By Robert Greene
Discover Your Calling
“You have a destiny to fulfill. The stronger you feel and maintain it, the greater you chance for fulfilling this Life’s Task.”
The word vocation means "called" in Latin. The most successful people in the world simply trusted in themselves. The did not listen to friends or family members who told them to exist in mediocrity.
You cannot find your calling unless you are in a field that you truly love.
Avoid a path that attracts you for the wrong reasons like fame and fortune. Do not seek that path because you desire attention. People give up because they are impatient. Be willing to put in five or ten years’ worth of work.
Focus on developing the task at hand. Trying to be a master in the early stages of your training will cause pain and frustration. Instead, be the best at your current stage. Take pride in the effort that you put in and know that people who seem “naturally gifted” usually lack diligence. That will eventually come back to bite them.
Submit to Reality
“Transform yourself from someone who is impatient and scattered into someone who is disciplined and focused that can handle complexity.”
Most people in the United States are extremely soft. We shy away from challenges and things that will toughen us and improve us. When we receive criticism, we get offended instead of learning from feedback.
Sometimes, when people are new to a training environment, they try to impress people and get attention. Instead, study the culture that you are in and remember that you are not there to change it. Be willing to put aside your ego and look at the bigger picture rather than dwelling on feelings. Focus your mind.
Absorb the Master’s Power
“The reason you require a mentor is simple. Life is short; you have only so much time and so much energy to expand. Your most creative years are in your late twenties and on into your forties.”
Humans have a unique power due to mirror neurons. These are what cause us to imitate each other. This is also why learning as an apprentice is such a powerful way to learn a skill. Yet, there can also be a tendency to rely too heavily on the master for guidance.
Know when it’s time to move on. Again, see criticism as a teaching tool to help yourself constantly improve. If your ego overpowers your thinking, you will Not learn.
See People as They Are
“To get upset or try to alter people is futile, it will only make them bitter and resentful. Better to accept such people as one accepts the thorns on a rose.”
Our ancient ancestors learned to use their mirror neurons to imagine what others were thinking. They used empathy to sense others’ feelings. We learn to deceive and manipulate each other and end up projecting our own feelings on them and demonize them.
Learn to develop a keen sense of human nature. Begin to attune himself to the energies of people. Think less of yourself and focus on how those people saw the world. Focus your attention on what people do rather than what they say. Put yourself in their shoes and you may begin to understand their perception of the world.
Awaken the Dimensional Mind
“The dimensional mind is active, transforming everything it digests into something new and original, creating instead of consuming.”
We get comfortable with what is normal and familiar, but this makes our minds weak. When someone breaks free of this conventional pattern of mediocrity, we think that they are lucky or that they are some freak of nature. However, a musical genius like Mozart had a nothing more than a deep love for music. While practicing was a chore to most, it was an opportunity for him to do what he loved.
A deep-rooted interest can appear as a gift. At least that is what we tell ourselves to rationalize someone else's success. A deep interest creates an iron will able to withstand setbacks and criticism. Most people find work just for the money, but true masters like Mozart do what they love and then the money finds its way to them.
Fuse the Intuitive with the Rational
“A high level of intuition is the ultimate sign of mastery. It involves a process that is qualitatively different from rationality, but is even more accurate and perceptive.”
Being dedicated to your art will help kill your fear of failure. You will see setbacks and failures as tools to propel you toward success. True success comes to those who fail more than anyone else. When people point, and call you weird, remember that being normal never gave anyone wealth or success.
Let your weaknesses become your allies. You have a destiny and the things you are insecure about are what make you unique. Failures make you strong and trials are seeds that will develop your inner strength. Every great man or woman had to fail first. They had to be mocked and told that they would never amount to anything. If you have ever dealt with that, you can take that as a sign that you are destined for greatness.
“Only some inner drive can help us overcome obstacles, prepare a path and lift us out of the narrow circle in which others tread out their miserable existence.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe