Mastery – Robert Greene (Book Summary)

In Mastery, Robert Greene provides illustrative examples of the fact that everyone can achieve excellence in business or almost any chosen area, if he simply follows the beaten path of recognized masters.

To create this masterpiece, Mr. Greene studied the greatest masters of all time, and also interviewed a few of them.

In it, he shares tips and strategies to help you reach the top in your field.

Why You Should Read Mastery?

  • To decide which career path you would like to pursue
  • To make big progress in your endeavors
  • To become a world-class professional and a recognized expert
mastery Robert Greene 3D Book Cover

Mastery by Rober Greene

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Check the book on Amazon or, browse my Top 10 Books

The Book in One Paragraph

To achieve mastery, you need to find your own unique calling, learn a lot from a mentor, and finally develop independent creative thinking. A study of the biographies of other great masters will clarify a lot for you.

You don’t need an innate talent to get to the top of your craft. What you really need is a blueprint for success that will be given to you by other masters. Your main goal in a new unfamiliar field should be the desire to learn as much as possible, and not immediate success or a large amount of money.

You should not be afraid to think creatively and originally and question everything that your mentor taught you. Automate your skills, so that your body and mind act in unison, and you have the opportunity to see the”picture” as a whole.

Lessons I Have Learned

  • Lesson #1: The path to mastery is open to everyone, not just a select few. The human brain can perceive everything that is necessary for mastery.
  • Lesson #2: It is necessary to understand our strengths, given by nature. Understand our deepest and most powerful passions, what we love to do.
  • Lesson #3: People often lack a greater purpose in life. We do not know how useful it is to fill and structure our time.
  • Lesson #4: It’s never too late to start your journey to success. Mastery becomes an inseparable part of a person, his nervous system.
  • Lesson #5: Mastery takes time – from 5 to 10 years of focused practice in a particular direction.

How The Book Changed Me

  • It helped me understand that mastery can be achieved in almost any given field with the right attitude and approach.
  • It made me realize that a great mentor is paramount for success in any endeavor.
  • It encouraged me to take guitar lessons and develop a plan for achieving success.

Mastery Summary + Key Ideas

As you’ve already learned from the points above, Mastery is a kind of book that certainly has something to offer even to the most educated and sophisticated reader.

Down below, I’ve listed the most important ideas, concepts, and insights from the book that I hope you will find useful and helpful.

Let’s get started with the first key idea:

Key Idea #1: the Path to Mastery is open to Everyone. Your brain is capable of acquiring the necessary skills for mastery

mind helping achieving mastery

Most of the people believe that mastery can only be achieved by the selected ones.

If you ask your friends to explain how the greats in the arts, business, athletics, and science acquired their gifts, they will surely say that God or nature has endowed these stars with an almost unnatural level of talent and skill.

However, the book suggests that great results are less talent-driven than you might think.

It is said that highly successful people fill their lives with focused, smart, well-chosen hard work and deep practice, consistently.

It is important to understand that most of these abilities are acquired or earned through deliberate practice and over a long period of time.

One famous study showed that after 10,000 hours of deliberate practice in a specific area, the brain changes qualitatively and establishes new connections between previously unrelated areas. This allows you to quickly see any problem in this area from a new and rather broader perspective.

This is best manifested in a person’s ability to solve a specific problem, obviously, thinking about something completely different.

So do never accept the notion that people are either born creative thinkers or they will never become ones. You can control and train your brain to perform at its best.

Masters have developed a strong connection between mind and body – a connection that is actually deeply rooted in people’s nature.

As a master, your body and mind will become one thing, enabling you to reach a higher level of understanding and skill. Moreover, even if you are proficient in practicing your own subject, you will be able to see a bigger picture and use this knowledge to accomplish great achievements in other fields.

That said, you need to get off on the right foot…

Key Idea #2: Understand your strong sides. It will help you choose the right path

choosing the right path for success

When each of us feels that our inner voice is calling, we may have experienced some rare moments in our lives.

  • “I should learn BJJ!”
  • “I should start a blog.”
  • “I should launch a YouTube channel.”

This is the moment that should be considered very important according to the book author.

Listening to the inner voice might be one of the best favors you can do yourself in life. It is not easy to find your real call and it may take some time.

Analyze your childhood, teenage years, and the present.

  • Did you ever consider yourself good at anything?
  • Did your family and friends admire you for any traits?
  • What about hobbies?
  • What were your favorite sports, books, movies?

Start listening to you inner voice, it will give you the answers you might have been looking for ages.

When you have set your foot on the right path it is crucial to find the best teacher available at the moment.

The kind of talent whisperer who will help you achieve mastery level at much higher speed.

Key Idea #3: It takes about 5-10 years to Achieve Mastery. A mentor is necessary for the Desired outcome

a real master at work

After choosing the field, subject, or skill to master, the best way to make rapid progress is through internships.

In fact, this is the way most world-class performers have developed their unique skillset.

You should not even consider money as your first driving force and reason to do the work. The deep practice state and constant learning are the two major factors that should be treated with all your respect.

Higher-paying jobs today may provide you with less support and education, which will give you 10 times the return in the future.

A lower-paying job that provides a great apprentice system and free education should be the most right decision you can make. The guidance and support from your mentor and colleagues will have a much greater impact on your future than a position that offers a slightly higher salary.

You will be able to eliminate silly mistakes all the beginners make and climb the mastery ladder way faster than others.

Excellent training programs provide a much higher return on investment.

Benjamin Franklin could have followed his father’s successful candle business. Instead, he found a job in a printing house, which he knew would help him master the art of writing and leverage the power of media.

The relationship between the master and the apprentice is almost sacred. Finding a great mentor is arguably the most important you can make on the way to mastery.

Once you have finished your apprenticeship, it’s time to push your limits and take the necessary risk for achieving a truly unparalleled level of mastery. Your own unique style is what will make you exceptional.

According to Robert Greene, you should approach new challenges with an open mind and not be afraid of looking at the problems from different angles. Challenge everything you know. This is the way progress is made.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You will lose a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on the way to success.

Are you up to the challenge?

Putting It All Together

Mastery, written by Robert Greene, is a wonderful book that should be read by all the people who want to achieve the greatest results in their professions.

If you want to understand what it really takes to become a true master of any given subject then this book is one of the best of its kind.

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 never focus enough to learn.

The book might make you realize that you don’t necessarilly have to be a genius to become great at something. The reall issue might be hidden under the unwillingness to devote certain amount of hours for acquiring world-class skills.

However, if you are able to pick up the right kind of niche, develop a clear plan with the help of your mentor, and stick to it for a long run, success is inevitable.

Going Beyond the Summary

You wouldn’t expect me to leave you with the book summary alone, would you?

There are some extra materials I would like to share with you.

They might make a great addition to the knowledge you gained from the summary above.

So if you are up to going down the rabbit hole, I suggest you the following resources.

Recommended Reading

If you like Mastery, you may also enjoy the following books:

Purchase the Original Book

There is always much more to discover from the full-text books.

Most of the time, you will even find some additional ideas and insights that have almost nothing to do with the book’s main topic.

So if you found my summary helpful and the book worth your time, consider buying the original version on Amazon or browse for more book summaries to discover more promising titles.


Additional References

  1. Developing talents: A longitudinal examination of intellectual ability and academic achievement by D. Betsy McCoach
  2. Acquiring Intellectual Skills by J. F. Voss and J. Wiley
  3. Effortless Mastery Liberating The Master Musician Within Book And CD by Joel Martínez Jazz