|Why don’t I feel serenity?
|Cartoon from Hugh MacLeod, Gaping Void
Mastery is a journey; not a destination. The journey begins whenever we decide to learn a new skill. In the book Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment George Leonard writes about the ways in which mastery leads to greater satisfaction and excellence. He notes that mastery is not reserved for the super-talented. Anyone can travel this path.
Those on the path to mastery enjoy the practice just for the sake of practice. Even when the work is frustrating, or seemingly not moving forward towards a defined purpose, it’s still enjoyable. Every step along the way is meaningful, even though the pay-off isn’t quick or easy.
|How to win with so many choices?
People who win the lottery don’t feel successful.They feel lucky. And thrilled. But the thrill wears off and they go back to feeling mundane. Sometimes they even feel guilty. It turns out that ‘having it all’ without having found an underlying purpose is not really that satisfying.
can’t go down all paths simultaneously. And since the journey towards mastery is long and slow, you can’t go down too many paths sequentially either. So you must choose; then put on blinders to everything else. Otherwise, you become what Leonard describes as a ‘dabbler’ (yard-long resume filled with 1-year stints) or a ‘hacker’ (passable tennis player, but nothing more) or an ‘obsessive’ (sacrifices enjoyment of the journey for getting to the end result as quickly as possible). In other words, keeping all options open may lead you to become the infamous “Jill of all trades; master of none.”