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BeachBrokerBill's Blog

By BeachBrokerBill | Broker in Encinitas, CA

Trulia, Focus and Mastery

I have visited Trulia for some time, but only recently signed up with them.  I find it to be a great resource not only for leads, but also for valuable insights from other agents across the country. This is particularly valuable for me as I work for a retired broker who's hey day was the late 80s and 90s and prefers to focus on his book writing at this time.

Speaking of focus, I have found that Trulia has also enabled me to do exactly that when before all the distractions and drama of life in general prevented me from really sitting down and drilling into what I needed to think about to be successful.

A recent discovery I wanted to share was a website called www.life-engineering.com . I never meet Rusty Lindquist, the site's author and owner, but I find his perspectives and the information he provides to be fascinating. We originally crossed paths in cyberspace on the opposite side of an issue.  The company he was representing was getting slammed by bloggers and he was doing his best to respond in a customer service friendly way.  What intrigued me was the level of thoughtfulness and insight each of his messages contained. So I learned that he had this other site he dabbled with and I check it out and was really impressed.

Back to focus!!!! I have been "a jack of all trades, a master of none" for many years. As I said, Trulia has allowed me to focus on real estate. When I am not online, I find my mind thinking on its own about new post ideas, about comments I have made or received, about my profile, my leads, etc. and invariably, new ideas pop in my head. I feel this is the focus that will help me along the way to achieving higher levels of success. So I wanted to share a blog entry of Rusty's from his website www.life-engineering.com, because I think focus leads to mastery and as you will read, mastery is a very significant component of life. I'm not sure if all his links work in his article - just go check out his site.

The pursuit of mastery, and the mastery asymptote


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in his poem “A psalm of life” (here), wrote the following:

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.

I think what he is talking about, is the pursuit of mastery.

The pursuit of mastery brings purpose to your endeavors. It provides meaning for the things you do, and can be a powerful filter in prioritizing the things you choose to spend your time on.

When life becomes too full of those things that don’t lead to some sort of meaningful mastery, you find yourself without a sense of drive, motivation, or passion. You become disengaged, discouraged, and even depressed.

If you find yourself experiencing this, you should pause, back up, and ask yourself what mastery you’re currently pursuing, and how your daily tasks are contributing to that mastery. If you can’t answer the first question… pick something you value, and pursue it. If you can’t answer the second question, you should reevaluate the activities that consume your time (read here about consumption).

When you’re actively pursuing mastery (and measuring your progress), you naturally experience added vigor in life. It gives you direction. Things are clearer. Decisions are easier.

What’s more, you find yourself intrinsically motivated to keep moving, to keep driving. (It’s a self-fulfilling mechanism built into the neurological workings of your mind… more on this later).

To truly benefit from the pursuit of mastery however, you must first understand something about the nature of mastery. You must accept from the beginning, that you’ll never get there.

In the book “Drive” by Daniel H. Pink, he describes what he calls the Mastery Asymptote.

First, an asymptote is the mathematical (algebraic) description of a curve that approaches a line, but never reaches it.

He says:

Mastery is an asymptote. You can approach it. You can home in on it. You can get really, really close to it. But… you can never touch it. Mastery is impossible to realize fully.

The joy is in the pursuit more than the realization. In the end, mastery attrracts precisely because mastery eludes.

The pursuit of mastery and the Mastery Asymptote

When you accecpt the inescapable nature of the mastery asemptote, you realize the joy isn’t in the destination (which will forever elude you), rather, it’s in the journey. The joy is in all the little wins, the little discoveries, the gains you experience along the way.

Curiously, that’s precisely how our brains are designed – to offer rewards (in the form of dopamine and norepinephrine – two neurochemicals released when we experience success) that we crave to repeat. And it’s the small wins along the way that cause this biochemical reinforcement that gives us the “drive” to keep moving.

Think, for example, if someone plopped you down on the summit of Everest. Sure, you might temporarily enjoy the magnificent vista, but it wouldn’t hold even an iota of the meaning as if you had gotten there on your own. It wouldn’t even come close.

Having neglected to invest the effort, You would have forfieted the associated or resulting strength of body, mind and spirit. You would have cheated the challenge of the journey and by so doing robbed yourself of it’s inherent joys, pleasures, and lessons.  And the destination, would mean substantially less.

So what matters, as you pursue mastery, is to not put so much stock in the destination, that you fail to appreciate the value and joy of the journey.

This mental paradigm simultaneously prepares you for the failures that will inevitably accompany your pursuits. Because armed with this understanding, you realize that your failures do not define you. The effort and direction you sustain does.

In short, to experience the greatest joy, purpose, and fulfillment from life. Pick something meaningful to master, pursue it with vigor, and remember that though you’ll never get there, the more you try, the more fulfilled you will be, and the more you’ll enjoy it.


By Derek Eyring,  Sun Oct 17 2010, 02:43
Whoa! That's technical. Cool if that's your thing. I'm more of a pragmatist. Get up, brush your teeth, put your gear on and go tackle a new day. It's not hard, some days are better than others. Some are not so good at all, but there's something to be said for just making a little dent in the pile day by day. Action begets action.
By GARY HARMON,  Sun Oct 17 2010, 09:26
Wow! That was long. I am not saying it wasn't good or great, but on a blog I believe anything over about 300 words and you have lost your audience. They are off to someone else's site. Just my thought.

How long should a blog be? What do others think.
By BeachBrokerBill,  Sun Oct 17 2010, 09:41
Gary - Totally agree it was longer than usual...but in Agent 2 Agent, I worry less about that. Thanks for stopping by.

Derek - I am with you Derek on action. I just find when I can focus my action toward objectives and not be distracted by life swirling around me or at least minimize that distraction, the bigger the dent I can make in that pile!

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