The problem with mastery is, there’s no room left for mystery

There’s more to life than being the best in the world. 

Our culture officially has a mastery fetish. We’re become completely addicted to the pursuit of greatness and creative genius and becoming world class at anything in six months and reaching the upper echelons of power in all that we do. 

Which does wonders for the ego and looks attractive on a resume, but the only problem with mastery is, there’s no room left for mystery. Or humility. Or curiosity. 

Because you have it all figured out. You’ve put in you precious ten thousand hours. You’ve mastered this thing. 

I’m reminded of the apocryphal story of the patent office commissioner. At the turn of the twentieth century, he famously observed that everything that could be invented, had already been invented. 

That’s where mastery gets you. Unable to disrupt your own point of view. Trapped in your own way of thinking. And only accepting the answers you anticipate. It sounds dreadfully boring and short lived. 

The point is, there’s more to life than being the best in the world. What ever happened to searching? What ever happened to not knowing? What ever happened to playing to keep the game going, not just playing because you wanted to win? 

Those things sound far more interesting and challenging and satisfying than simply ascending to the top of the mountain, grabbing the first place trophy and moving onto the next dick measuring contest. 

Mastery is overrated. Shoot for mystery instead. 


Are you treating life as a problem to solve or a mystery to be lived?


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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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