Clarity of purpose
Being great at something and to truly arrive at being great takes 10,000 hours or more. This is a message that is not being presented in today's age. Students think that they can cheat their way to greatness or be distracted by their phones and think that they can delve deep enough into a subject matter to earn a great job. Shortcuts are preached by many in education and politics. We are not meant to multi-task. Success is not a quick-fix away.
Fred Sanders is the best narrator of a Robert Greene book. He tells the stories well and with just enough passion to keep the listener engaged. I wish that the other books were also available unabridged and read by the same performer. The reader of the abridged Power and Seduction books was too smarmy and took away the credibility of the text.
Master your passion, or be mastered by others.
This is a great book and I will read it again. I also purchased the print copy. It is easy to become sidetracked by the media and all of the various forms of entertainment and news that is "so important." Even at work, it is easy to major in the minor things and fall prey to the tyranny of the urgent. This book encourages a person to focus on one thing. To do that separates you out from the 99.999% who dabble and waste their potential and their lives never accomplishing anything worthwhile. What sounds like sacrifice actually is a gift of time and clarity of mind. It takes less time to prioritize when there is a singular goal and less time is needed when the goal is so clear.
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
This is a good look at what it really takes to be a master. No quick easy silver bullet but just work, insight and sweat. I like Robert Greene's books as I find them very helpful and well written. Wish I had this knowledge when I was starting out. Of course it doesn't answer the problem when your chosen profession or skill you are pursuing disappears or becomes redundant. You're suppose to have the insight to see where the next step is. I have not found that and feel like I am looking in a dark room for a black cat that isn't really there. Never the less this book is well worth the listen to. One of the good self help books.
The author uses plenty of example from Davinci to Mozart to Proust to Darwin to Paul Graham to illustrate his points about Mastery and how it is not through some rare gift but through conscious practice and attention to detail. Understanding this and how it relates to your "life's work" can guide career decisions. I wish I had a copy of this when I left high school rather than learning on the job so to speak.
This is a fantastic collection of biographies and lessons. A very pleasant education on just about everything
No. It repeats the same biographies over and over. I might recommend an abridged version.
The reader was good.
No. Repeated himself enough as it is.
While there is some great info on masters and useful info on mastery, Greene does not respect the reader's time. I can see the possible value of of spreading a biography over several topical chapters, but many details of each of the biographies are repeated at least 3-4 times. The book therefore has a very drawn-out feel.
Perhaps more importantly, Greene will often praise a master's tendency to carve his own path, but then he will also stress the importance of walking on eggshells around existing paradigms in "career" paths, as if a career path in profit-driven enterprise is unavoidable and the only way to give voice to your creativity. He does not advise masters to challenge the status quo when it is not prudent. He talks about a fighter pilot's unmatched kill count as if it is an accolade, and not a tragic symptom of pilots having to master a task that should not be necessary. Mastery of flight is one thing, but to exalt a kill count is to miss the point that masters are the ones who should, by their massive action and inner wisdom, be the ones saving us from the necessity to act out our lives within these paradigms, rather than "finding their niche" within a culture to demonstrate their mastery. Again, he does praise masters' staunch individuality, but ultimately forfeits to the notion that the expression of that individuality must manifest within the typical realms of politics, economics, business, academia, etc., ignoring the fact that any true master with half a pair of testicles will not forfeit and will find a way to achieve mastery without any consideration of or acquiescence to the trending pardigms and societal fuckery of the era.
Maybe, but I would be cautious.
He didn't perform characters. This was written in the third person throughout.
Some exceptional concepts and ideas are buried within this book. However, the author cannot seem to get past the idea that parents are all overbearing, non-nurturing, stifling, and have to be "overthrown". Are you kidding me? I get the idea that we have to unshackle ourselves, but I get the feeling the author is projecting, and it significantly takes away from the enjoyment and message of this book.
I'm a lawyer and mediator. I represent businesses in disputes with their insurers and in other complex litigation. I also assist machinery companies and manufacturers (primarily international) with equipment sales, non-disclosure agreements, and business issues. I also mediate commercial disputes.
The substance of this book is great. It features stories of interesting people who have achieve mastery in their fields. It debunks the myth that masters are born and not made through hard work.
Great subject matter with interesting stories. What could be better? It would be better if it were eight hours instead of sixteen. The book simply needs a major editing (pruning might be a better word). The book is repetitive and needlessly lengthy, droning on like a politician's speech after the point has already been made.
Author has some good insight and recounts the stories of interesting individuals that aren't super mailstream. But he recounts these same stories multiple times each throughout the book. As if he copied and pasted them into different chapter. So you cover the same ground multiple times and it gets tiresome.