The term “Mastery” can often be elusive in definition and perceived as unattainable. The 20th Century has also done a good job at using terms like Mastery, Excellence, Significance, Success and Wealth interchangeably. Most today equate it all with wealth accumulation, the “bling” as they say. The idea of mastery of self has been relegated to the pseudo-science and metaphysics sections of books stores. Or worse, the stuff of an Anthony Robbins seminar or other self-help gurus that have been poked fun of by the documentary, “Kumare”.
In truth, there is real science behind excellence, behind mastery. There are many individuals throughout history who have followed specific ‘formulas’, for lack of a better term, and made significant achievements over the course of their lifetimes that go far beyond wealth accumulation. Although in many cases, wealth was a convenient by-product.
Robert Greene’s book, “Mastery”, does a good job at breaking down some of the mystery into practical specifics. The post below from Entrepreneur.com also does a good job of giving a bullet point overview of the fundamental lessons of his book. It’s worth a review.
Greene’s book is dense with information and can be tedious to read for someone new to the subject. An earlier book by the same name written by George Leonard provides a better starting point if you want a much shorter and lighter read. Leonard’s book is still concise and gives a practical approach to the topic of mastery.