Mastery Quotes

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Mastery Mastery by Robert Greene
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Mastery Quotes (showing 1-30 of 216)
“Think of it this way: There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“No one is really going to help you or give you direction. In fact, the odds are against you.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“People around you, constantly under the pull of their emotions, change their ideas by the day or by the hour, depending on their mood. You must never assume that what people say or do in a particular moment is a statement of their permanent desires.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“The time that leads to mastery is dependent on the intensity of our focus.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“In the future, the great division will be between those who have trained themselves to handle these complexities and those who are overwhelmed by them -- those who can acquire skills and discipline their minds and those who are irrevocably distracted by all the media around them and can enver focus enough to learn.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“We are all in search of feeling more connected to reality—to other people, the times we live in, the natural world, our character, and our own uniqueness. Our culture increasingly tends to separate us from these realities in various ways. We indulge in drugs or alcohol, or engage in dangerous sports or risky behavior, just to wake ourselves up from the sleep of our daily existence and feel a heightened sense of connection to reality. In the end, however, the most satisfying and powerful way to feel this connection is through creative activity. Engaged in the creative process we feel more alive than ever, because we are making something and not merely consuming, Masters of the small reality we create. In doing this work, we are in fact creating ourselves.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“The most effective attitude to adopt is one of supreme acceptance. The world is full of people with different characters and temperaments. We all have a dark side, a tendency to manipulate, and aggressive desires. The most dangerous types are those who repress their desires or deny the existence of them, often acting them out in the most underhanded ways. Some people have dark qualities that are especially pronounced. You cannot change such people at their core, but must merely avoid becoming their victim. You are an observer of the human comedy, and by being as tolerant as possible, you gain a much greater ability to understand people and to influence their behavior when necessary”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“Become who you are by learning who you are.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“The problem with all students, he said, is that they inevitably stop somewhere. They hear an idea and they hold on to it until it becomes dead; they want to flatter themselves that they know the truth. But true Zen never stops, never congeals into such truths. That is why everyone must constantly be pushed to the abyss, starting over and feeling their utter worthlessness as a student. Without suffering and doubts, the mind will come to rest on clichés and stay there, until the spirit dies as well. Not even enlightenment is enough. You must continually start over and challenge yourself.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“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.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“The passive ironic attitude is not cool or romantic, but pathetic and destructive.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“If we experience any failures or setbacks, we do not forget them because they offend our self-esteem. Instead we reflect on them deeply, trying to figure out what went wrong and discern whether there are any patterns to our mistakes.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“With our limited senses and consciousness, we only glimpse a small portion of reality. Furthermore, everything in the universe is in a state of constant flux. Simple words and thoughts cannot capture this flux or complexity. The only solution for an enlightened person is to let the mind absorb itself in what it experiences, without having to form a judgment on what it all means. The mind must be able to feel doubt and uncertainty for as long as possible. As it remains in this state and probes deeply into the mysteries of the universe, ideas will come that are more dimensional and real than if we had jumped to conclusions and formed judgments early on.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“A natural response when people feel overwhelmed is to retreat into various forms of passivity. If we don’t try too much in life, if we limit our circle of action, we can give ourselves the illusion of control. The less we attempt, the less chances of failure. If we can make it look like we are not really responsible for our fate, for what happens to us in life, then our apparent powerlessness is more palatable.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“The conventional mind is passive - it consumes information and regurgitates it in familiar forms. The dimensional mind is active, transforming everything it digests into something new and original, creating instead of consuming.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“All of us have access to a higher form of intelligence, one that can allow us to see more of the world, to anticipate trends, to respond with speed and accuracy to any circumstance. This intelligence is cultivated by deply immersing ourselves in a field of study and staying true to our inclinations, no matter how unconventional our approach might seem to other. Through such intense immersion over many years we come to internalize and gain an intuitive feel with the rational processes, we expand our minds to the outer limits of our potential and are able to see into the secret core of life itself. We then come to have powers that approximate the instinctive force and speed of animals, but with the added reach that our human consciousness brings us. This power is what our brains are designed to attain, and we will naturally led to this type of intelligence if we follow our inclinations to their ultimate ends.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“Most people are perpetually locked in the present. Their decisions are overly influenced by the most immediate event; they easily become emotional and ascribe greater significance to a problem than it should have in reality.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“Our natural tendency is to project onto other people our own belief and value systems, in ways in which we are not even aware.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“The key then to attaining this higher level of intelligence is to make our years of study qualitatively rich. We don't simply absorb information - we internalize it and make it our own by finding some way to put this knowledge to practical use.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“You must understand the following: In order to master a field, you must love the subject and feel a profound connection to it. Your interest must transcend the field itself and border on the religious.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“Some 2,600 years ago the ancient Greek poet Pindar wrote, “Become who you are by learning who you are.” What he meant is the following: You are born with a particular makeup and tendencies that mark you as a piece of fate. It is who you are to the core. Some people never become who they are; they stop trusting in themselves; they conform to the tastes of others, and they end up wearing a mask that hides their true nature. If you allow yourself to learn who you really are by paying attention to that voice and force within you, then you can become what you were fated to become—an individual, a Master.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“The problem is that we humans are deep conformists.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“you must engrave deeply in your mind and never forget: your emotional commitment to what you are doing will be translated into your work.

If you go at your work with half a heart, it will show in the lackluster results and in the laggard way in which you reach the end.

If you are doing something primarily for money and without a real emotional commitment, it will translate into something that lacks a soul and that has no connection to you.

You may not see this, but you can be sure that the public will feel it and that they will receive your work in the same lackluster spirit it was created in.

If you are excited and obsessive in the hunt, it will show in the details. If your work comes from a place deep within, its authenticity will be communicated.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“Everything that happens to you is a form of instruction if you pay attention.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“The truth is that creative activity is one that involves the entire self - our emotions, our levels of energy, our characters, and our minds.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“Those qualities that separate us are often ridiculed by others or criticized by teachers.

Because of these judgments, we might see our strengths as disabilities and try to work around them in order to fit in. But anything that is peculiar to our makeup is precisely what we must pay the deepest attention to and lean on in our rise to mastery.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“Most people don't have the patience to absorb their minds in the fine points and minutiae that are intrinsically part of their work. They are in a hurry to create effects and make a splash; they think in large brush strokes.

Their work inevitably reveals their lack of attention to detail - it doesn't connect deeply with the public, and it feels flimsy.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“Let us call this quality the Original Mind. This mind looked at the world more directly—not through words and received ideas. It was flexible and receptive to new information. Retaining a memory of this Original Mind, we cannot help but feel nostalgia for the intensity with which we used to experience the world. As the years pass, this intensity inevitably diminishes. We come to see the world through a screen of words and opinions; our prior experiences, layered over the present, color what we see. We no longer look at things as they are, noticing their details, or wonder why they exist. Our minds gradually tighten up. We become defensive about the world we now take for granted, and we become upset if our beliefs or assumptions are attacked.”
Robert Greene, Mastery
“Too often we make a separation in our lives—there is work and there is life outside work, where we find real pleasure and fulfillment. Work is often seen as a means for making money so we can enjoy that second life that we lead. Even if we derive some satisfaction from our careers we still tend to compartmentalize our lives in this way. This is a depressing attitude, because in the end we spend a substantial part of our waking life at work. If we experience this time as something to get through on the way to real pleasure, then our hours at work represent a tragic waste of the short time we have to live.”
Robert Greene, Mastery

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