Thanks for tuning into episode #9 of my Robert Greene guest interview. The level of content and value delivered in this podcast is mind numbing. For anyone who is struggling with life or their purpose, this podcast will definitely provide them with how to achieve mastery in life. I think I will stop here and let you read and/or listen to the podcast from here.
Is Being Fearless innate or Cultivated Over Time?
It’s not innate at all, what is innate is to be afraid. We’re products of evolution. Human beings, in our earliest years (millions of years ago) were very powerless, weak creatures; Mans survival depended on groups and hunting for survival.
Fear is deeply embedded in our limbic system and fear helped us in a positive way where it allowed us to recognize certain situations releasing a rush of adrenaline to help us escape for the intensity of the moment. But the problem is that we no longer live in an age where we have these primal fears. Instead, we have these vague fears that our systems are not adjusted to even today. Today, our biological system is primed for the same fear and it’s not suited for working in places like a Manhattan office. Therefore, we are not able to adjust very well and we have these anxieties that are no longer needed. The point is, everyone feels fear.
As an example: General Patton who during World War One ducked and covered too much for bullets flying his way and he felt panicked and shamed by his people. However, later on, he learned to force himself into danger. After that, he was known as the most fearless general.
That’s the model – fear is natural when you go into a meeting with powerful people, or if you’re performing. At first, you’re going to feel fear and the people who deny that, they are not being realistic and something bad will happen to them. You have to confront your fears and slowly work to overcome what Patton did and be conscious and aware and slowly work to overcome the fear. Awareness of weakness is the first step to becoming fearless.
Do Men and Woman Seek Different Kinds of Power in Relationships?
My books are gender free – but in my books, I try to avoid generalizations. In the power game, women have a disadvantage; because they are judged in a different standard. It’s harder for them to have a tough persona that is necessary to project to be a leader and it’s a harder to not be seen as a bitch, which is a highly complex game. They have to be tough but not seem tough. On the other hand, Woman are better in power dynamics because they are more social and more sensitive than men.
The women who rise to the top of power positions have to be extremely aware of this. Another advantage Woman have in that they are socialized earlier and they are attentive and it can be very powerful in business and everything else. Because they are more attentive and socially superior, this can translate into business and politics for them.
Is Everyone Made To Do Something Exceptional? How Do You Know What You’re Meant To Be doing In Life?
There is s couple of ways to attack that. This is the first subject of Mastery because it is the most important. You’re not going to master anything unless you discover what you’re meant to do. This is the key step to everything. The first thing we have to remove is the notation that we’re superior to others. For example, “there is an Einstein type of person that I know and I can’t be as good as him.”
There is scientific evidence that we’re born with the same brain and it’s just a remarkable thing that this fact never gets published. There are differences between how the brain is configured and subtle differences. Yet, there is no brain that is larger than someone else’s. We’re remarkably alike as humans. There is no genetic thing that makes someone more superior than others. However, your DNA is unique than others and your DNA determines what you’re most interested in such as sports, math, music, literature and its all there. As you get older, you lose contact with that inclination about the interests written in your DNA because you start hearing what teacher’s tell you what you should do and what your parents tell you and that is your problem.
This interest written in your DNA is clear at the age of 3 or 4 and at 17 or 19. You may lose that interest and someday, however, it may come back and that may also be a path you get to follow under. When you’re 20-21 you will have a lot of time to do this. When you’re 30-40, that will be a little bit more difficult and if you’re 50 its still not difficult but challenging. Everyone has something unique and a special ability and putting it all together is necessary. We’re entering a world that is very competitive and it’s increasingly necessary to follow your interests but if you’re not doing this and you’re not becoming creative and excited at what you do, you will be in such a disadvantage in the future.
What Inspired You To Write Mastery And How Do You Apply The Principles In Your Own Life?
I wrote Mastery because I’ve been researching great historical figures. I found out that these historical figures clearly had intelligence on another level which allowed them in the heat of the battle to make the right power moves. Having this kind of intuition into what these people have is what inspired me to describe it in Mastery – I wanted to write a book for the reader on how to find the path and how they can reach that intelligence as well.
I also wanted to make it clear and write particularly to young people that we get caught up in technology and the power around us. Because I am worried about young people, I wanted to write a book that if they wanted to have success, power and fulfillment, they would have to overcome a lot of the distractions that the world throws at them and master themselves to not become someone that needs instant gratification who cannot focus. I wanted to write a book that Inspires people to follow the process and wake them up to the dangers if they don’t
As for myself, a lot of the ideas in the book are things that I have discovered myself such as when I found my calling as a writer and I served my apprenticeship.
What are 3 pieces of advice based on your book Mastery on how someone can become a master at any trade?
The key is in choosing the right trade. Knowing more deeply what your skills are intended for will really help and based on that knowledge you will have to go through an apprenticeship and that means choosing a place with a high learning curve.
For example, if you’re 22 or 23 and you’re choosing your first career, you’re not going to generally start off as an entrepreneur. However, you have a choice for a place that pays really well or a place that pays little but you will be given a lot of responsibility where you will learn hands on. You want to avoid the big corporation, that big paycheck, the pressure that comes with that. The fact that you don’t have that much responsibility, you want to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible.
You’re more creative when you’re younger; you have more energy as well. You want to have a really solid, really intense apprenticeship in your 20s and not drag it out and the way to do that is to choose a place where you will learn the most. You should also get a mentor. It’s the thing that will really help and streamline the process. Sometimes we don’t have a mentor but we can usually find one by reading a book on someone we admire. Generally find someone who does what you want to do and fits your kind of behavior patterns and have the same character traits that you have.
The point is to have someone show you the mistakes you should avoid, provide really solid feedback and criticism and basically give you attention that you’re not going to get when working on your own and with people that don’t undertrained you.
Filter out what suites you and find that opening position that you want to be in and finding that person in the open world that can serve as your mentor are the top elements for success.
Do you believe that passion can turn into expertise? I always tell my audience to find what they love and the money will come – what is your take on that?
Its 100% true and although it sounds like a cliché and something someone would say to sound really good, the bottom line is that the statement is very true. There are situations you have to modify that because there are those born in situations that can’t do something they love. If that is the case, be honest and realistic with yourself. I’m a realistic and a realist in life about telling people to drop your day job and do something you love is not realistic.
However if you work at a job you hate and you’re depressed – what you need to do is think and plan ahead 2-3 years into the future and say to yourself “this is what I will do in the future. You might say to yourself that you will go to college, you will read these books, you will meet these people, and knowing that, you will immediately shift your power and you will feel powerful knowing that in the next 2-3 years you will go towards that direction.
Today, we are living in a hyper competitive environment. No longer are we competing just with our community but instead, globally. For everyone who has the same dreams and desires as you do, there are 25 others in the same position. It’s rough and brutal out there.
If you look at all the entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, these are originals. Somehow, they are not replaceable and that is the same position you want to be in by the time you’re 35. By this time, you will have the skills that no one else can do which will make you irreplaceable. If you don’t do what you love, you won’t be paying attention and you wont be focusing or become emotionally engaged in your work. This is the most realistic advice someone can give to you especially if you’re someone in your early 20’s.
Is there a particular reason you did not write about Steve jobs in your books?
The problem was that when I wrote the book, he was very ill and I could not dream of interviewing him. He was a very closed person, if you look for the records of who he was, you can’t find him. That is why Walter Isacson’ book was so special because it revealed who this man was and it didn’t come out until I had finished writing Mastery.
Since then, I’ve read the Walter Isaacson book and found out that he is a living embodiment of what I have written in my books such as discovering your passion early on, his insane passion with electronics, and as he got older he loved designs. It was interesting how he combined both interests. These were not interests that many people could pull off, they were creativity, art and electronics and there were very few people who would have those particular interests in life and he was able to continually apply both
Steve Jobs went through rigorous apprenticeship with Apple and later did the same with Next. Steve had incredible mentors. I would not say he was brilliant at the social intelligence game because that was a weakness of his but after he joined apple again, he found a way to solve that. I wish I had gotten to interview him and talk about him and how appropriate he would have been for the book.
Listener question: For people who don’t know what their life purpose is, what is a great way to find out?
This is a great question and to the heart of the problem! First off, don’t be impatient – give yourself 6 months to figure this out and calm down. Start keeping a journal of some sort. You will go through a process during this moment where you will get in touch with yourself. You need to get in touch with yourself because you have been listening to so many people and you don’t know who you’re anymore. You should look at your childhood and throughout your youth and find out what you were naturally drawn to and enjoyed the most
You should keep your journal on what you were good at but instead you listened to your parents. If you were working at a job you hated, you should be writing it down. Also, if you loved something at a particular job like socializing with people as an example, you should be journaling on that too. You want to write about emotional things as well such as what pushes you emotionally one way or another? Let’s say you open a newspaper and see an article you like and you say to yourself, “wow, that is a subject I have to read more about because that really intrigues me” — It can be about anything but I want you to take note about the excitement because it’s an indication of something really deep within you that draws you into the subject.
Like I said before, I want you to get in touch with your mistakes and your failures such as “I took a wrong path here so let’s analyze it and why do I hate it or what went wrong?” By being aware of yourself and what you hate or love, and when the moment comes for a new career path, it will be easier for you to make a decision about what you’re good at or love and also about the wrong choice you made in the past. You got to look at yourself and ask yourself these questions.
Listener Question: how do I apply the laws of power in the workplace?
The problem is that this is so general. There are 48 laws and there are so many circumstances. The main thing is that you have to know who you’re and who is above and below you. Some of the laws are very applicable such as how to handle your bosses and your colleagues and if they are scheming. The main thing about the laws is that you become more aware of the laws – as a result, your eyes are open, you’re very conscious and not naive, you’re not thinking of yourself and you’re not buried inside your own thoughts and emotions.
The people above you have egos and insecurities and you have to be aware of that. They may not be as confident as you think they are. It’s more about the awareness of the game around you. The 48 laws are more about having awareness and being strategic than anything else. Its important not to become emotional because that is the worse thing that can happen. If you do become emotional, you won’t be able to know what is happening. Keeping your control, managing your emotions and trying to see it like a game with what people are doing to you as best as you can is what the 48 laws of power refers to.
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Thanks for listening to the Robert Greene Guest interview #2! You can find Robert Greene’ guest interview #1 by clicking here. What was your favorite question and how is it going to help you in your life?