I just finished Robert Greene’s book Mastery. It’s a fascinating look at how to uncover what each of us is uniquely suited to do in life and how to excel at it. The book outlines the steps we need to go through to develop mastery – from apprenticeships to taking creative risks to trusting the process each and every time we plan a major shift.
But I am not going to kid you, it’s a slog to get through. Very dense with way too many repetitive examples of how Darwin, Franklin, Mozart, Coltrane etc. came to be brilliant masters in their fields. The book may be more meaningful to older vs. younger readers. Having a longer term perspective in looking back at your own transformations is helpful. I’ve recommended the book to a few younger friends and they are struggling to get into it.
But what astounded me most as I was reading the book was suddenly seeing MASTERY popping up everywhere (like learning a new word!). It is even spiking on Google Trends. The concept of mastery has been around forever. But now we are beginning to see Mastery positioned as next level “Expertise.” Everyone is an expert these days but to be a master feels newer and more relevant.
Read on below for four examples of “Mastery” in the culture.
This is a kickstarter project for mastering productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days. I discovered John Lee Dumas on Snapchat. His goal was to raise $25K but he’s already at $170K (more than 6 x the goal).
The mastery system is the Khan Academy’s way of giving students feedback about how they’re progressing in their learning journey. The goal is to measure math knowledge, not the amount of time or effort spent on a particular skill.
Kerry James Marshall: Mastry
This exhibition is titled, Mastry as a brilliant, misspelled rejoinder to the old designation of skilled northern European artists as masters. (Just closed at the Met Breuer, opening next in LA.)
I had not heard of this strategic consulting agency before reading Mastery but was intrigued to see that their focus is transformational technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual reality and blockchain protocol.