“Mastery” – Book Review


Mastery is the result of a deep expression of something natural.

-Robert Greene

I just finished reading Mastery by Robert Greene.

This book details the attitude and general philosophy of people who worked to attain mastery in their respective fields of choice.

Greene dissects the life paths of such individuals.

He emphasizes the insane amount of effort that goes into developing a skillset – the tedious process all too often swept under the rug.

People want to believe talent is in-born so they don’t have to challenge themselves…

Mastery Is The Result Of An Internal Drive

Everyone has a creative drive, some more aware of it than others.

It’s a reflection of your uniqueness.

Following this drive to its conclusion will bring you into the presence of higher intelligence.

Utilizing this sense of discovery unearths passion and engrains a strong emotional resonance into your work. This work must be obsessive to the degree that it borders on religious infatuation.

Working towards mastery is of vital necessity and leads to a positive outcome for the entire universe. In order to reconnect with this sense of childish wonder, you must direct your focus inward…

By Creating, You Discover Who You Truly Are

Many people forsake their creative drive and give in to more material pursuits.

However, constantly grinding away at a job you hate saps away your creative energy. All your remaining free time ends up spent on leisure as a means to recharge.

It’s extremely selfish to live strictly as a consumer who holds limited goals and pursues immediate pleasures. Rest and stagnation cause your mind to start decaying. The 9-5 square lifestyle increases passivity, and holds you back from evolving as an individual.

The Biggest Counter-Force To Creation Is The
Pressure To Conform

When you dedicate your life to your arena, you experience no separation between work and life. The field that best suits your character is dictated to you by your inner-voice.

This inner-drive aims to give your life a larger purpose – something most people sorely lack within the modern world.

Trusting your instincts will let you follow up on tangents to your trajectory, leading you to the most appropriate niche. Finding work that suits your specific specialized skills will help you to avoid overwhelming competition and unnecessary politicking.

Creativity Never Ends Because There Are Infinite
Possibilities To Discover

Greene emphasizes the practicality of mentors.

In the quest to acquire knowledge in the most efficient manner possible, mentors act to shorten the process towards success. They pass on their wisdom and help you avoid dead ends. The goal is to internalize and adapt their techniques, methods, and thinking patterns. However, when the time is right you must move on, confident in your abilities.

A suitable mentor can give you what your parents didn’t. You are NEVER a victim of your circumstances because you can ALWAYS find the answers that you seek.

A cardinal trait of successful people is a high level of discipline. This focus should ripple throughout every aspect of your life. Refined discipline must merge with your retained childhood spirit in order to produce great works. Such powerful emotions involved in a project successfully communicate authenticity.

Quality is achieved through obsessive innovation. Better craftsmanship always wins out over marketing.

The higher the goal, the more internal energy is required.

At some point, your brain will reach inevitable peaks of creativity. You must rest from time to time to stop burnouts.

There are multiple impediments to creativity, but the greatest one is impatience. In your journey towards mastery you may come to understand your task, but there will always be some element of the unknown. You will never be entirely sure where your efforts will take you.

Be Patient Your Skills Will Produce Something Great

It’s vital to maintain a sense of destiny, and to never lose touch with your personal connection with it. Persistent years of dedication let something unique and expressive to manifest – a masterpiece/magnum opus if you will.

A high level of proficiency in politicking (game) is necessary to keep the naysayers at bay. An inability to navigate the social labyrinth will significantly impede your progress.

The amount of time spent towards achieving mastery is dependent on your focus. Some say it takes 10,000 hours, others say 20,000 hours. Your years of study and development must consist of obtaining high quality knowledge.

Constantly Look For Connections Between
All The Elements Involved

No moment or interaction is wasted if you aim to discover the lessons that every single experience has to offer you.

Masters hone their sensitive instincts through putting work into their respective arenas. They understand that what they want out of life does not have to suit everyone else. A conventional path kills the spirit and leads to a numb existence.

A master views his environment and field as a physical form, alive and evolving. His connection to it is deeply emotional.

An Arena Is A Reflection Of The Larger Universe,
Constantly Changing

No aspect of life can be separated from this sense of wholeness.

Whatever is produced becomes something that has a life and imbedded energy of its own. This is what causes people to have strong reactions to your work. The amount of research that goes into creation can never be denied. You must choose where to direct this creative energy.

You’re an inseparable instrument of the universe. The significance of your actions may never be entirely apparent, but you can rest assured that you’re on the right path if you dedicate yourself to conveying your experiences through your work.

There’s No Limit To Knowledge And Understanding

You can never fully reach actualization, because it’s an ongoing process. Suffering and doubts are all a part of the process. You must consistently re-invents yourself through your ever-changing creations.

Creativity and adaptability are inseparable.

-Robert Greene

As you engage in the creative process, the nature of the universe will become apparent before your eyes.

After all, the universe is an infinite reality fractal – the patterns in one field apply to everything else.

It has been said that the astral plane/world of forms is a truer reality than the physical one we inhabit.

Creation brings you into the presence of something pure and divine. The path of mastery will lead to the discovery of your own personal god.

This book is a great follow up to The War of Art. I highly recommend it for any aspiring master or progress minded individual. Reading this book has helped erase many of my self-doubts in regards to choosing a life of passion over a life of comfort. It’s an intensely inspiring read.

PS. Read Mastery by Robert Greene.

Affiliate disclaimer: If you decide to purchase this book through one of these links, I receive a commission at no additional cost to you. I rarely recommend products, but when I do, it’s because I’ve used them myself and trust them 100%.


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  1. says

    You never really master what you are interested in because that interest is ever changing. You will be constantly learning as there is no end to Mastery. For me its the passion of getting there that matters most! It takes time as the long road of Mastery twists and turns. Will i eventually get there? Who knows but i love the scenery!


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