Robert Greene on the secret of Mastery [Transcript]

We, humans, tend to fixate on what we can see with our eyes, it is the most animal part of our nature. When we look at the changes and transformations in other people’s lives, we see the good luck that someone had, we see the book or the project that brings the money and the attention. In other words, we see the visible signs of opportunity and success.

What really allows for such dramatic changes, are the things that occur on the inside of a person and are completely invisible: The slow accumulation of knowledge and skills, the incremental improvements in work habits and the ability to withstand criticism. Any change in people’s fortune is merely the visible manifestation of all of that deep preparation over time.

By essentially ignoring this internal invisible aspect we fail to change anything fundamental within ourselves and so in a few years time we reach our limits yet again we grow frustrated we crave change we grab onto something quick and superficial and we remain prisoners forever of these recurring patterns in our lives.

The answer, the key to the abilities to transform ourselves is actually insanely simple: To reverse this perspective, stop fixating on what other people are saying and doing, on the money, the connections, the outward appearance of things. Instead look inward, focus on the smaller internal changes that lay the groundwork for a much larger change in fortune. It is the difference between grasping at an illusion and immersing yourself in reality. And reality is what will liberate and transform you.