Book notes: Mastery by Robert Greene

Mastery by Robert Greene book summary review and key ideas.

Mastery by Robert Greene


“What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force’s last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Robert Greene’s fifth book, he mines the biographies of great historical figures for clues about gaining control over our own lives and destinies. Picking up where The 48 Laws of Power left off, Greene culls years of research and original interviews to blend historical anecdote and psychological insight, distilling the universal ingredients of the world’s masters.

Temple Grandin, Martha Graham, Henry Ford, Buckminster Fuller – all have lessons to offer about how the love for doing one thing exceptionally well can lead to mastery. Yet the secret, Greene maintains, is already in our heads. Debunking long-held cultural myths, he demonstrates just how we, as humans, are hardwired for achievement and supremacy. Fans of Greene’s earlier work and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers will eagerly devour this canny and erudite explanation of just what it takes to be great.” – Audible

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Pick your “Punishment”

Punishment – Daily writing prompt

There’s a famous quote that comes to mind immediately:

There are two types of pain you will go through in life, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tonnes. – Jim Rohn

I think the greatest cause of people’s negative results in life is that they are too reactive to life instead of proactive.

Often times we hear about people coming to the end of their life and living with all these regrets. They spent too much time working and other things that didn’t matter, instead of spending time with their family, loved ones, traveling, making great memories, and enjoying the journey.

I think the difference occurs when people take the time to prioritize what they want out of life, plan out how to make it happen, and take ACTION. We all have 24 hours in a day, and yet some people make steady progress towards their goals while others do not.

Is there a difference in time? No. There’s simply a difference in priorities and a willingness to cut out unnecessary activities and fill in the time with the important ones.

Instead of filling your free time with watching Netflix or scrolling endlessly through social media, why not spend an hour learning that language you’ve always wanted. Spend 30 minutes meditating to get your head clear and gain some mental clarity. Call your parents up and tell them how amazing they are and make them laugh.

Putting aside a little bit of time everyday doing daily disciplines (reading 30 minutes a day, exercising for 1 hour, meditating for 10 minutes, etc), can have drastic compounded effects over the long term.

Conversely, being reactive in things like your health will also have compounding negative effects down the road. Drinking 1 can of soda for lunch everyday, for example, or wasting 2 hours a day watching the latest Netflix series. What are you really getting done?

I think the worst pain/punishment is getting to the end and regretting all the time wasted, when just a little bit of discipline could have dramatically created a higher quality and more fulfilling life.