Mastery Book Summary - Mastery Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Mastery summary

Myths about genius and what it really means to be great

4.3 (648 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

Mastery by Robert Greene explores the journey to becoming a master in any field. Through inspiring stories and historical examples, Greene details the essential elements required to achieve mastery, including dedication, patience, and learning from mentors.
Table of Contents

    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    You don’t need inborn talent to become a master; just follow the steps of masters before you.

    Most people think that the extraordinary accomplishments of great masters like Da Vinci and Mozart stemmed from natural talent and inherent genius.  

    But it’s not true. There is, in fact, no natural link between inborn talent and the mastery of a skill or field.

    As one study showed, while many young children display blazing talent, relatively few of them ever go on to remarkable achievement. On the other hand, those who show little sign of brilliance in school often later accomplish far more than their gifted peers.

    For example, consider Charles Darwin’s younger cousin, Sir Francis Galton. Whereas Darwin was an ordinary boy who showed no sign of exceptional intellect, Galton had a higher IQ and was considered a prodigious genius. Yet today, it’s Darwin who’s regarded as the superior scientist and one of the century’s brightest minds.

    Clearly, mastery does not depend on whether you’re gifted or “ordinary.” So what steps do both a maverick genius and a regular person take to become masters? 

    The answer is: exactly those steps taken by every great master throughout history. Each discovered their field, engaged in some kind of apprenticeship, developed a creative and open mind, then went on to achieve mastery. Edison, Mozart, Einstein, Goethe – the most celebrated masters throughout history all followed a similar path to success.

    Modern masters, too, take the same steps. For example, professional boxer Freddie Roach dreamed of becoming a boxer, apprenticed with the great trainer Eddie Futch, and created a unique fighting style. Roach is now considered one of the best boxing trainers of his generation.

    You don’t need inherited gifts, early talent or a high IQ to become a master. Just find your field or subject and follow the steps of the great masters before you.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Mastery?

    Key ideas in Mastery

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Mastery about?

    In Mastery (2012), author Robert Greene argues and illustrates that everybody can achieve mastery of a skill or field if they follow the established steps of historical and present-day masters. Based on interviews and studies of some of the best in their respective fields, Greene provides a diverse array of tips and strategies on how to become a master.

    Mastery Review

    Mastery (2012) by Robert Greene dives into the process of achieving expertise and excellence in any field. Here's why this book is a must-read:

    • It offers a comprehensive exploration of the principles and strategies behind mastering a skill.
    • The book includes fascinating stories of historical figures and their journeys to greatness.
    • It provides practical advice on overcoming obstacles and harnessing your potential.

    Unlock the secrets to achieving mastery in your chosen field with Mastery.

    Who should read Mastery?

    • Anyone who is new to a field or subject
    • Anyone who has just finished school and is thinking about what to do with their life
    • Anyone who has worked in a certain field for a long time and is frustrated because they’re not advancing to a higher level

    About the Author

    Robert Greene has a degree in classical studies and claims to have worked in over 80 different jobs. He’s known for his – sometimes controversial – books on strategy, seduction and power, including the bestsellers The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, The Art of Seduction and, with rapper 50 Cent, The 50th Law.

    Categories with Mastery

    Book summaries like Mastery

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    32 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Mastery FAQs 

    What is the main message of Mastery?

    Mastery teaches readers how to achieve excellence and expertise in any field through dedication, practice, and perseverance.

    How long does it take to read Mastery?

    Reading Mastery typically takes around 10 hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in 15 minutes.

    Is Mastery a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Mastery is a compelling and insightful book that provides valuable guidance for achieving expertise in any field.

    Who is the author of Mastery?

    The author of Mastery is Robert Greene.

    How many chapters are in Mastery?

    Mastery by Robert Greene has 6 chapters.

    1. Discover Your Calling
    2. Submit to Reality
    3. Absorb the Master's Power
    4. See People as They Are
    5. Awaken the Dimensional Mind
    6. Fuse the Intuitive with the Rational

    How many pages are in Mastery?

    Mastery has approximately 352 pages.

    When was Mastery published?

    Mastery was published in 2012.

    What to read after Mastery?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Mastery, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene
    • The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene
    • The Daily Laws by Robert Greene
    • Mastery by George Leonard
    • The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene
    • Frames of Mind by Howard Gardner
    • No More Mr. Nice Guy! by Robert A. Glover
    • The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
    • How to Know a Person by David Brooks
    • 12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson