Friday, August 26, 2011

The fear and pain that goes into mastery

What is mastery and how do you know when you have finally achieved it? The truth is that there is not such thing as mastery. According to Daniel Pink's book Drive, it nothing that we can truly accomplish. Mastery is an asymptote. You can get closer and closer and closer but never really achieve true mastery. Even if you spend every waking moment of your life truly practicing whatever it is your doing for the next ten years you will not master it. This is the thing that discourages me the most about doing a senoir project in the first place. How can we display mastery if it is impossible to do so to begin with. The only thing we can do is get close. Even with getting close, there is going to be a ton of work and not enough time to do so. Pink also said that there is going to be pain involved with mastery. To be completely honest, I am horrified at the amount of responiblity I will have to deal with if I even start it. All the due dates and the planning and the teachers breathing behind our backs tell us to “do our best” and “try our hardest”. On top of that we had other class work to be doing and universities to apply to. How do I get over this fear and rise to mastery?


  1. First, I completely agree that when Pink said that mastery was an asymptote and unattainable it brought my hopes down. I asked myself what the point was of trying if one will never truly "master" something, but I think the point is not to be the best around. One has to stop thinking about how he/she compares with others. You shouldn't think in terms of being better than someone else, instead think about being better than you were before.
    As for your fears of not wanting to "deal" with the chaos of college applications, senior projects and typical classwork, the first step is to find something you love/care about and make your senior project revolve around it. That way when it comes time to work on your project, it wont be another grueling task. It will be something to help you get your mind off of the stress that comes with college applications and schoolwork. Your project can become what you do when you need a break from everything else.

  2. What did Pink say? You achieve mastery one day and one step at a time. Don't be overwhelmed by the process before you begin.