Mastery – by Robert Greene

Mastery by [Greene, Robert]

Love the book, and the author. This book describes the process of going from Zero to Master in any field. Takes about 10-20 years to develop full mastery.

Practical insights center on your attitude: how you view yourself, how you view work, and how you view pushing outside of your comfort zone. If you develop a view of yourself as unique, with special desires and interests, of deep work and focus as incredibly stimulating and worthwhile; and of pushing conventional ideas to the limit, then you’re on your way to becoming a master.

Step 1: Discover your calling

  • Look at what used to interest or excite you as a child; focus on that
  • Try to find a niche in your research, a place that you can occupy
  • Actively rebel against anything trying to push you towards something you don’t want to do
  • Reapply the skills you’ve already learned into something new and exciting

Step 2: Start an apprenticeship

  • Observe the rules of your new environment or field
  • Acquire the basic skills you need to do well in this new place
  • Experiment with different ways of doing things
  • Value learning over money
  • Go outside the conventional study
  • Assume you don’t know anything
  • Learn from your failures
  • Advance through trial and error

Step 4: Study under a mentor

  • Choose a mentor that suits your needs and inclinations
  • Make their ideas your own

Step 5: Develop social intelligence

  • Pay attention to nonverbal communication
  • Look out for the 7 deadly realities: envy, conformism, rigidity, self-obsessiveness, laziness, flightiness, and passive aggression
  • Make sure your work speaks for itself with adequate proof or illustrations; don’t waste time trying to defend your ideas
  • See yourself as others see you
  • Don’t try to change fools; just accept them and use them if you can

Step 6: Push the boundaries

  • Pick a creative task, a project, that excites and interests you
  • Cultivate negative capability (the ability to hold the opposite view in mind)
  • Give your brain space to make connections with the information you’re taking in
  • Use imagination to create unique hypotheses, use scientific method to test them; make this a back and forth
  • Think beyond language in terms of images

Step 7: Solidify your mastery

  • Develop a finger-tip feel
  • Play to your strengths (avoid your weaknesses)

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