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Mastery - Robert Greene
I bought this book as soon as it came out ten years ago, and read it again as soon as I finished it.
Greene was already popular from his original trilogy (33 Strategies, 48 Laws, Art of Seduction), but to me this is the best one.
His other books have a lot more to do with other people, but Mastery is much more about yourself. Also included in Mastery is the most useful (IMO) strategies from the other books, without the headache of trying to remember 48 different laws, for example.
Since Greene is studied by practically everyone who matters in this world, I consider all four books mandatory reading for those who want to do more than just work a job. The main reason to be aware of these tactics are to spot them when they’re being used on you - again, anyone who wants to be “somebody” has most likely read those books.
Mastery, however, is probably his least talked about book, which is a shame because it is by far the most practical and least manipulative- you don’t have to use tactics on other people to become a master yourself.
Mastery is also a concept that is basically forgotten in modern times, and Greene makes some excellent points as to why we SHOULD aim to achieve mastery in our field.
Everyone wants to “seduce” or be powerful, but people really don’t seem to want the reality of hard work to attain Mastery - just buy crypto and be rich, right?
Ten years ago I was in a very different place in life, and a totally different career path, and this book helped me get back to my real callings. Now, most of the things I highlighted back then are irrelevant, I’ve done them, but I found a whole new level of inspiration, because the book covers each stage of Mastery, and I am now much further along.
I consider this book mandatory reading. Not just for those who “want” to be a master - you probably have given yourself excuses as to why mastery isn’t necessary, or maybe haven’t even considered mastering anything at all, because our culture doesn’t promote it at all, or thinks that masters have some born talent that makes them special. But no one is born a master.
If you’ve already found and developed your calling you’ll still probably enjoy this.