Keys to Mastery

May 19th, 2016 | Posted in Confidence, Effectiveness, Fit Leader, Leadership Fitness, Reading List by

I just finished reading Mastery by Robert Greene. In this post, I share some of the main highlights of this elegant guide to achieving mastery in life.

Pick a Lane

To become masterful in life, we must discover our Life’s Task. “Picking a lane” ensures we stay focused on where we can make our greatest impact, by leveraging our strengths and unique abilities. Pick something that brings you joy!

Don’t Skip an Apprenticeship

Choose one or more mentors and truly open up to them so you can absorb their wisdom and experience. Don’t rush this necessary investment in honing your talent.

At the same time, remember the words of Leonardo da Vinci: “Poor is the apprentice who does not surpass his Master”, and the words of Friedrich Nietzsche: “One repays a teacher badly if one remains only a pupil”.

Be Willing to Fail

Greene speaks of two types of failure. The first type comes from the fear of even stepping up to the plate, which means we are living too cautiously to ever accomplish much of anything.

The second type of failure comes from a boldness and adventurous spirit where we learn from what doesn’t work. It can actually be a curse to have things turn out right the first time. We have everything to gain from failure.

Avoid Familiarity and Comfort

As we begin to taste success, we can become complacent and lose our initial creative drive to continually improve our craft.

We must continue to challenge ourselves and avoid becoming too comfortable with what we have accomplished to date.

Allow for Serendipity

Our best ideas often come to us when we are not concentrating directly on a problem. Whether it is drifting off to sleep, taking a shower, exercising or going on a vacation, these moments can yield chance associations and discoveries when we least expect them.

Invest in Your Success

They say it takes about 10 years to become an overnight success. As Greene puts it in Mastery, “you must not ignore the years of practice, the endless routines, the hours of doubt, and the tenacious overcoming of obstacles…Creative energy is the fruit of such efforts and nothing else”.

Each of us carries the potential to become a Master. Study the behaviors of Einstein, Darwin, Edison and nine contemporary creative geniuses in Robert Greene’s Mastery.

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