As the fable goes — there are three paths for each of us, to become:
The Old Fool: the person who chased external rewards and pleasures.
The Bitter Old Fool: the person who chased external rewards, but didn’t get enough.
The Wise: the person who searched for insight and wisdom.
Likewise, the path of mastery captures deep understanding and insight — it’s not a path that is laying a bet now, by investing in a craft, for payment or recognition at some later time. The spoils of victory might just happen, but the orientation of the intent is paramount.
Today we are becoming overwhelmed with the need for instant reward, immediate verification that we are significant — as a misguided attempt to satiate our thirst for meaning and belonging — rather, we are propelling ourselves toward an emptiness that can only be filled by temporary pleasures.
Our need to belong, to understand, to explore, to connect to others and the world around us, to know safety and to know risk, to express and create are foundational to the human experience.
Mastery is a journey — It’s a curious and wonderful trail — that has few, if any, guides. It’s much more than the pursuit of expert performance. It’s far deeper than high performance and the achievement of success.
If Mastery is a path, let’s learn from as many voices as we can. The best in the world, from worlds who happen to have camera’s pointed at them — AND — from the worlds in which no camera is present — either by design — or because culturally we might have forgotten to be curious about their path and insights.