Robert greene walks readers through the process of achieving mastery, teaching them how to tap into their potential so they too, can become masters. This book combines practical knowledge and wisdom, reveals the secrets of greatness from geniuses over history. “Mastery” is filled with interviews from nine leaders in their fields, analyzing their lives, and the lives of accomplished people before them in the arts, inventors, scientists, activists, entrepreneurs to tease out the secrets of their success.
My key Takeaways from “Mastery" by Robert Greene
Takeaway #1 What Is Mastery?
Mastery is when your mind and/or body responds automatically, usually witnessed during an emergency situation. Mastering mastery is to get your mind and body acting as one every day so that you can dismiss focusing on the details to see the big picture; you don't need to know the how, you just do it... Whatever that 'it' is for you. Animals act in this way all of the time, they don't stop and ponder or second guess themselves out of something! It's thought that our ancestors didn't either, it's only since us humans developed critical thought that mind and body have become separated. When mind and body become one again you will be able to reach a new level of understanding and skill which will unlock your own inner genius allowing you to accomplish many great things in your chosen field.
Unfortunately, due to social pressures, many people suppress their desires and uniqueness in order to blend in with the crowd. They don't follow their inner calling whether that's a desire to paint, write a novel, teach, or cure diseases. Know that the little voice inside of you is always right, get brave and follow it!
Takeaway #2 Seek Practical Knowledge Over Money
When people seek out a new job they're usually chasing more money and/or a better position or title. Rarely do they take a new job because of the opportunity to learn and spend time working at their inner calling but this is where mastery can be found. Practical knowledge is invaluable and will guide you to better money and a prestige title later on. Know that it's ok to reject opportunities that others will call you crazy for missing out on to go back to the basics. Just look at Charles Darwin for inspiration, he turned down a place at medical school and a well paid job in the church to go study exotic plants and animals as an unpaid naturalist onboard the HMS Beagle which is where the theory of evolution began!
Having a mentor can work wonders in helping you learn something new, they will be able to save you time and money ensuring you stay on track and don't make the same mistakes they did. But for the relationship to work well, the mentor must be someone whom you truly admire and someone who is willing to take you under their wing, happy to share all of their knowledge with someone eager to learn.
Takeaway #3 Step Up To & Out Of The Box
There will come a day when you outmatch your mentor, this is when you start moving forward on your own with a wide open mind that's free of fear. You'll need to imagine you're a child again, one who can easily believe in mythical creatures and who questions everything that adults take for granted so that you can think in new ways, be open to solving problems, and challenging the rules already in place.
Thankfully it is possible to train the brain to think outside the box, you just have to broaden your mind at every opportunity, leaving the narrowmindedness behind. No longer can you be a creature of habit, doing things on repeat simply because you or others have always done it that way. Remember that trying too hard to solve a problem can have the opposite effect too, get your creative mind away from the problem by doing something else such as taking the dog for a walk and you might find you have a Eureka moment.