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Seduction, power, and mastery: 3 lessons from history's greatest minds - The Week

Stashed in: Steve Jobs, Practice, History!, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Einstein, 10,000 Hours, Power!, Edison, innovation, creativity, The Nature of the Beast, inspiration, motivation

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Eric this is a wonderful post thank you so much for sharing this with us all here on Panda Whale I am blown away with the post and its got me thinking I need to tell my story one day. 

Ashie you definitely need to tell your story!

Anyone who has watched the TV show Survivor knows:

What is often the root of gaining power? Deception.

Why does deception work so well?

Because people usually believe appearances.

Here’s Robert:

A lot of it has to do with how easily we judge things by appearances. If someone appears to be saintly, if someone appears to be nice, well, then that’s who they are, that’s who they must be. Our first reaction isn’t to tell ourselves, “Well, maybe that person who seems so nice, he or she’s actually playing a game, they’re wearing a mask. They’re doing it for a reason.” It’s very hard for us to think like that in those terms. We’re very gullible.

Watch Robert:

I love the section on mastery:

What should you do with your life? 

Robert says that the only way to survive the years of struggle required to master something is to do what you love.

Here’s Robert:

To get to the point where you master your field, you have to love it. You must have a personal, emotional connection to it. I could go down the list of the hundred masters that are in the book, from Steve Jobs to Einstein to Thomas Edison to Martha Graham, they all have that one trait in common.

You’ll never have the patience and the persistence to put up with all of the boring parts that go into mastery, the repetition and the learning rules and procedures, following orders, being someone very low down on the totem pole in the beginning if you don’t love what you’re doing.

How do you figure out what you love?

First off, stop waiting for a lightbulb to suddenly appear over your head. Start trying things until something clicks.

Lessons from thousands of years of history:

The need to do what you love jumped out at me as well.  If you are doing what you truly love, it just doesn't feel like "work."

That's right. The tricky part for most people is earning enough so that we can do what we want.

I think that's where society's materialism gets in the way.   We have been been so conditioned to believe we need certain things to be happy, even though the research doesn't support our beliefs. For example, I have a friend who simplified her life so she could work les and spend more time rock climbing. She says she is so much happier.   But, making that choice  requirefd going against a lot of what we have been taught. 

It's not as hard as we might think (most things aren't as hard we might think). I've done this multiple times in my life (as my curiosity/boredom shifted) and each time managed to find a way to get paid for doing what I love. The biggest challenge is deconstructing what you love to do and then putting it into a broader context (that almost doesn't make sense but bear with me).Like a lot of us, I like hacking things (how does it work, how can I make it better). I've hacked cars (7 years wrenching on exotics and race cars), real estate (7 years selling houses), and the last dozen+ in technology. I expect to stay in tech for a while, it moves fast enough and the problems are varied enough to fit quite well with my pathological curiosity. I recommend reading "What Color is My Parachute". I know, it's been around for ever but the basic principles for figuring your core drivers AND the broader context works great. When I first read it, they suggested mechanicing, real estate sales, and software development. I thought the 2nd and 3rd ideas were crazy (damn fortune tellers!!). Regarding mastery - I don't believe the 10K hour thing is always true (gasp!!)Yes some people are expert+ after 10K hours - and a lot of people still suck after 25K.Then we have people like Tim Ferris who deconstruct it down into less than 100 for high degrees of competency.I think it's more a factor of rapid experimentation, learning, and tolerance for failure (lean personal development?).If you believe you can do it - you can.

I like that concept -- "lean personal development" -- meaning that you iterate and learn.

The hardest thing to do is manage our emotions, especially emotions like fear of failure.

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