Mastery by Robert Greene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
On my bookshelf are four books by Robert Greene covering Power, War, Seduction, and Mastery. Greene has an amazing ability to research and summarize the great people and topics of the world.
In this particular book Greene explores Mastery, providing insight into the lives of amazing people of whom we have all heard: Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin, and Leonardo da Vinci. But Greene also includes some modern day geniuses and heroes of lesser renown, such as: John Coltrane, Freddie Roach, Temple Grandin, and Cesar Rodriquez.
Greene both urges you toward Mastery and warns you of the consequences of ignoring the pursuit:
"Mastery is not a question of genetics or luck, but of following your natural inclinations and the deep desire that stirs you from within. Everyone has such inclinations. This desire within you is not motivated by egotism or sheer ambition for power, both of which are emotions that get in the way of mastery. It is instead a deep expression of something natural, something that marked you at birth as unique. In following your inclinations and moving toward mastery, you make a great contribution to society, enriching it with discoveries and insights, and making the most of the diversity in nature among human society. It is in fact the height of selfishness to merely consume what others create and to retreat into a shell of limited goals and immediate pleasures. Alienating yourself from your inclinations can only lead to pain and disappointment in the long run, and a sense that you have wasted something unique. This pain will be expressed in bitterness and envy, and you will not recognize the true source of your depression."
This is another excellent book by Robert Greene.
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