Of all Robert Greene’s Books, Mastery seems to be the one book that stands out. The book is based on the need to understand life and be acutely alive to reality. Greene uses specifically selected examples to present his points. The focal point of the book is the learning process in life and how to live life adequately.
Greene stresses on the need for skills acquisition. He says you need to understand that you need a variety of skills-set, before deciding what you want to do with life. According to Greene, an individual can choose, but cannot decide what they want to do in life. There come instances when life forces you to do something you never thought you would. That is why you need to value the learning process and ensure you widen your skill-set.
Greene breaks down the learning process into three critical phases; Deep observation, skills acquisition and experimentation mode. He stresses on the need to allow yourself to learn new things and make sure there is progress. He says you need to be patient during your learning process and not rush to the top before you are ready.
Greene says, “the initial stages of learning a skill invariably involve tedium. Yet rather than avoiding this inevitable tedium, you must embrace it. The pain and boredom we experience in the initial stage of learning a skill toughen our mind, much like physical exercise.”
During the learning process, Greene is conscious of the fact that you need to be alive to reality. You need to be alive to the reality that you cannot make it without the required skills. You should, therefore, be humble and look to gain the necessary skills. This process happens at different stages of the life of a human being and it can only be possible if you allow it to take place.
For the learning process to be of greater impact and effect, Greene says you need to value skills acquisition rather than the obsession with money. He says the money will become automatic once you have successfully acquired the skills you need to be comfortable in several positions.
At a young age, Greene says you need to train yourself to get by with little money and make the most of your youthful energy. Train your brain to accommodate new ideas and skills. This lays a firm foundation for your future life endeavours. Your youthful energy will enable you to keep pushing beyond your perceived limits. Greene says you need to use the advantage of having more energy to gain more skills before the challenges of old age catch up with you.
Thought processes are also an important aspect of human beings. Our thought process tends to, according to Greene revolve around what we value most. In this sense, Greene suggests that you need to focus on the goals you want and make sure your skill-set revolves around that. Having what you value in mind will give you the energy and provide a platform to propagate the learning process.
Greene says you need to choose a venture that gives you the most opportunities to acquire skills that you do not have. This he says, will lead you to the right choices in life. In this sense, Greene suggests that you choose a place with the right people and mentors who can inspire and teach you to reach new levels.
“You will opt for the situation that will give you the most opportunities to learn, particularly with hands-on experience.”
For a start, having a job with mediocre pay will train you to get by with less. Such a job offers you the most viable platform to learn and use your skills well without falling into a dangerous comfort zone. You will know how to limit yourself to live respectably and by your means. You will also get the opportunity to use your skills with increased focus.
Learning opportunities or a job that offers no pay is also an important place to start. Greene warns against disdaining such opportunities because it would be like throwing an important part of your life. For fulfilled personal development, you need to value every learning opportunity.
According to Greene, the learning process and the whole notion of skills acquisition are down to your own effort. No one can force you to learn. You need to identify what you want and make an effort to acquire skills that will enable you to settle in well. You will need to seek out the opportunities that offer the skills and make your effort in learning them.
In the learning process, Greene says you need to struggle against any limitations and continually work to expand your horizons. Your limitations could come in the form of your ego or pride that will impede the need to mute your colours and learn. You need to make sure you deal with that and allow the learning process to take effect.
By valuing learning above everything else, Greene says you will set the stage for your creative expansion, and the money will soon come after you.
You can buy the book at local bookshops or buy the book here.