this very idea: becoming this sort of person, who has absolute mastery of a domain. The way I've framed it is actually incorrect, though. Mastery is about the journey, not a destination. In some ways, it's a state of being, not a state of accomplishment. Leonard talks about archetypical failures from people who fail to become masters in a discipline, and offers several keys and themes about building mastery.
It's an enjoyable read, and given me a lot to think about.