Having worked with, coached, and been around many of the highest AUM financial advisors over the past 28 years, I can assure you of two things.
First, they’re lifelong learners. They love to learn new things and do something with what they learn.
Second, they’re disciplined. They know what they want and they’re willing to put in the reps on a consistent basis.
What it really boils down to is they are in pursuit of mastery and they revel in it.
So what do I mean by mastery?
Mastery is not reserved just for Olympic athletes or advisors with $10 billion in AUM. Mastery is not about being the best in the world at what you do. Mastery is not about conquering or beating someone in a head-to-head match. Instead, in my definition, the pursuit of mastery is about private little victories.
It’s about looking at yourself and your capabilities, and engaging in a daily process that flexes your physical and intellectual muscles. It’s about the daily discipline of a process that interests you, that gives you something to look forward to, that floods your mind with feelings of satisfaction and well-being when you’ve completed that day’s mastery practice.
And mastery is a practice. It’s a consistent set of actions that are part of a coordinated whole that’s like an asymptote—pursuing something on the horizon but knowing you’ll never quite touch it.
Here’s the thing. Mastery is not about achieving a goal. Nobody is a master. Even the best in the world at any endeavor is not a master. Why? Because there’s always a higher or deeper level. There’s always “more.” Anyone whose goal is to become a “master” is focused on feeding their ego, not feeding their soul.
It’s about the love of the work, not the love of the outcome.
It’s about a constant state of becoming, not a fixed state of arriving.
It’s about using your God-given gifts to make a difference and challenging yourself to come closer and closer to realizing the greatness within you.
And mastery is not a strategy or a tactic. It’s not a goal that you set. Instead, it’s a mindset, a way of thinking, and a way of moving in your daily life that gives you structure and purpose. It’s a daily practice that is unique to you and is based on what is important in your life.
Think about what’s important in your life that you want to improve. Maybe it’s your health. Maybe it’s your business. Maybe it’s your family relationships. Whatever it is, think about how you can embrace the idea of mastery and then pursue a daily practice of action that, through the action itself, you enter a state of continuous becoming. A becoming that over time moves and shapes you into the best version of yourself.
This isn’t about comparing yourself to others—that’s a recipe for unhappiness. Focus on your personal progress.
Embrace the idea of mastery and revel in the pursuit of it. I firmly believe that all of us need to pursue mastery in some aspect of our lives in order to live a fulfilling life.
As Abraham Maslow said, “If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.”
I’ve found these resources helpful as I pursue mastery in my life:
Mastery by George Leonard
Mastery by Robert Greene
Finding Mastery Podcast by Michael Gervais
Achieving Peak Performance with Barbara Meyer (my podcast)