Mastery: By Robert Greene
During our childhood we mostly lived in a period of dependency, and yes we have learnt a lot of things like language, math, reasoning skills and then we moved to a stage of gaining as much information as possible. All of this was under the guidance of our parents and teachers. So after such a long period of dependency, we are finally thrown into this cold, harsh world where we have to be completely independent.
The problem with this is that when we move from the stage of dependency, we are not really ready to move into an entirely independent life. We tend to be somewhat socially naïve and unprepared for the political games people play. We think that what matters in the work world is gaining attention and making money and we are led by all of these misconceptions and that’s why we need an ideal apprenticeship.
The goal of an apprenticeship is not money, a good position, or a title, but rather the transformation of your mind and character. You enter a career as an outsider. You are naive and full of misconceptions about this new world. Your head is full of fantasies and dreams about the future.
Your knowledge of the world is limited and you judge people based on your emotions and not logical observation. Slowly, you will ground yourself in reality. You will learn how to work with others and handle criticism. In the process you will transform yourself from someone who is impatient and scattered into someone who is disciplined and focused, with a mind that can handle complexity.
In the end, you will master yourself and all of your weaknesses.
An Ideal apprenticeship consist of three stages:
- firstly, Deep observation.
When you first enter the working world, you are not there to show how much you know, or how talented you are. This is a stage where you have to understand your field, you have to understand the people in this field, you have to get to know the gurus of this field and find out how they actually became who they are.
And the mistake that people usually do in this stage is that they think this is the time to show their talents to grab the attention after spending 4 years at University because they don’t understand the people they work with. They don’t understand that if you outshine your master, he will feel jealous and get rid of you, they don’t understand all the political games that everyone plays around with.
Most of the things that you have to learn are already there mustered by others, you don’t want to spend countless hours to learn everything by yourself but rather you should take advantage from those who have mastered them already.
- Second, it’s time to learn all the necessary skills.
Now in the Second stage, it’s time to learn all the necessary skills. It’s time to learn how to do all the things that you want. If you want to start a business, you should learn how to negotiate, how to manage people, how to analyse people and understand all the political games that people play.
You have to learn how to setup the foundation of any business and how to make connections with the people that you need. You should learn how to deal with your competitors so that they don’t kick you out of the market. You should learn how to market your business and so on.
- Third, implement all your ideas
Once you have mastered stage two, it’s time to implement all the ideas that you were dreaming of for a long time, it’s time to show your talents and uniqueness to the world. You are taking what previous people in your field have already accomplished and you add to it your unique ideas and experience and that’s how you create a successful carrier or a business.
So when you graduate, don’t do the mistake that most people do, chasing money and attention, but spend time observing your field, and then spend thousands of hours mastering the required skills and finally use those skills into creating a successful carrier or a business.