The eagerly anticipated new book from the author of the best-selling The 48 Laws of Power
What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force's last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Robert Greene's fifth book, he mines the biographies of great historical figures for clues about gaining control over our own lives and destinies. Picking up where The 48 Laws of Power left off, Greene culls years of research and original interviews to blend historical anecdote and psychological insight, distilling the universal ingredients of the world's masters.
Temple Grandin, Martha Graham, Henry Ford, Buckminster Fuller - all have lessons to offer about how the love for doing one thing exceptionally well can lead to mastery. Yet the secret, Greene maintains, is already in our heads. Debunking long-held cultural myths, he demonstrates just how we, as humans, are hardwired for achievement and supremacy. Fans of Greene's earlier work and Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers will eagerly devour this canny and erudite explanation of just what it takes to be great.
©2012 Robert Greene (P)2012 Penguin Audio
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.
This book is aligned with the idea that mastery of any subject or art takes time, not talent. The author gives numerous examples of people who put in the effort to become masters. He also provides some useful information about the pitfalls that occur on the road to mastery. I enjoyed it, but was a little annoyed that all the stories are repeated about 3 times each over the course of the audiobook.
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
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.
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.
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.
just like 48 laws and 33 strategies this book has invaluable information although I found it to be redundant irs still a great read but perpetuates the myth the Wright brothers were first in flight.
"Compelling and Inspiring"
This is not a dry textbook-style, step-by-step guide to mastery. It is far more engaging than I thought it could be and the narrator does a magnificent job.
Fantastic study of some of the greatest minds of the last few hundred years in their different fields of expertise. Greene looks into their biographies and pin points not only what made these individuals great but also how we all have the capability of achieving mastery.
"informative and crisp"
typical Robert Greene
the research and clarity
difficult to say, it was all excellent
difficult due to the length, but certainly devoured it in a couple
anybody who has read Robert Greene knows exactly what to expect, anybody who hasn't read Robert Greene, should!
"A must read for developing yourself"
Yes, this book really helps to expand your mind and understand life in a different way, defiantly a book I will be listening to several times during different points in my life.
Each chapter has answers that you will be seeking throughout the stages of your life.
The Narrator is very engaging, the passion in their voice helps to keep your attention.
The messages in the book are the best part.
There is no one chapter that stands out has they all carry a message that will be important in some way in your life.
Mastery, becoming the greatest version of you.
A must read!
"fully furnished foray into the science of success"
I regularly return to Mastery. The book contains such a wide range of case studies, full of both informative lessons and unforgettable anecdotes which show empirical truths in the human psyche across the centuries. As a young person beginning my career, I almost follow it as a guidebook at times, keeping me on track and motivated.
Each of the case-studies' lives are scintillating biographies, over the last year I have probably cited each of them at various parties and with my friends. I particularly liked hearing the life-story of Benjamin Franklin- who became the polymath he was through making countless bad decisions. He posed as a widow so that his writings would be published by his jealous brother, and then revealed it- then was dismissed and ended up in a printing press in London, where his unwillingness to play along with the other workers led to a 'poltergeist' ruining his work. Each of the stories serves a purpose, they aren't merely anecdotes- I can't praise enough how much I love Robert Greene's 'show, don't tell' approach with this book.
Fred Sanders has a wonderfully colourless voice- not putting his own emotional stamp on its contents, which for such an informative book is a real benefit. I felt very comfortable listening to him and could concentrate indefinitely- sometimes a narrator begins to grate after a while. I also got great enjoyment out of his pronounciation of 'von Goethe'.
Greatness is a code. (?)
If you are a hard worker and want to get the most out of the brain you have, i recommend this book.
"A great start to any aspiring master"
One of the best, have listened to funnier but nothing compare to its educational message.
Einsteins story about his job at the patent office, how a job can be something that helps you eat and give you time to critically think about what you really want to do and become in life.
Temple Grandin and how she overcame autism, becoming a true master.
A great book and will have examples of things you probably have done subconsciously, but not taking anything away from it just making it even more powerful. Almost turning it into a tool instead of something you think, you feel or would like to be the right way.
The references to past masters making it a collection of GREAT stories and not too educational.
Goes on for a while and entire sections are repeated. All in all it is a book that somewhat confirms the obvious, but in an entertaining way. The narration sometimes droops a bit and the author hasn't quite mastered the art of being concise.
"Great storytelling, but too long for an audiobook"
Yes, there's lots of great and interesting stories from famous people here to give you some inspiration. However it is very long and at 16 hours, there were times when I felt it was simply getting a bit repetitive
This is good addition for anyone interested in self-development as well as reading up on biographies of successful people
what characters? This is not a novel
"Not for me"
This was a departure for me. The self help aspects of the book I found irritating and there was a lot of repetition in telling the stories of historical masters. However, the philosophy of his main thrust was reasonable, some aspects of brain development, the evolution of intelligence and some of the mini biographies were interesting.
Excellent - don't pass over this book! A must read for anyone interested in self development.
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