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5 Steps to Become a Master of Your Craft: Wisdom from Robert Greene

Reconnect to Your Roots — Discover Your Calling

  1. Return to your origins: Many masters discovered their inclinations during childhood. What were you obsessed with when you were young?
  2. Occupy the perfect niche: Find a field where your skills can flourish.
  3. Avoid the false path: Do not be seduced to a field for wealth, popularity, or pressure from family and friends. Be honest about your interests, and have the courage to pursue them.
  4. Let go of the past: Your past decisions do not reflect who you are and should not weigh you down. If something feels wrong, quit.
  5. Find your way back: You’ll encounter many hardships throughout your journey. If you decide to quit, you can always return.

Skill Acquisition — Practice/Experiment Mode

Absorb the Master’s Power: The Mentor Dynamic

  1. Choose a mentor according to your needs and inclination: “In this case, the right choice can perhaps provide what your parents didn’t give you — support, confidence, direction, space to discover things on your own.” — Robert Greene, Mastery
  2. Gaze deep into the mentor’s mirror: Mentors will point out your weaknesses. Embrace it. You will only gain more confidence through objective feedback.
  3. Transfigure their ideas: As you continually learn concepts from your mentor, apply them with your own creative spin.
  4. Create a back and forth dynamic: This isn’t a one-sided relationship. Be very clear what you want to learn and adjust their instruction to fit your need.

Awaken the Dimensional Mind

  1. Cultivate Negative Capability: Practice imagining that everything can go wrong, anytime.
  2. Allow for Serendipity: Break away from your normal realm of comfort and explore the unfamiliar. Let new discoveries come.
  3. Alternate the Mind Through “the Current”: The Current is our “dialogue between our thoughts and reality”. If practiced deeply enough, we can come into contact with an ideology that is something far above our limited senses.
  4. Alter Your Perspective: Approach your subject or problem from a different angle. Locate its ambiguity and take notice of its relation and differences.
  5. Revert to Primal Intelligence: Spoken language can be limiting. Get visual with diagrams, pictures, and colors.

Attaining Mastery

  1. Internalize the Details — The Life Force: See your work as something alive. Study and absorb its details to the point where you can feel it expressed effortlessly.
  2. Submit to the Other — The Inside Out Perspective: Surrender your ego, and allow others to input their perspective. It’s valuable feedback.
  3. Synthesize all forms of knowledge — The Universal Man/Woman: Extend your knowledge to unknown territory. By breaking away from convention, you will be able to a test new creative ideas and inch closer to becoming a master of your craft.

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