Mastery, by Robert Greene, is one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. The book is important to those who want to be highly skilled because it teaches everything one must do to achieve mastery. Robert Greene makes the book more interesting by using the lives of great folks such as Benjamin Franklin and Michael Faraday to explain how one can attain mastery in any field.
Here are 24 intriguing quotes I picked from mastery.
- ‘Many of the greatest masters in history have confessed to experiencing some kind of force or voice or sense of destiny that has guided them forward.’
- ‘All of us are born unique. This uniqueness is marked genetically in our DNA. We are a one-time phenomenon in the universe – our exact genetic makeup has never occurred before, nor will it ever be repeated.’
- ‘You must understand the following; in order to master a field, you must love the subject and feel a profound connection to it. Your interest must transcend the field itself and border on the religious.
- ‘Scoff at the need for attention and approval – they will lead you astray.’
- ‘If change is forced upon you, you must resist the temptation to overreact.’
- ‘Do not dream or make grand plans for the future, but instead, concentrate on becoming proficient at these simple and immediate skills. This will bring you confidence and become a base which you can expand to other pursuits.’
- ‘Do not envy those who seem to be naturally gifted; it is often a curse, as such types rarely learn the value of diligence and focus, and they pay for this later in life.’
- ‘The greatest mistake you can make in the initial months of your apprenticeship is to imagine that you have to get attention, impress people, and prove yourself.’
- ‘It is better to dedicate two or three hours of intense focus to a skill than to spend eight hours of diffused concentration on it. You want to be as immediately as present to what you are doing as possible.’
- ‘In essence, when you practice and develop any skill, you transform yourself into the process. You reveal to yourself new capabilities that were previously latent, that are exposed as you progress.’
- ‘Although it might seem that the time necessary to master the requisite skills and attain a level of expertise would depend on the field and talent level, those who have researched the subject repeatedly come up with the number of 10,000 hours.’
- ‘To build anything well – a house, a political organization, a business, or a film – you must understand the building process and possess the necessary skills.’
- ‘You must value learning above everything else. This will lead you to all of the right choices.’
- ‘The people in your field, in your immediate circle, are like worlds unto themselves-their stories and viewpoints will naturally expand your horizons and build up your social skills. Mingle with as many different types of people as possible.’
- ‘When you enter a new environment, your task is to learn and absorb as much as possible. For that purpose, you must try to revert to a childlike feeling of inferiority – the feeling that others know much more than you.
- ‘To learn requires a sense of humility. We must admit that there are people out there who know our field much more deeply than we do. Their superiority is not a function of natural talent or privilege, but rather of time and experience.’
- ‘Mentors do not give you a shortcut, but they streamline the process.’
- ‘Masters are those who by nature have suffered to get where they are. They have experienced endless criticisms of their work, doubts about their progress, and setbacks along the way.’
- ‘To make a discovery, to invent something that connects with the public, to fashion a work of art that is meaningful, inevitably requires time and effort. This often entails years of experimentation, various setbacks and failures, and the need to maintain a high level of focus.’
- ‘If you are doing something primarily for money and without real emotional commitment, it will translate into something that lacks a soul, and that has no connection to you. You may not see this, but you can be sure that the public will feel it and that they will receive your work in the same lackluster spirit it was created in.’
- ‘The higher the goal, the more energy you will call up from deep within.’
- ‘You must let go of your need for comfort and security. Creative endeavors are by their nature uncertain.’
- ‘As you work to free up your mind and give it the power to alter its perspective, remember the following: the emotions we experience at any time have an inordinate influence on how we perceive the world.’
- ‘You must always try to work with deadlines, whether real or manufactured. Faced with the slenderest amount of time to reach the end, the mind rises to the level you require.
- All of us have access to a higher form of intelligence, one that can allow us to see more of the world, to anticipate trends, to respond with speed and accuracy to any circumstance. This intelligence is cultivated by deeply immersing ourselves in a field of study and staying true to our inclinations, no matter how unconventional our approach might seem.’
Which of the above quotes from Mastery did you like the most?
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