Weekend Reading: Pursue Mastery, Not Status

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading mastery not status Weekend reading mastery not status
Weekend Reading

In today’s society, many of us measure progress through metrics to quantify our growth and overall life trajectory. Whether it’s a bank account total, salary, calories burned, leads brought in, etc., we always have a number to go by.


However, as Lawrence Yeo states, “Measurements give us the valuable information required to track progress, but unfortunately, they also standardize that progress into a universal, almost soulless metric.”

Step off the totem pole: Instead of focusing on the measurement of progress, you might find more fulfillment by shifting your focus toward your experiences in going through that progress. Everything is not meant to be dwindled down to a comparable number. When you’re a “slave to the metrics of attention”, it heightens the need to play the status game and makes it impossible not to compare yourself to others. As such, the antidote to this mindset is pursuing mastery.

March to the beat of your own drum: Simply put, “Mastery is the quest to improve yourself as an end in itself. Comparisons are not made with other people, but only with prior versions of yourself.” When you focus on mastery, you no longer need external validation to feel secure. You have the ability to march to the beat of your own drum, which allows you to instead pull inspiration from others to guide your work. When you ignore the obsession with metrics, you can truly hone in on your own curiosities, interests and pursuits.

And above all – remember: Your success should be measured by your continued growth, not the growth of those around you.