Power: How to Master the Game Being Played Around You

In November of 2012 I decided to join professional network/entrepreneurial brain trust.

The rationale was simple, successful people don’t succeed on their own.

There are two parts to the program:

  • Monthly interviews with a wide array of brilliant people, masters and advisors that have helped countless people with productivity, health, psychology, and more
  • Membership to an exclusive community of ambitious professionals to hold you accountable, encourage you, and help you live a Rich Life

I read as much (or more) than anyone I know, but reading is a time consuming endeavor.

This brain trust provides access to knowledge, wisdom and proven strategies that top performers use to…

  1. Get more done
  2. Stay focused
  3. Earn more money

Below is a video preview and my notes from Robert Greene, author of NY Times bestselling books, The 48 Laws of Power and Mastery. He discusses the inner psychology of becoming a master, how to ready yourself to seize big opportunities in your life, and shares his unconventional advice on inoculating yourself against the mind games being played around you.

  • Mastery is beyond proficiency and competency
    • It’s another level where you no longer have to think; high-level intuition takes over
  • Four components of mastery:
    • Not just knowledge, but creative with your knowledge. It’s fluid. (ex: Steve Jobs with the iPod.)
    • Emotional quality: Persistence and fearlessness. The ability to bend with adversity.
    • Social and political skills.
    • Luck.
  • There are no shortcuts to developing the emotional quality of mastery
  • To master anything requires a process. We live in a world where everyone is so impatient.
    • The worst thing that can happen to you is NOT TRYING.
    • Trying, and failing, is sometimes the best education ever.
    • Get comfortable with uncomfortable. It means you’re learning.
  • You don’t learn anything unless you’re experiencing frustration
    • Push past that (have grit/perseverance)
    • Get tougher
    • Learn from your mistakes
    • Embrace failure, trouble and mistakes
    • It’s like working out… the pain leads to pleasure (most classic example)
  • As you get more advanced your technical skills matter less and your social skills matter more
  • Publicity, marketing, public relations, the ability to influence people, the ability to persuade people; there’s not a single aspect of life that doesn’t require persuading skills. That comes from knowledge of people.
  • Social skills can be learned
    • “I’m not a people person” is a bad excuse. It just means you haven’t developed those skills.
    • “There’s a not a profession on the planet where people skills don’t matter.”
  • The number #1 commodity that you want on a path to mastery is being creative; being yourself.
    • We live in a world where relying on yourself will become increasingly prevalent.
    • “There’s only one of you.” (ex: Scott Adams combining writing with comics and the drudgery of office work)
  • There are ways for adjusting your life’s path so that it matches something that excites you.
  • Children demonstrate and have a degree of awareness of what they like/don’t like that ultimately gets drowned out by other influences like friends, family, etc.
    • The ability to reconnect with who you are and what you love and what you don’t love is a form of brutal honesty
  • Brutal honest (with yourself) is a very valuable skill
    • What would 15-year old me want to do?
  • The world of going to work at Goldman Sachs and working your way slowly up the greasy pole is the past. The world is now there for people who do something different or special.
  • Powerful and successful people have other people do all their work and then put their name on it. (Ex: John Stewart has a whole team of writers)
  • Life is not fair, but that’s how the world is… Play the game strategically instead of emotionally.
  • Even if you disagree with someone’s strategy… If something is working for them deconstruct it from your own perspective and apply it accordingly. (i.e. Divorce advice from the person.)
  • Explore potential scenarios of “what might happen?”
    • The more you do this the more pattern recognition comes into play. (i.e. Scenario planning)
  • Learn to get out of your own head and listen and absorb other people.
    • There’s a lot going on (power, seduction, body language, social intelligence) that we experience every day, but don’t pay enough attention to.
  • What really succeeds in this world is “standing out.”
    • You’ve got to be bold.
  • When reading books, take it all in… Don’t prematurely reject it.
    • Read authors and books that you’re diametrically opposed to in order to open your mind to other ways of thinking

ROBERT’S CHALLENGE: “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone” 

Open yourself up to new sources of information (one week), 1 new physical habit (two weeks) and 1 new hobby (one month).

Notice how this challenge will open your mind up. You have to get out of your comfort zone and learn something new to act like a child again. You have to be awkward, and you have to go, “Well, I don’t know it.” That’s good for you. It’s really good for you to have that frustration. Go back to that.

Otherwise, as Steve Jobs says, your mind is a like grooves in a record… just going around in the same grooves.


If you want access to all my interview notes, and additional insight and analysis on the mindsets and strategies that other top performers use, please subscribe below: