Motivational Quotes

“You must see every setback, failure, or hardship as a trial along the way, as seeds that are being planted for further cultivation, if you know how to grow them.  No moment is wasted if you pay attention and learn the lessons contained in every experience.  By constantly applying yourself to the subject that suits your inclinations and attacking it from many different angles, you are simply enriching the ground for these seeds to take root.  You may not see this process in the present, but it is happening.  Never losing your connection to your Life’s Task, you will unconsciously hit upon the right choices in your life.  Over time, mastery will come to you.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“Understand: to create a meaningful work of art or to make a discovery or invention requires great discipline, self-control, and emotional stability.  It requires mastering the forms of your field.  Drugs and madness only destroy such powers.  Do not fall for the romantic myths and clichés that abound in culture about creativity—offering us the excuse or panacea that such powers can come cheaply.  When you look at the exceptionally creative work of Masters, you must not ignore the years of practice, the endless routines, the hours of doubt, and the tenacious overcoming of obstacles these people endured.  Creative energy is the fruit of such efforts and nothing else.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“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.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“Understand: the greatest impediment to creativity is your impatience, the almost inevitable desire to hurry up the process, express something, and make a splash.  What happens in such a case is that you do not master the basics; you have no real vocabulary at your disposal.  What you mistake for being creative and distinctive is more likely an imitation of other people’s style, or personal rantings that do no really express anything.  Audiences, however, are hard to fool.  They feel the lack of rigor, the imitative quality, the urge to get attention, and they turn their backs, or give the mildest praise that quickly passes.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“Sometimes greater danger comes from success and praise than from criticism.  If we learn to handle criticism well, it can strengthen us and help us become aware of flaws in our work.  Praise generally does harm.  Ever so slowly, the emphasis shifts from the joy of the creative process to the love of attention and to our ever-inflating ego.  Without realizing it, we alter and shape our work to attract the praise that we crave.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“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.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“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.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“The human mind is naturally creative, constantly looking to make associations and connections between things and ideas.  It wants to explore, to discover new aspects of the world, and to invent.  To express this creative force is our greatest desire, and the stifling of it the source of our misery.  What kills the creative force is not age or a lack of talent, but our own spirit, our own attitude.  We become too comfortable with the knowledge we have gained in our apprenticeships.  We grow afraid of entertaining new ideas and the effort that this requires.  To think more flexibly entails a risk—we could fail and be ridiculed.  We prefer to live with familiar ideas and habits of thinking, but we pay a steep price for this: our minds go dead from the lack of challenge and novelty; we reach a limit in our field and lose control over our fate because we become replaceable.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“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.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“You must avoid the common mistake of making judgments based on your initial impressions of people.  Such impressions can sometimes tell you something, but more often they are misleading.  There are several reasons for this.  In our initial encounter you tend to be nervous, less open, and more inward.  You are not really paying attention.  Furthermore, people have trained themselves to appear a certain way; they have a persona they use in public that acts like a second skin to protect them.  Unless you are incredibly perceptive, you will tend to mistake the mask for the reality.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“People will say all kinds of things about their motives and intentions; they are used to dressing things up with words.  Their actions, however, say much more about their character, about what is going on underneath the surface.  If they present a harmless front but have acted aggressively on several occasions, give the knowledge of that aggression much greater weight than the surface they present.  In a similar vein, you should take special note of how people respond to stressful situations—often the mask they wear in public falls off in the heat of the moment.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“Pay less attention to the words that people say and greater attention to their tone of voice, the look in their eye, their body language—all signals that might reveal a nervousness or excitement that is not expressed verbally.  If you can get people to become emotional, they will reveal a lot more.  Cutting off your interior monologue and paying deep attention, you will pick up cues from them that will register with you as feelings or sensations.  Trust these sensations—they are telling you something that you will often tend to ignore because it is not easy to verbalize.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“You must allow everyone the right to exist in accordance with the character he has, whatever it turns out to be: and all you should strive to do is to make use of this character in such a way as its kind of nature permits, rather than to hope for any alteration in it, or to condemn it offhand for what it is.  This is the true sense of the maxim—Live and let live… To become indignant at [people’s] conduct is as foolish as to be angry with a stone because it rolls into your path.  And with many people the wisest thing you can do, is to resolve to make use of those whom you cannot alter.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, via Mastery

“Think of it this way:  There are two kinds of failure.  The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time.  This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you.  The second kind comes from a bold venturesome spirit.  If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn.  Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.  In fact, it is a curse to have everything go right on your first attempt.  You will fail to question the element of luck, making you think that you have the golden touch.  When you do inevitably fail, it will confuse and demoralize you past the point of learning. You have everything to gain.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

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