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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  30,844 ratings  ·  2,005 reviews
In this book, Robert Greene demonstrates that the ultimate form of power is mastery itself. By analyzing the lives of such past masters as Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Leonard da Vinci, as well as by interviewing nine contemporary masters, including tech guru Paul Graham and animal rights advocate Temple Grandin, Greene debunks our culture’s many ...more
Hardcover, 318 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Viking (first published November 1st 2012)
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Vishnu Pillai I am halfway through the book. Trust me, go ahead and read it. This book is much better and practical than the other self-help books out there. Robert…moreI am halfway through the book. Trust me, go ahead and read it. This book is much better and practical than the other self-help books out there. Robert Greene is the man!! I wish I read this book before I entered college. But still, its never too late!! :) (less)
Olivio Sarikas Master of what ever you like to master. This book complies lives of painters, musicians, explorers, scientists, fighters, sports man and such. If trie…moreMaster of what ever you like to master. This book complies lives of painters, musicians, explorers, scientists, fighters, sports man and such. If tries to identify concepts of why they achieved their mastery that could be applied to your life too. The main lesson to be learned here is that a Master is not born, it takes many years of focused training, but if you stay strong and keep working hard on you, you and everyone else can become a master. Most people lack the focus and will however. But it's good to know that you have at least a chance and if you mess it up, you are the only one to blame. (less)

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Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power is his most notorious work, so blatantly amoral that many of its adherents are rumored to hide in the closet. But since its publication, his work has gradually taken a moral turn. In his follow-up, The Art of Seduction, Greene mentions having compassion for one’s “victim”—he or she being seduced. The 33 Strategies of War instructs readers that there is no moral value in ignoring certain tenets. In Mastery, which concerns the pursuit of virtuosity in one’s fie ...more
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I spent almost as much time getting myself to write a review for this book as I have reading it. Is it a five star book? Is the repetition of featured stories (you know what I'm talking about if you've read it) such a big deal? Am I just getting fooled by Greene and riding an emotional high of "anything is possible to master if you set your mind to it"?

I've slept on it for long enough to conclude that this book indeed IS brilliant.

It completely shatters the myth of iconic people being destined
Courtney Rene
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
We all are searching for power of some type. We may not say it out loud, but deep inside we all know that this is a true statement. Whether it’s power through success or power through knowledge or whatever, we are all searching. On this quest for power we usually find that we have personal obstacles that get in our way, that we struggle to overcome, and block us at every turn. This book, Mastery by Robert Green wants to teach you how to overcome one of the biggest obstacles we face. The obstacle ...more
Dave Bolton
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Unfortunately a mess of ideas and misconceptions (did you know that Albert Einstein discovered relativity due to spending a badly estimated 10,000 hours thinking about it over 10 years?) that did little to illuminate mastery. Lord, even the table of contents is confusing.

Some of the profiles are interesting, but they are also repetitive. Each time a profile is incrementally built on, one has to read all the parts that were earlier presented, which is a ridiculous way to treat a studious reader.

Krishna Chaitanya
"How to master a skill?" If this question is nagging you and keeping you awake at night, then you should pick this one. If you want to master the skill all by yourself not taking any help then you would lose decades of time, so, learn from the masters. Mastering a skill is frighteningly difficult task, but you could attain by learning from the masters who have patiently yet fiercely spent decades of time for their discoveries and inventions.

1) The apprenticeship phase: Follow your inclinations.
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Drawing lessons from the lives of accomplished people, this book offers practical, organized advice for how to realize your own Life's Task.

If a friend had not recommended this book to me, I doubt I would ever have given it a look. I bought Greene's The 48 Laws of Power a few years ago but quickly found it to be repugnant. It struck me as being a manual for psychopaths: handsome, well laid out, well thought out--and chilling. I wondered what sort of a person Robert Greene must be.

I probably stil
Amir Tesla
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You want to be a genius? Here's the recipe. ...more
Mark Bao
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
4.5/5, rounding up. Best book I've read in a while, mainly because it's one of the few books I've found on long-term skill and personal development for excellence. The main thing I got from this book is: Mastery is the process of gaining knowledge in the right ways, in a field that you feel closely connected to, while in the process arranging support structures that increases your propensity of gaining that knowledge (especially mentors), then applying what you've learned to certain projects, wi ...more
Aug 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: post-tun, unfinished
For a book that received mostly 4-5 stars on amazon and audible, this was particularly bad. So many other books on what drives success are so much better. For instance, Talent is Over-rated. Or Outliers. Or Drive. And the message is work hard and find something you are passionate about so that you work hard. Two main reasons why the book is so terrible.

First, it was meandering and long-winded trying to tie stories about evolution and human history to 'mastery'. And that was mostly nonsense and
I won this book as part of Goodreads' First Reads program in exchange for my honest review.

This book is really 2 distinct parts. The first is a series of biographies on modern and classic 'masters' in their respective fields. The second part is examining what lessons can be learned from these masters and how they can be applied in our everyday lives to become masters in our own rights.

I really enjoyed the biographies, they were a series of short, concise examinations of great people that was enj
We are all geniuses in the making, short of hard work and the right luck, so believes the populist Robert Greene.
For a book treating 'masters' as a scarcity in our population, now made all the rarer by ironic attitudes towards skill in a technological age, Greene introduces his book with the guarantee that every reader can find their inside talents and master them.

Stories of past 'Masters' are woven into threads of highly speculative narrative fallacies. What did Da Vinci think on his death bed?
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this with lots of reservation. After all, I've read so many self-help and enlightenment sort of books before, so what could be new in this one right?
Well, there were plenty. It offers plenty of examples so it's more like a show than tell sort of approach, which I appreciated. There are a lot of nuggets in it that will allow the reader to reflect on the unifying theme of what Mastery is about. In my case, it was relevant because I have mastered (no pun intended) the jack-of-all trades conc
Frank Calberg
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Takeaways from reading the book:

The book contains useful advice as well as several good examples of what masters such as Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart did when they lived. Reading the book, I learned that a deep inclination toward a particular subject / field lies at the core of mastery. This inclination is a reflection of a person’s uniqueness. To find your path to mastery, you need to listen to who you are, listen to what dominates your thoughts, and connect with this inner force
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Mastery" is unlike Greene's previous books, which were "The Prince" for modern times. This one seems almost to have been written by a different person. Instead of instructing the reader on how to achieve fleeting victory over other evil jackasses, now the author is trying to help you to do something meaningful for the world in the long-term. The quirky perspective yields content that is not in any of the standard books on management, leadership, psychology or wisdom.

The audience here is the cr
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: waiting
Probably the best of Robert's books.

The main problem I had with this "masterpiece" is that his writing style is repetitive.
He starts a story, doesn't end it, then starts again and add something, and he does it with few stories over and over again.

Honestly, if he would take his pills, he probably could sum up the whole book in 20 pages.

This time I won't argue with research, assuming it was better, but he also took some ancient or unknown people and made them god's kind of.

Cool read if u want to
Feb 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
supt din deget!
Survivorship bias. Hindsight bias. Narrative fallacy. Cherry picking famous biographies to fit the story. Overall - motivational gibberish for suckers!
Ben Lever
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of the greatest books I've ever read.

Greene brings together the stories of various masters over the centuries - from scientists to pilots to boxers to writers - to show how one truly masters a field. Combating the pernicious myth of the naturally-talented genius who comes out of nowhere with the world-changing idea, he shows how an intense apprenticeship is necessary for the deep insights these masters produce - even though this apprenticeship does not often take the route of a co
Enrico Bertini
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most important books I read in my entire life. Mastery goes very well beyond any simplistic formula found in self-help books and describes what it takes to achieve mastery by analyzing the life of hundreds of masters from the past and today.

The book is organized in stages of maturity towards achieving mastery.

One of the main messages of the book that will stick with me forever is this: it does not matter how much talent you have, you will always need to spend and enormous amou
Ujjawal Sureka
Genre: life mastery, career, passion
Publication Date: November 2012

One of the best books I have read recently. This book breaks down the reasons why the top performers like Da Vinci, Einstein, Goethe, Mozart, and many more have achieved so much their brief lifetimes in this planet.
It goes on to say how anyone can achieve their dreams, if they are willing to give their best and sacrifice immediate gratification. It holds some painful truths, and a lot of empowering information about how we have e
Ryan DeLuca
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've ever read. Should be required reading for every teenager that wants success in life. ...more
Aaron Goldfarb
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you're a Greene fan, you're going to like this one. But it's also a good starting point if you've never read any of his works before. Personally, I still think 33 STRATEGIES OF WAR is his all-encompassing masterwork, but MASTERY is still highly valuable. ...more
David Bradley
Robert Greene's Mastery explores the lives of many historical Masters (Mozart, Da Vinci, Proust, etc.) and explains how their Mastery is attainable for everyone. By ignoring societal constraints and complications, following our own interests, serving time in an apprenticeship phase, and staying committed to our craft, Greene believes that everyone can become a Master and make lasting contributions to society.

While I like Greene's message and find his writing to be absorbing, I have some serious
Richard Gazala
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Each of us has a passion. For a variety of reasons within and outside our control, very few of us pursue our respective passions to the point of achieving mastery over them. Author Robert Greene's great new book, "Mastery," can't help us defeat objective limitations truly beyond our control that prevent us from mastering those passions. Barring such limitations, however, "Mastery" is brilliant. It's nothing short of a concise, elegantly written, well-researched and deeply inspirational guide to ...more
Arjun Ravichandran
Dec 15, 2012 rated it liked it
'Mastery' is not of the same ilk as the supremely concise and concentrated '48 Laws' ; neither is it the deep psychological excavation of fear that was 'The 50th Law' ; It is an altogether different beast.
Fans of Greene's previous work who were expecting a manifesto (that is to say, a clear and sharp work) will be disappointed. The book is more diffuse, more abstract, and altogether, more difficult to get a good hold of.
That's not to say the book isn't without value. It's just different from Gr
Sully (thysaltymar)
“To the extent that we believe we can skip steps, avoid the process, magically gain power through political connections or easy formulas, or depend on our natural talents, we move against this grain and reverse our natural powers. We become slaves to time – as it passes, we grow weaker, less capable, trapped in some dead end career. We become captive to the opinions and fears of others.” (9) “This intense connection and desires allows them to withstand the pain of the process – the self-doubts, ...more
Aaron Wolfson
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Your Life's Task is to discover your uniqueness, and express it in your work, the work only you can do. And the way to do that is to submit to the process of Mastery.

The Life's Task is a concept I've always believed in, but I've never been able to articulate it as well as Greene, who himself is a Master storyteller and synthesizer of how humans operate.

But since this is my review, I'll give it a go anyway, with a nod to Greene, as I couch my formulations in his and bask in his reflected luminesc
Willian Molinari
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
I'm migrating all my reviews to my blog. If you want to read the full review with my raw notes, check it here:

One of the best books I ever read.

This book goes through the life of various masters of our history. Some of them I did not know and decided to look after their life, which was a great experience as well.

If you want to be a master of something, be prepared to use a huge amount of time dealing with it and practicing. Masters don't become what they are by jus
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: career, learning, rbt
I like the way Robert Greene writes his books by filling his examples with historical figures. It makes you feel literate and a little smarter for reading them. He develops his models of how the world works by examining the biographies of great people and looking for the patterns. He sees the process of mastery of falling into a handful of discreet steps from apprenticeship (learning), to finding excellent mentors (or using books as mentors), how to optimize creative synthesis, until you reach " ...more
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads-read
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the Goodreads First Reads Program.*

I have never read anything similar to "Mastery" before and approached Greene's book with an open mind. The lessons in these pages are invaluable. Greene uses examples of household names to convey the idea that mastering something is so much more than an innate talent or uncanny ability. The book is well organized. The one thing I wasn't a fan of was the font size. Being that this reads almost like an academic text, the t
Aug 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
He needs to get mastery in writing. This book went all over the place, all over the people, yet taught me next to nothing. He would start a story, give some shitty interpretation of the story, then move to next without actually giving a proper ending to previous story.

Then After ages of other boring stories, He would revisit this story saying, as seen in chapter x, and continue a blabber full of repetition about the same story. He would again conclude the same.

Man what a waste of read.

As far a
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More examples of Mastery 14 110 Sep 22, 2019 05:46AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect grammar 2 62 Jan 28, 2014 02:48PM  
Must I "adore" my Life's Task? 2 66 Apr 23, 2013 03:51AM  

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There is more than one author by this name on Goodreads.

Best-selling author and public speaker, Robert Greene was born in Los Angeles. He attended U.C. California at Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he received a degree in classical studies. He has worked in New York as an editor and writer at several magazines, including Esquire; and in Hollywood as a story developer and

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