Pursuit of Mastery vs Pursuit of Success

I saw a really nice note on a menu at a popular Vegan restaurant in LA (Elderberries). Here is the picture of the note –

friday note

The note got me thinking about the notion of Success vs Mastery (phrase borrowed from another friend). Here are my thoughts –

Success Mastery
Definition Success is the accomplishment of a goal, and the title that the world confers upon us on achieving the goal Mastery is not a commitment to a goal, but rather a commitment to a constant relentless pursuit to better oneself
Time Success is absolute and represents a moment in time Mastery is ongoing
Failure The pursuit of success has a binary outcome. There is no notion of near wins. If you don’t succeed, you have failed The pursuit of Mastery results in continual improvement with no notion of absolute failure. Even a near win takes you closer to achieving Mastery
Ending Upon achieving success, ones journey ends The journey towards Mastery is never-ending


Entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors relentlessly pursue Mastery and never experience failure. Success merely becomes a by-product of this pursuit.  The pursuit of Mastery involves the celebration of near wins, for even when one does not achieve their goal, one gets a step closer to Mastery. The pursuit of Mastery has no notion of “failure”.  Edison’s famous quote in his continuous attempt to try and find a suitable material for a filament of a light bulb encapsulates this philosophy – “I have not failed. I merely found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

Go forth and pursue Mastery in life. You will never experience failure, and success will follow you automatically and continuously 🙂


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