For the Iron Exec's out there however, I would like to posit that mastery is essentially the only goal worth devoting your life to. Note, I am not suggesting what you should master. It doesn't matter if it is origami, powerlifting, parenting, public speaking or coaching. All are entirely plausible and deserving of mastery. What is however critical as modern members of a functioning society, where we have the luxury of seeking such mastery in diverse things, is that we do not waste the opportunity to actually reach the level of mastery in your chosen area/s.
So what therefore is Mastery? One way to demonstrate that you have mastered something, and I want to be clear is not the only way to demonstrate mastery, is the ability to explain the area you have mastered as if you were speaking to a 10 year old, you could help them understand. What does this entail? Well it requires an innate and intimate knowledge of the area. Lets say you were a master Marketer. Your ability as a master Marketer would be displayed in your articulation of marketing and all it entails to a 10 year old. You would be able to discuss Market Orientation, SWOT analyses, developing Strategic Objectives, tactical planning and execution in such simple terms that a child could follow it.
Mastery is also that intangible piece that everyone else can sense, feel and see. When you see someone with Mastery you know it immediately. Just like Walter Payton said "When you're good, you tell everyone. When your great, they tell you!" People with Mastery of a subject or activity very rarely will brag. Their actions, their behaviours, even their demeanour will ooze Mastery.
Michael Jordan when he was in "His Zone" had Mastery of the game of Basketball. Kevin Hart doing stand up has Mastered entertaining and being humorous. Kirill Sarychev with a 335kg RAW bench press is a master of that lift. Julie Bishop, Australian politician has mastered the ability to be witty and concise at the same time, Cailer Woolam with a world record deadlift at 100kg of close to 420kg's has clearly mastered that lift. All of these people can rightfully claim to have mastery. You won't likely recognise all or even any of these names and this is an important point in and of itself. If you are looking to master something to win fame and fortune then you have missed the point. Mastery of your chosen area is for you. The fact it can bring joy to others, such as a spectator watching Jordan play basketball is great, but not one of these Master's did it for someone else's pleasure. They all developed Mastery because it spoke to them. They recognised perhaps they had a talent and then enjoyed that talent and wanted to see how far they could take it. It's also possible they didn't have a natural ability for their particular thing. They may have just really loved that thing and it made them feel alive. The point is it isn't about external recognition.
The reason you should seek Mastery is ultimately because when you're gone, I'm sorry to say, it is highly unlikely you will be remembered. This is just another reason for why Mastery should not be to gain external validation or approval. The truth is, it is incumbent upon you to make the most of what you have and what you want to work on. Then put your heart and soul into that thing and never stop learning and striving to improve. When your last day does finally then come, you can at least face this day with your head held high that you did all that was within you to make the most of what you had.
Go after that record squat, work like no one has ever seen before to to build that business or practise that magic trick until everyone believes it is real. Whatever it is, seeking Mastery is a genuine path to a life full of meaning and contentment.