14 Quotes on Mastery and How To Identify and Cultivate Your Life’s Task
Introduction: Finding your Life’s Task can be one of the most important discoveries of your lifetime.
In order to live a fulfilled life, we need to live fulfilled days. And if we want to feel fulfilled day-in and day-out then we need to pay attention to how we’re spending our time. The great accumulation of minutes and hours turns into days and weeks which turns into months and years which, of course, turns into a lifetime. And when you boil it down to how we spend the majority of our time on a daily basis, which area do most of us invest our time into? It’s our Life’s Task.
Your Life Task is your career/ your creative work/ your mission/ etc., that puts to use your strengths and aptitudes and brings to life your unique visions and goals for the world. If we choose to do a job or follow a career that turns us off, stunts our growth, and/or limits our creative potential, we’re going to spend that huge chunk of our life in a miserable way. If, however, we can bring to fruition our Life’s Task, and cultivate the best of who we are and what we have to give, then that huge chunk of our life will be fulfilled.
In the book Mastery by Robert Greene, we get a detailed description of how we can identify/discover our Life’s Task, how we can overcome obstacles and challenges as we cultivate it and bring it to life, and what we have to do to take that self-discovery to the highest level possible—to the level of mastery. Below, you’ll find our list of 14 quotes on mastery from Robert Greene that will help you identify and cultivate your Life’s Task. Take note of where you are on your journey—whether you still need to discover or cultivate—and pay close attention to the quotes that dig deeper into those areas. These quotes are thorough so take your time and if you read something that inspires you, remember to take action on it right away. Good luck!
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The List: 14 Quotes on Mastery and How To Identify and Cultivate Your Life’s Task.
#14 – The first move towards mastery is always inward.
“You possess a kind of inner force that seeks to guide you toward your Life’s Task—what you are meant to accomplish in the time that you have to live. In childhood this force was clear to you. It directed you toward activities and subjects that fit your natural inclinations, that sparked a curiosity that was deep and primal. In the intervening years, the force tends to fade in and out as you listen more to parents and peers, to the daily anxieties that wear away at you. This can be the source of your unhappiness—your lack of connection to who you are and what makes you unique. The first move toward mastery is always inward—learning who you really are and reconnecting with that innate force. Knowing it with clarity, you will find your way to the proper career path and everything else will fall into place. It is never too late to start this process.”
#13 – You are born with a Life Task. Will you ever fully realize it?
“You are born with a particular makeup and tendencies that mark you as a piece of fate. It is who you are to the core. Some people never become who they are; they stop trusting in themselves; they conform to the tastes of others, and they end up wearing a mask that hides their true nature. If you allow yourself to learn who you really are by paying attention to that voice and force within you, then you can become what you were fated to become—an individual, a Master.”
#12 – Don’t question why… Trust in nature and start taking action.
“Your true self does not speak in words or banal phrases. Its voice comes from deep within you, from the substrata of your psyche, from something embedded physically within you. It emanates from your uniqueness, and it communicates through sensations and powerful desires that seem to transcend you. You cannot ultimately understand why you are drawn to certain activities or forms of knowledge. This cannot really be verbalized or explained. It is simply a fact of nature. In following this voice you realize your own potential, and satisfy your deepest longings to create and express your uniqueness. It exists for a purpose, and it is your Life’s Task to bring it to fruition.”
#11 – Focus on strengths more so than weaknesses.
“There are many paths to mastery, and if you are persistent you will certainly find one that suits you. But a key component in the process is determining your mental and psychological strengths and working with them. To rise to the level of mastery requires many hours of dedicated focus and practice. You cannot get there if your work brings you no joy and you are constantly struggling to overcome your own weaknesses. You must look deep within and come to an understanding of these particular strengths and weaknesses you possess, being as realistic as possible. Knowing your strengths, you can lean on them with utmost intensity. Once you start in this direction, you will gain momentum. You will not be burdened by conventions, and you will not be slowed down by having to deal with skills that go against your inclinations and strengths. In this way, your creative and intuitive powers will be naturally awakened.
#10 – The world is dying for more creativity.
“Creativity is by its nature an act of boldness and rebellion. You are not accepting the status quo or conventional wisdom. You are playing with the very rules you have learned, experimenting and testing the boundaries. The world is dying for bolder ideas, for people who are not afraid to speculate and investigate. Creeping conservatism will narrow your searches, tether you to comfortable ideas, and create a downward spiral—as the creative spark leaves you, you will find yourself clutching even more forcefully to dead ideas, past successes, and the need to maintain your status. Make creativity rather than comfort your goal and you will ensure far more success for the future.”
#9 – Your task as a creative thinker:
“Your task as a creative thinker is to actively explore the unconscious and contradictory parts of your personality, and to examine similar contradictions and tensions in the world at large. Expressing these tensions within your work in any medium will create a powerful effect on others, making them sense unconscious truths or feelings that have been obscured or repressed.”
#8 – Make sure your values are aligned before you start your journey.
“It is a simple law of human psychology that your thoughts will tend to revolve around what you value most. If it is money, you will choose a place for your apprenticeship that offers the biggest paycheck. Inevitably, in such a place you will feel greater pressures to prove yourself worthy of such pay, often before you are really ready. You will be focused on yourself, your insecurities, the need to please and impress the right people, and not on acquiring skills. It will be too costly for you to make mistakes and learn from them, so you will develop a cautious, conservative approach. As you progress in life, you will become addicted to the fat paycheck and it will determine where you go, how you think, and what you do. Eventually, the time that was not spent on learning skills will catch up with you, and the fall will be painful.”
#7 – What separates those who master a field from the many who simply work at a job:
“In our culture we tend to equate thinking and intellectual powers with success and achievement. In many ways, however, it is an emotional quality that separates those who master a field from the many who simply work at a job. Our levels of desire, patience, persistence, and confidence end up playing a much larger role in success than sheer reasoning powers. Feeling motivated and energized, we can overcome almost anything. Feeling bored and restless, our minds shut off and we become increasingly passive.”
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#6 – Never half-ass your work/ Life’s Task.
“Your emotional commitment to what you are doing will be translated directly into your work. If you go at your work with half a heart, it will show in the lackluster results and in the laggard way in which you reach the end. If you are doing something primarily for money and without a real emotional commitment, it will translate into something that lacks a soul and that has no connection to you. You may not see this, but you can be sure that the public will feel it and that they will receive your work in the same lackluster spirit it was created in. If you are excited and obsessive in the hunt, it will show in the details. If your work comes from a place deep within, its authenticity will be communicated.”
#5 – Make the human brain your priority.
“If there is any instrument you must fall in love with and fetishize, it is the human brain—the most miraculous, awe-inspiring, information-processing tool devised in the known universe, with a complexity we can’t even begin to fathom, and with dimensional powers that far outstrip any piece of technology in sophistication and usefulness.”
#4 – Brace yourself, because that brain of yours is about to become radically altered.
“When you move toward mastery, your brain becomes radically altered by the years of practice and active experimentation. It is no longer the simple ecosystem of years gone by. The brain of a Master is so richly interconnected that it comes to resemble the physical world, and becomes a vibrant ecosystem in which all forms of thinking associate and connect. This growing similarity between the brain and complex life itself represents the ultimate return to reality.”
#3 – Be a creator rather than a consumer.
“Masters manage to blend the two—discipline and a childlike spirit—together into what we shall call the Dimensional Mind. Such a mind is not constricted by limited experience or habits. It can branch out into all directions and make deep contact with reality. It can explore more dimensions of the world. The Conventional Mind is passive—it consumes information and regurgitates it in familiar forms. The Dimensional Mind is active, transforming everything it digests into something new and original, creating instead of consuming.”
#2 – Mastery is a function of focus, time, and deliberate practice. And the X factor…
“Mastery is not a function of genius or talent. It is a function of time and intense focus applied to a particular field of knowledge. But there is another element, an X factor that Masters inevitably possess, that seems mystical but that is accessible to us all. Whatever field of activity we are involved in, there is generally an accepted path to the top. It is a path that others have followed, and because we are conformist creatures, most of us opt for this conventional route. But Masters have a strong inner guiding system and a high level of self-awareness. What has suited others in the past does not suit them, and they know that trying to fit into a conventional mold would only lead to a dampening of spirit, the reality they seek eluding them. And so inevitably, these Masters, as they progress on their career paths, make a choice at a key moment in their lives: they decide to forge their own route, one that others will see as unconventional, but that suits their own spirit and rhythms and leads them closer to discovering the hidden truths of their objects of study. This key choice takes self-confidence and self-awareness—the X factor that is necessary for attaining mastery.”
#1 – Attaining mastery is extremely necessary and positive.
“You must see your attempt at attaining mastery as something extremely necessary and positive. The world is teeming with problems, many of them of our own creation. To solve them will require a tremendous amount of effort and creativity. Relying on genetics, technology, magic, or being nice and natural will not save us. We require the energy not only to address practical matters, but also to forge new institutions and orders that fit our changed circumstances. We must create our own world or we will die from inaction.”
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If you enjoyed the above quotes on mastery, you can find more quotes, resources, and info from the book below:
By: Robert Greene
Book Overview: Each one of us has within us the potential to be a Master. Learn the secrets of the field you have chosen, submit to a rigorous apprenticeship, absorb the hidden knowledge possessed by those with years of experience, surge past competitors to surpass them in brilliance, and explode established patterns from within. Study the behaviors of Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Leonardo da Vinci and the nine contemporary Masters interviewed for this book. The bestseller author of The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, and The 33 Strategies of War, Robert Greene has spent a lifetime studying the laws of power. Now, he shares the secret path to greatness. With this seminal text as a guide, readers will learn how to unlock the passion within and become masters.