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If the most satisfying rewards are the intrinsic ones, striving for mastery, for artistry in your work, becomes a joyful end in itself. “Making it” is an illusion. You never get there. There is no there there. Imagine how dull life would be if you did “arrive” and just sat by the pool all day. I could take a week by the pool, mind you, maybe even two, but a life of leisure with nothing to strive for, nothing to keep you sharp, sounds miserable.

John Mayer expressed practically the same sentiment as Coltrane’s:

It’s only fun when you’re trying to get it in your grasp. It’s like, you know, once you catch it, throw it back in the water then catch it again. That’s really what I want to do my whole career. -John Mayer

Comfortable? Got it figured out? Time to get busy upping your game, mastering something new, starting from scratch, striving.