Mastery by Robert Greene is the one most influential book I have ever read. There is so much golden material in this book that it is difficult for me to sum it all up in a short article. I highly suggest reading this book if you are at all motivated to increase your emotional, social, and overall intelligence in any field of work. I will go over the 6 key points that the author describes on how to obtain mastery in any field that you choose.
How to Become A Master In Your Field
To Robert, Mastery is a simple process to implement when followed correctly. You do not need to be especially gifted or have certain advantages that others do not possess. In the book, he says that all you need to do is enter a career path that you love. Find something that sparked your curiosity as a child. Here’s an easy task: think back to your childhood and recall what you spent hours and hours doing without realizing that time was passing by. Once you can find that love, passion, or desire, then it becomes second nature to stay focused in that field. You will find it enjoyable to act as a sponge and absorb every bit of knowledge you can about that particular passion. (Having trouble finding your passion? Contact me) As a general rule of thumb, after 10,000 devoted hours – your creative powers will emerge as you become a master. Sushi chefs, such as 85 year old Jiro from “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” (available free on YouTube), describes the desire and passion to master an art form. As simple of a technique that sushi is, like any art form, you can dive in as deep as you want to master the art form – and chase perfection your entire life.
Key Point #1: Discover Your Life’s Task
Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. We’ve all heard that saying before, just like we all have a predisposition or a calling toward some type of activity or task. Why spend your life doing something you hate? That makes absolutely no sense to me. I understand that you have to pay your dues to get where you want, but settling and losing sight of your calling is a direct way to become a depressed person. According to Robert Greene, not offering your gifts to humanity through your value and talent is one of the most selfish things you can do. To find your calling think back to when you were young: What did you spend hours upon hours doing with time just seeming to fly by? Do that!
Key Point #2: Submit to Reality (Ideal Apprenticeship)
There are five steps to getting the most out of an ideal apprenticeship. This is the arena where you gain knowledge in the field and learn the prerequisites. Resort to a childlike sense of curiosity so you can absorb all of the relevant information just like a sponge. Here are five checkpoints to determine if you are on the right path.
- Value Learning over money: Choose a place that challenges you to learn and grow from failure with a mentor that you can look up to, and that you and their personalities align.
- Keep expanding your horizons: Always want more. While in the apprenticeship you must always look forward and continually invest in yourself. Inevitably there will be time when you move on and go on your own. Just as a bird leaves it’s nest – so should you spread your wings and soar. Keep a watchful eye on your future, and take that leap.
- Revert to feeling of inferiority: Have a sense of wonder and curiosity, don’t assume you know everything. Everyone out there has something you can learn from them. Drop your prejudices and preconceptions. Hunger to learn more. It is impossible to learn everything this universe has to offer in several hundred lifetimes.
- Trust the process: Boredom goes away once you enter cycle of completion and Mastery. Frustration is often a sign of progress, even when you think it’s not. It means you are forcing yourself to grow once you hit a road block. Move forward!
- Move toward resistance and pain: A plant typically doesn’t grow unless it has to reach for the sunlight. Put yourself in uncomfortable positions that your emotions don’t agree with. Enjoy ambiguity and unsureness. Challenge yourself today to overcome tomorrow’s challenges!
Key Point #3: Absorb the Master’s Power (Mentor Dynamic)
Your mentor has gone through and has experienced a lot more mistakes than you have. A simple rule of thumb to be a “Master” in any field is to make every mistake possible in that field. Use your Mentor’s lessons for yourself to avoid potential errors they already learned from experience. Admiring your master and respecting them allows you to more easily fully absorb what they will teach you. Well, what in return can you offer your Master? You offer a youthful vibrant energy that brings him back to his younger years.
Caution: Be wary. Your mentor may fall in line with family dynamics. You will see him or her as a mother or father figure. Because of this, as you grow, they may start to criticize you or try to demean your confidence. Don’t fight or argue with this part of reality. Becoming emotionally hurt when this inevitable event occurs will only stunt your potential growth. Remove yourself from their criticisms as person attacks. See these criticism as opportunities for growth.
Key Point #4: See The People As They Are (Social Intelligence)
Social intelligence means seeing people in an objective and realistic light.
Avoid the Naive Perspective: This perspective is seeing people as good or bad and arguing with what they do or have done to you. Do not see people emotionally, and thus subjectively. Look at their actions in objective terms to get a clear picture of who they are and what they want. Think logically and fully grasp who they are. This subjective understanding often stems from your family dynamic and a lack of empathy on your part. Do not think of peoples’ actions as either bad or good. Judging someone’s actions is like getting mad at a bird for singing. It is just in their nature. Practice more acceptance with others and see how much easier your life becomes.
A way to do this is to see peoples’ actions in their over-compensatory nature. If someone is overly bold then they are most likely insecure. If someone overly compliments you then watch your back. They may be scheming to get close to you and then take advantage. To avoid this yourself you must speak through your work, become a social chameleon, and see others’ negative traits in yourself.
Key Point #5: Awaken The Dimensional Mind (The Creative-Active)
Once you reach this stage you must constantly strive to improve your work. Do not be satisfied with the status quo. Start to find connections within multiple fields. Look for life’s paradoxes and try to solve them. Reality is deeper and more complex than we can ever possibly perceive it. Your brain is like a muscle. If you do not use it then it will atrophy away. Revert back to your childlike curiosity of not knowing anything, and being in awe of this universe we have been allowed to play in. This will allow to fully absorb information and not have assumptions. Leave your ego at the door. The non-assumptive stance leads to our ability to fully learn and grasp that field. This is the same approach that narrative therapists take to understand their clients, and how exerts push the envelope and make new discoveries in science, math, and nature.
Key Point #6: Fuse the Instinctual with the Logical (Mastery)
Trust your instincts. What does this mean? Do you think Kobe Bryant, Lionel Messi, or Derek Jeter consciously think about what they do in the game? These players all make split second decisions in which there is no logical way that they can take the time to examine every aspect of the ball, other players, or even their own decisions. It is instinctual. How do their brains allow them to connect with their bodies so well and produce such awe inspiring results almost magically?
The simple answer is this: Mastery. Once we accrue Mastery with roughly 10,000 hours of experience, our brains just naturally take over and know exactly what to do. We have encountered every type of scenario thousands of times and our mind and body are synced. We enter a flow state and everything becomes natural. Masters are able to enter this state more easily than others. The action you are taking has become second nature to you and you have full power and control over your environment and reality. This is man’s true purpose in life. We are meant to expand our knowledge about the universe to be able to learn about its truths and master them.
Enjoy this article? Check out the book by Robert Greene: Mastery. Also, don’t forget to comment below!