Robert Greene (9/10)


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.


I heavily skimmed last 2 chapters, but I thought this book was very instructive and motivational. Would definitely recommend it.



Mastery is not based on innate talent but rather from effort and intense focus to a field of study

Intuition is nothing more than a sudden and immediate seizing of what is real, without the needs for words or formulas

skipping steps, and avoiding process moves against the grain toward mastery

deep connection to field of study is very important

attempting attaining mastery is extremely necessary and positive

the passive ironic attitude is not cool or romantic, but pathetic and destructive

people get the mind and quality of brain that they deserve through their actions in life

create the kind of mind you desire, not through drugs but through action

power is achieved through effort and process, not genetics or privilege

Chapter 1—Discover your calling: the life's task

social pressures to conform subdue your natural interests

feeling that we are called to accomplish something is the most positive way for us to supply this sense of purpose and direction


1. Return to your origins—the primal inclination strategy

1. you must love the subject and feel a profound connection to it. Your interest must transcend the field itself and border on the religious

2. Occupy the perfect niche

1. find the perfect cross section and or subsection

3. Avoid the false path—rebellion (Example mozart)

1. a false path is something we are attracted to for wrong reasons such as money fame and attention

2. scoff at the need for attention and approval—they will lead you astray

4. Let go of the past—the adaptation

1. your loyalty is not to a career or company—you are committed to giving your life's task its full expression

5. Find your way back—life or death

1. no good can ever come from deviating from the path that you were destined to follow

2. lasting success comes to those who focus on mastery and fulfilling the life's task instead of focusing on goals


direct yourself to the small things you are good at and concentrate on becoming proficient at the simple and immediate skills

do not envy those who seem to be naturally gifted—it is often a curse, as such types rarely learn the value of diligence and focus, and they pay for this later in life

Chapter 1 Summary

Have a deep passion for your work and focus on skills

Process over outcomes

have a religious obsession with the field and subjects you work on

Listen to your self and determine what truly captivates you

following a path for the wrong reasons — money, fame,  etc will lead to the wrong results

pursuing mastery leads to a greater sense of purpose in life