I like to read, both online and offline. Every once in a while I come across something truly remarkable. Recently I discovered one such book, and I can’t help but write a few words about it in a form of strong personal recommendation.
Mastery by Robert Greene – Introduction
In the book Greene dives into the lives and minds of great old masters like Leonardo Da Vinci, Mozart, Darwin, Goethe, Einstein – but also many contemporary ones like boxing coach Freddie Roach and USAAF fighter pilot ace Cesar Rodriguez.
He connects arts to science and sports and shows us there is a lot of of common ground there.
Greene’s goal is to discover what common attributes stand behind great masters’ success and achieving mastery. And the picture he paints makes so much sense to me.
Lessons and Highlights
The book is full of highlights and it served me many moments of realization and clarity.
The conclusions Robert Greene makes on cultivating and developing our intuition – a deeper level of thinking – made an especially big impact on me.
Curiously enough intuition turns out to be something that all of the great masters have learned to invigorate.
Greene also comes to debunk and explain false mindsets that stand in our culture.
One such myth would be labeling some people “talented” or “genius” and thinking they were born that way. Greene argues that we do it simply because it is more comfortable for us to think so, instead of understanding that in the western world most of us are fortunate enough to hold the keys to our own success. It only comes down to being dedicated, following the right patterns and putting in the work.
Greene’s major statement is that due to millions of years of evolution, the keys to mastery are hardwired inside our brain and genes for every single one of us. We are not as different from each other as our era of individualism easily leads us to believe.
Mastery then, is merely a result of cultivation, dedication and setting the right conditions. It is our purpose and responsibility to reach for new heights. I could not agree more.
Get it for free via Audible
Excuse me for sidetracking a little, but in case you’re not much of a reader, I wanted to mention I didn’t in fact actually read the book. I listened to it in audiobook form.
You can actually get one book for free if you sign up for the free trial at Audible, so you might wanna take up that offer and check this book out.
I’ve recently discovered that for me listening is a great way of consuming books. I am a slow reader and I think it helps that as a musician I am already trained in listening, so audiobooks are a perfect fit for me. It’s also a great way to pass time during commutes for example.
I recently subscribed to Audible and have since been consuming their titles with enormous appetite. In the last month alone I went through 8 books. The downside is it can get expensive but hey, it’s an investment in education.
The Audible mobile listening app is really well done and has some very nice features (for example you can speed up the audio to listen faster).
It truly is a joy to listen to a professionally produced audiobook, especially after being used to listening to lots of podcasts with sub-par production standards.
Mastery – Links
For me mastery is one of the most impactful and inspiring books I’ve ever read (and I’ve read lots of stuff in this vein).
It is truly timeless information about who we are and how we function, and I know I will be coming back to this book many times in the future.
I want to recommend it to anyone who is seriously interested in becoming really good in something they’re passionate about.
Here are the links to the book if you’re interested.
Mastery by Robert Greene (book)
Mastery by Robert Greene (audiobook)