The hierarchy of mastery

Like progressing through Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs toward self- actualization, a professional ascends a hierarchy of skillsets on their way toward creating their works of art, sharing their masterpieces, or delivering their unparalleled service.

As it goes with Maslow’s needs, mastery of the lower fundamental levels unlocks and sustains possibility to perform at higher levels. A failure to meet basic needs inhibits the person’s scope of vision past strategies to get the basic needs met. For example, if you don’t have oxygen, you won’t care much that it’s your partner’s birthday or that you just got a promotion, or anything at all other than air.

Once you have sustenance and safety, you can then progress to focusing on strategies to meet your needs for acceptance and love.

It is action and service from the highest levels on the hierarchy that have inspired change and shaped our world.

The Hierarchy of Mastery, beginning with the most fundamental:

Master your health – If your health distracts you, the tendency is for selfish thought and frequent interruptions to a flow state, the state where true artistry and mastery emerge.

Master your home & work environments and systems – Work is where you perform your emotional labor which is required of those on the path toward mastery. Home is where you recuperate and integrate. Have your environments create ease in your mind and body. Ease is the ideal state for both performance and recuperation.

Master your self-talk – It’s impossible to listen to the needs of others when you can’t control the voice in your head. Learning the skills of self-empathy and mindfulness allows you to show up calm and collected in the face of a challenge. Decisions made with intention and integrity in these moments define the character of the professional and build trust and confidence in yourself.

Master your compassion for others – The ability to imagine another’s perspective and to have empathy for their experience fuels the most profound acts of service and the most life-changing innovations.

Contribute your masterpiece Creativity is the essence of actualization. When your health is no barrier, your mind is at ease, and you are connected to the needs of those you’ve chosen to serve, the work you do and the service you give is the ultimate expression of human potential.

This is artistry.

This is true service.

This is mastery.