The Path To Mastery - Embrace The Near Win

Posted on June 11th, 2014

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

Key Ideas

In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

Success is a moment, but what we’re always celebrating is creativity and mastery.

What gets us to convert success into mastery? It comes when we start to value the gift of a near win.

Success vs Mastery

So success is hitting that ten ring, but mastery is knowing that it means nothing if you can’t do it again and again.

Mastery is not just the same as excellence, though. It’s not the same as success, which I see as an event, a moment in time, and a label that the world confers upon you. Mastery is not a commitment to a goal but to a constant pursuit.

What gets us to do this, what get us to forward thrust more is to value the near win.

Mastery is in the reaching, not the arriving. It’s in constantly wanting to close that gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Mastery is about sacrificing for your craft and not for the sake of crafting your career.

We thrive when we stay at our own leading edge.

The near win is inbuilt to mastery is because the greater our proficiency, the more clearly we might see that we don’t know all that we thought we did.

Success motivates us, but a near win can propel us in an ongoing quest.

We thrive not when we’ve done it all, but when we still have more to do.

Masters are not experts because they take a subject to its conceptual end. They’re masters because they realize that there isn’t one.

Coming close to what you thought you wanted can help you attain more than you ever dreamed you could.

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