Robert Greene on The Laws of Human Nature, Mastery, and Strategy

Robert Greene on The Laws of Human Nature, Mastery, and Strategy

Read instead of reading the newspaper. I have to read a biography and fit it in hmm. You know it Wow an amazing process. Hey, I think that leads really well into my first question if you’re ready to roll. I’m ready to roll Sure. Oh, all right And where do I look look at you? That’d be great. Let’s move other direction. No Conversation Here’s a time when being aggressive is good You want to be aggressive with your work? You want it to succeed you want to be persistent? When something is unjust in this world when you think something is unfair you want to be aggressive in finding it? Okay? I know I’m aggressive here. I can show so awareness of your nature is So much better than denial and repression So Robert, my first question is The relationship of mastering something and time. How do you navigate that? Are there shortcuts are there ways to to get there a little quicker things like reading maybe Well, I’m of the belief That if you want a shortcut You’re already not very well-suited for becoming a master Your need for a shortcut is a bad ideas already a sign of trouble To master anything you need patience You need to know about the 10,000 hour rule Which is a bit of a cliche now everyone sort of spouts talks about it Nobody really understands or has gone into very few. People have gone into depth about what that means It’s a great study that pretty much demonstrated that after 10,000 hours of repetition and practicing a particular skill set something literally happens to the human brain a transformation occurs and the study was based on simple things that you could study like chess where you’re basically playing the same game and you’ve put in 10,000 hours and you have a mastery of The board and the process you’re not having to think anymore. And so after studying great chess players and musicians It was determined that reaching at 10,000. Our mark was something magical now it could be 9,000 9,500 hours. It could be 10,000. It depends there’s a little leeway, but it’s it’s great science. So To answer your question. You have to be willing to go through that process and go through those hours Every field is different some fields require several skills. You’re not just learning chess You’re learning business and you’re learning the tech certain technical aspects and etc You’re combining skills. So that might require a little bit more than 10,000 hours. But the idea that I can somehow Short-circuit the process is a bad Psychology, you’re already setting yourself up for failure and impatience. I say that there’s one Shortcut that I will be willing to acknowledge and that is having a great mentor. Mhm. So if you have somebody who is an expert in the field or you respect and has already put in the 10,000 or 20,000 or 30,000 hours that person can steer you they can say look Brendon you you were Pretty good at this skill, but you have this weakness start working more on that and normally if you didn’t have a mentor you might our Tendency in practice and practicing a skill is to prat over practice what we’re already good at So let’s just take basketball. For instance. You have a great outside shot. It’s three-point shot, but you really suck when it comes to taking your you’re the defender off the dribble and you know being able to Create some space for a shot or a layup Your tendency will be to practice that outside three-point shot because you’re already good at it and it feels good and it’s fun and you don’t want to have to practice taking someone off the dribble because it’s Hard you have to work with a defender. It’s it that you have to overcome that and practice exactly what you’re not good at and it’s not easy a mentor will tell you well, look at you and say you were weak here practice that Also say avoid this don’t waste time here They could cut that $10,000 down to nine thousand maybe if they’re really good. They’re really smart or Instead of wasting your time and you having to go to twelve thousand hours. They’ll bring it down closer to that target level That’s the only shortcut I will acknowledge but in general Relying on that crutch thinking in your mind goddamn if I can find an alga Shortcut it you’re already a loser. Yeah in my book. Yeah, so get over that Embrace the pain is what I say Pain is good for you. It’s great for you when you workout We all like to work out. I’m a fanatic working out and particularly swimming is my thing It’s painful. Yeah, you know I swim long distances. I used to swim several miles now I can only do my can mile and a half at the most But you know you reach the half a mile or three-quarters a moment It’s like this is no fun. But when you finish and you go through weeks and months you feel Some you the value that you get is much greater than the pain That pain that resistance is good for you and the idea that you want to Sweet, you’re sweeten the pot and or a short cut or get something, you know, like a sugar high You’re already and you’re already on dangerous ground Yeah So were you naturally? inclined to do things like these long swims and and take on pain and Go through a rigorous writing process or did you have a way to build into taking pain? I probably have a high tolerance for pain. I kind of probably built up. I don’t know what that mean. It’s a good question Some of it I think is slightly genetic. It’s hard to say. I know my father for instance was very meticulous He was not an intellectual or by any means he was somebody really good with his hands I told he was a mechanic in the Navy. He loved building models and he would build elaborate models of ships You know 18th century 17th century galleys galleons, etc And I didn’t watch him and he’s just incredibly patient for that kind of detail I had no patience for working with my hands. I’m not very good at that So, but maybe I kind of inherited that a little bit and some of it, you know, when you’re younger when you’re in your 20s, I probably didn’t have Nearly as much patience as I did you’ve got that youthful energy You’re bursting you want to try many different things, you know It’s so I’m sure when I was in my 20s. I was a bit scattered and trying different things But I found working on books The kind of books I write was actually the perfect thing for me If I never found the kind of book like the 48 laws of power I might not have amounted to much because I am a little bit Scattered by nature and having to write a book made me focus made me it it worked into all of my strengths mmm because I love reading so I think writing the books has kind of altered my brain and made me a Lot better able to withstand that but when it came to exercise, I’ve always sort of liked long distances cross-country running I can’t do that anymore, but I used to run I don’t know why but I liked the distance type things where you had to overcome your Your own mind you had to kind of discipline your own that those levels of pain So I always sort of enjoyed that kind of thing. Maybe I have a masochist at all Well, maybe I have to I was a cross-country runner in college Yeah could completely relate Well, also those two things like cross-country running or the sweat of swimming distances, very meditative. Mhm You kind of zone out after several miles running It’s kind of nice you get a little bit of a high from it. You think that high gets addicting? Yeah, absolutely so so to this idea of shortcuts and maybe a mentor being The shortcut there is one you’ve talked to mastery about how you can you can learn from a book how you can kind of see a book as A mentor and you can even have a conversation with the author you can read in a more active way How how should someone go about that process? Well god that’s a good question, I talked a little bit about it in my new book a Lot of the time when you’re reading a book. It depends on on what the book is about. Really? I mean You’re kind of the material that you’re reading is you tend to make it dead and I’m Thinking what you want to do is to make it all come to life So reading a book is like bringing something dead to life. It’s like taking Frankenstein and Imbuing it with life. Now. What do I mean by that? Well, you’re kind of reading it Mechanically just the words. You’re not paying great attention You don’t realize that the writer if it’s a good writer When they had those thoughts that they’re writing about it was something very exciting to them at the moment very alive And they tried to put it on paper and and whenever you write an idea Down something is lost in the translation Like when it was in your mind, he was very exciting and but it came onto paper it’s not quite it your process is to kind of get inside the writer and Feel that excitement feel it’s it’s what I call empathy. It’s partly empathy. It’s in mastering I call it thinking from the inside out you go inside the book Inside the spirit you try and recapture What they were feeling not just what they were writing. I know that’s abstract and we could talk for three hours about the process but for instance On another level. Let’s say a biography. Mm-hmm Napoleon Bonaparte was the hero of the 33 strategies of war one of my favorite people to study I call him the Mozart of warfare he Went well beyond the 10,000 hours when it came to strategy. He was absolutely a genius I Read Maybe 4,000 pages worth of material on Napoleon to prepare for this book Particularly one great book called the campaign’s of Napoleon by I believe it’s David Chandler it’s about thirteen fourteen hundred pages and it it’s Deep incredible detail about every battle with great maps I highly looks way out of print I’m quite expensive but it’s if you’re loving to Polina and you’re into battles and maps this is the book for you Anyway, my goal was I want to bring Napoleon to life I want to I want to feel like he’s in the room with me here. I want to know what how he thought You know what made him a genius so I go into it and I’m trying to dig it up and come to terms with What’s alive about Napoleon and I found that the books I read were missing His genius they were they were not quite getting at it I’m not saying I’m the only one that did but I felt like at a certain point I understood him I understood how his brain worked and I came to the conclusion that what made Napoleon’s so great Was he had a mind? for organizing information that was vastly superior to anybody else before the invention of computers and it was his ability to assimilate vast amounts of information and Create strategies in the moment that made him feel so superior. That’s the kind of reading that I’m talking about Where you’re not just on the surface not just reading the words but you’re thinking you’re analyzing it you’re bringing it to term in relation to your own life your own experiences and You’re making Frankenstein come to life. Yeah, is there any mean it’s very abstract. I can go into more but that’s that’s sort of my method Yeah, I’d wonder if you have any any specific tactics on that. I know like when I read mastery I held a pen and I was all over circling dog-earing jotting notes in the margins and That helped me To engage with the ideas in a deeper way than I would have if I’d been sort of more passive Do you have anything specific I mean you just hit on it? You’re it’s versus the passive form of readings. So you’re active So you’re arguing With the with the writer as well. I’m this is one Idea, yeah, so I always write in the margins. Some people hate that they feel like writing in a book is sacrilegious like you’re You know you’re spoiling it or you know, yeah But I’m not like that. I write a lot and if I don’t like a writer and that happens often And I get angry. I start putting giant X’s and I say fuck you I get really angry. Yeah But otherwise usually I like it and I putting exclamation mark great Yes, and I’m I ain’t gay. So you’re engaging with the material not app. As you said you’re not a passive reader You’re arguing with it. You’re thinking So the problem here is it slows you down, you know You’re not unless it’s a bad book bad books or mediocre books I kind of can skim but it’s a really good book it engages you you’re arguing with it. You’re writing and it slows you down That’s for sure. But I I maintain it’s better to read one. Juicy book that grabs you that really? Engages you that really makes you think then to read ten You know kind of trivial books that don’t have it. So writing in the margins Arguing with the book Trying to think more deeply about what the writer is saying Analyzing instead of just reading it and Bringing it to your own life so if I’m talking about like in mastery just to bring in the war aspects cesar rodriguez the the Fighter pilot. Yes, who’s the last? Decorated, what do you call it? An ace ace in the Airforce in the airforce of the Marines Air Force the Air Force. Thank you God You know, you’re I’m talking about he was someone who was not your typical ace he wasn’t a golden boy He’s like five foot five He didn’t look like a fighter pilot, mm-hm and He felt like he was had three strikes against him the moment he started he was a slow learner He wasn’t a natural at it And so he had to learn I call it trusting the process That if he practiced harder than the golden boys If he spent more hours on the simulator than they did if he didn’t take for granted his skill he would catch up with them Now you’re reading that and you’re going Love love then you’re you know everything but if you’re smart you’re going. All right, when did that happen to me? Hmm, you know when if I like in a sport I felt like this wasn’t good for me Maybe I gave up too early I talked about the frustration and how frustration is a good thing for you if you’re frustrated it shows your body is telling your body and your mind is telling you that you can actually Overcome something and the moment you’re feeling frustration is actually a turning point a good moment Relate that to yourself don’t still read about Cesar Rodriguez and thinking of the BLA Relate that to your own experience when you felt frustration and you either gave up or you push through it. That’s Active reading that’s making something come to life. Yeah, so Frustration as a good thing. It’s something that we want you saying. It’s it’s a it’s a trigger. It’s something to look for definitely If you don’t feel frustrated when you’re learning something You’re not learning. Okay, and you’re in here you’re deluding yourself and you’re probably going so they call that practice that I mentioned before Where you practice what you’re a week at? Deliberative practice in in the business when people talk about skills. You’re deliberately working on what you’re not good at Your tendency is to try and make things easy for you because you don’t like pain humans don’t like pain So if you’re going through your practice and things at Wow, things are really easy. I’m enjoying it’s fun. You’re probably not learning You’re probably doing this lopsided Practice that we’re talking about and you’re avoiding your weaknesses and Things are going too smoothly it’s the frustration isn’t just the fact also that You’re not mastering it it’s also that it it’s kind of It seems like a mystery. You don’t quite know what you need to do. Something is eluding you and I maintain and it’s a little bit you have to Believe me because there’s not rigorous science behind this I usually like to have things back by rigorous science is based more on things that athletes talk about but that moment of frustration actually mathematicians have talked about it that moment of deepest frustration is Actually a signal from your body physically a signal that you’re actually on the way to a breakthrough that you feel You’re it’s telling you it’s a signal that Something is churning up inside it inside you and you’re not yet aware of it So a lot of that is based on anecdotal evidence like a Great music mathematician like this man jacques hadamard that I talked about he would say his greatest breakthroughs or einstein came just at that moment where I were about to give up and there’s the great instance of Anecdote about the composer of Brahms and he was so frustrated with this one symphony that he was trying to write That he said I’m giving up I can’t write that’s it and the moment he gave up the next day All this the solution the perfect solution came to him so there’s a lot of and Athletes talk about that so I’m basing it on anecdotal Emmons and my own experience When I’m writing a chapter, I could solve frustrated and so annoyed my girlfriend I’m like driving her at the wall, you know I’m just like yelling at the cat. I can’t take it anymore. I’m the worst writer I’m about to give up and like it’s almost Mechanical the next day or two days later it all comes to you know it all fits so If you go through that enough you know that that frustration is a good thing and once you know that It’s very liberating because you’re able to wait for them for the breakthrough a moment That will come you don’t give up you give up Maybe but you’re kind of kidding yourself knowing that the moment you say I give up Tomorrow or the next day? the great idea will come to you so It’s a little bit of faith, but frustration if you don’t have the frustration, you’re not on the right You’re not on the right path. Well, it’s a there’s a fascinating. Take class. Yeah I wish I had more science, but maybe it’s another book to write something about maybe yeah, but yeah I think I think most of us tend to go with what’s comfortable We tend to follow the path in of least resistance and to go where it feels good. So amazing Robert you you talked about Cesar Rodriguez and and being a golden boy and so many people Go follow sort of a predetermined Track in career and I see this in the military all the time people talk about in their particular line of work They want to follow the golden path You go to this job and then to this job and then you you become a commanding officer one day For people who want to develop mastery, though How how can they navigate? while still wanted to progress and rank and things But also meeting what’s going to be best for them and true to that life’s task that you talk about Well, you know, I’m not in the military. So I don’t know exactly what you’re facing or the different options that you have And I’m a practical person so I never tell people Just go follow whatever you want to follow, you know, it’s because that’s bullshit You have to make a living you have to fit in to the structure of the military. There are only so many different kinds of positions you could go after but within Those constraints of the field that you’re in There’s some room right? Yeah and the problem that most people have is They follow what other people are doing or they follow the career path that leads to the most money the most attention the most glory That seems like the most excite the sexiest thing is that’s what other people are doing and they don’t They’re not actually looking at what their their inclination what I call your own inclinations are who you are What you actually really love So within the constraints of a military career, and that’s what you want There are let’s say eight different paths. You can go on career paths. I could there be something like that. Yeah, okay So your job is not you know, it’s like in in in in ecology when you have a An ecological landscape. I don’t know what the word is an eco sphere The animals that survive are the ones that find a niche There’s no other animal that has a beak this long that can suck that kind of flower and get the nectar out it can now survive the animals that try and be like become like other ones that are follow all the other animals succeed at Don’t usually survive because they have to be the best at it. I’m kind of Simplifying it. But there there’s there’s truths. Yeah, it’s the same in the career world where if you follow what everyone else is doing? What seems like the most the sexiest most attractive? Position it’s going to be crowded. It’s going to be crowded with a lot of people who are vying for the same thing We’re probably better at it. It’s best to find What you love? and combine it with something that already exists out there a career path and To adapt it to your spirit and to not go where everyone else is going You know that it depends on on the specifics of the military but I can say Let’s say for writing. Mm-hmm, you know for me Just it’s easier for me to talk about that You know everybody in Los Angeles is a screenwriter, you know You go to a cafe and all the waiters and waitresses are screenwriters. Yeah, right. It’s disgusting. You know, they like How can they be? How can there be so many screenwriters if there’s only so many films being made? What are they you know, but it’s true and I used to work in Hollywood and everyone’s trying to write a screenplay Well, it’s it’s so crowded your chances of success are so slim you’re like those Five million salmon swimming upstream in Oregon and only two are gonna make it right. That’s what it’s like okay, and I was in that pool with the 10 million other salmon trying to write a screenplay and it wasn’t working and Because I wasn’t suited for it. It wasn’t me. I don’t actually like Hollywood that much I don’t I like movies, but I don’t like that much I like history and I like philosophy and I like science So I found my way by listening to myself by listening to what I hated and kind of gravitating towards it to create a Write a form of writing that suited me where there were note was no competition You know, I mean that’s a self-help look but there’s nobody really out there writing books like it so I have it all to myself you know, it’s like finding a field a meadow Where you hit solve for you as opposed to that other meadow where there’s like 10,000 people crowded on it. It’s great and So that’s what it’s like it’s not gonna be quite the same in the military Obviously, you’re not gonna find that one niche that you buy yourself, but you’re gonna find something more suited to you How you find what’s more suited to that’s a whole other question and I talked about it in the book we go into that if you want, but And it’s probably the most important question of your life is to find out what you really want to do Well with that kind of endorsement then I’d love to go further into it Okay Well You know, it’s the jits Chapter one of mastery. It’s called discover your life’s task Your calling in life your vocation. However, you want to describe it And I say it’s the most important decision that you’ll ever make Because it won’t no not only will it determine Your career your success How much money you make? It will also determine how happy you are no fulfills you feel in life I Have numerous quotes from people like da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci and others that the worst thing is to be turning 50 60 years old and to feel like you never Realized your potential you never did What you felt like you could have done. Yeah, it’s like that’s the worst feeling So you don’t want to have that feeling particularly if you’re younger in your 20s and you have more options or even in your 30s So it’s a question of knowing yourself You know The the Oracle of Delphi in ancient Greece Which was the center of all wisdom the priestess and the Oracle of Delphi was supposedly in touch with the god Apollo who would tell her the truth of anything in the universe and What was the inscription above the Oracle of Delphi? Was know yourself know thyself it’s the start of all wisdom, so Your tendency will be When you’re a child when you’re five or six to kind of know that you like this you like sports you like physical activity Or you like music or you like words or you like working with your hands? You have a feel for it. It’s natural and As you get older you start to listen to other people and You lose a sense of who you are. You listen to your parents who tell you Brendon? You’ve got to become a lawyer you need to go into this field your other your friends or all Scram to make a lot of money and you lose a connection To who you are to what your strengths are to what you love and the whole thing about learning is Learning has to be fun. I know I I’m contradicting myself in that I said Frustration is good, but you need to also love What you’re studying? So I give the example I’ve taught I’ve said it many times in interviews That if you’re wanting to learn French for instance, this is something that happened to me you in university You know, you could spend years learning French from a professor and after two years and you go to France You can’t speak a damn word, right? Because you really weren’t that interested. You weren’t listening. It’s not it’s not exciting It’s not fun But you go to France and you meet a French girl and you’re really excited and you want to seduce her you want to whatever All right. Now you’re motivated in French You’re really motivated and it’s fun and you’re listening to her nose just others and suddenly in two weeks you learn what two years you never learned the Mind is more receptive when you’re excited when you’re liking something when you’re interested in it So we were talking about shortcuts. Well, it’s not a shortcut but it streamlines the process a little bit Because when you you know that in your own experience when you’re studying math, and you don’t like math It goes in one ear out the other but when you love if you love math you’re paying deep attention and you absorb things, so No Connecting to the subject loving it. You will learn much faster. So you have to know yourself You have to know what you’re good at what you love there’s a book I recommend for people I I can’t remember the exact time. I think it’s called the five frames of Intelligence something like that by I think it’s Howard Gardner and he’s basically saying there are five forms of intelligence One of them is kinetic which has to do with physical Motion one is mechanical Having to do with Spatial things One is like music and math one is words, etc You’re gonna tend to have a mind that is has one of these forms of intelligence What is it know yourself know what that is for me? It’s language and words, etc You it’s getting in connect in contact with who you are What you love going back to that child rooting out all the voices of your parents and your friends Finding those things that when you read a line and you find a subject what Your eyes light up at what you want to explore It’s a process it’s not gonna happen overnight. It depends on how old you are where you are in life It’s never too late to make an adjustment or to find who you are I didn’t write the 48 laws of power or start writing till I was 36 and up until that moment I was kind of a lost soul. I was kind of unhappy and I was wandering around you can take time As long as you’re trying as long as you’re in exploring it’ll probably come but if you’re Only following what other people are doing you’re in trouble You might succeed for a while. You might get that law degree and make money and when you’re 28 Like your mom and dad want you to but by the time you’re 34, you’re tuning it out You’re drinking You’re you’re you’re getting on drugs you’re doing you’re doing online porn. You’re so out of it. You’re so disconnected you you fall into various addictions and it may not be something that destructive but you’re not it’s not engaging you and You might have succeeded for a while, but you’re gonna pay a price I’m telling you. It’s the most important decision that you can have is connecting to it and making it practical so You’re not gonna want to become a poet or a rock musician just because you love music All right, I’m gonna start my own band. That’s not necessarily practical. Okay But you love music. All right find a Path in music that is practical that you can use and maybe it will end up being a rock band. Who knows? I don’t want to scourge that but I Knew I wanted to write that gave me the latitude to explore this vast area and then find my niche You know that you love working with your hands. Okay explore this or you love computers? Explore the whole area and you’ll find your niche, but you’ve got to know what that first overall Eco sphere is that you want to explore? Brandon we could talk about it for hours. So I’m gonna shut up at this point, but you Need to read mastery them to know more about it, but it is literally to me I want you to look at it as is life and death because you can you can spiritually die from Engaging most of your working hours your mental energy in something that you don’t love well Yeah, and and the and the things you talk about that people would slip into in a situation like that you the drugs pornography Alcohol that that is a path to death that that it, you know Even if you’re not dead living where you use those things as crutches to get you through the day Yeah, is it path to death and there are a lot of people like that in the world definitely Definitely. I mean the great thing about the times that we live in is that there’s more latitude than ever People of color people minorities women Barriers are falling down. You could choose, you know more latitude for that We don’t have to follow what our Father did I don’t have to become one You know as in the past you sort of we’re kind of more Pigeonholed into what careers you could have and there’s this vast area in on the internet It’s sort of access to information and knowledge So it’s it could be a golden era for finding yourself in this way But it’s also a very dark era in that there are many Paths to lose yourself in and so you have to be strong and you have to know that this is the path that I want to follow and to follow it with a lot of energy because there are a lot of Dangers in that in the world. Yeah, it takes discipline person I think to pursue something in the way that you talk about a mastery to keep working at it when there are so many options and and you could you could try to be a doctor and a lawyer and a dentist and all those things all at once and keep Them open rather than pursuing. Yeah, and I like giving concrete examples So I give one more example on the subject Is somebody talking about in their Paul Graham who? Started a company. Most recently called Y Combinator I mean, he started 12 years ago and he sold it but his billion dollar company in Silicon Valley He’s you know, he’s a genius he’s a master and I’d like those historic is the path He loved computers. He was a compactor. I mean a real hacker when he was 17 years old back in the eighth 70s when hacking was You know there weren’t very many of them and then so he got into Computer Sciences and He thought that was his path an AI when AI in the late 70s when AI was not really nobody knew about it And then it wasn’t quite working. He didn’t he wasn’t happy. You know, it didn’t feel right He doesn’t he hated academia. He hated Politics he hated offices. He’s a rebel He gave it all up and he’s decided I want to be an artist I want to paint and he went to Italy and he went to art school And he learned to paint and he really loved that And then he came back to New York and he was Kind of an artist in his loft in New York wasn’t making any money But he was things were okay and then he heard an ad on the radio in 1995 saying that the Internet The future of the Internet is people will be selling things on the Internet now suddenly a light bulb went on in his head in his head because Man, all right. I can I’ve had all these skills I could make a platform that will allow people to buy things on the Internet and I can design it because I’ve been studying design in other words not just Computers and AI and all that I’ve been studying what it’s aesthetics and what’s pleasing to the eye and the psychology of art and how to design things So he took all of his experience in hacking in artificial intelligence In in art and he created what ended up selling to Yahoo I forget what it’s called Yahoo. Something ruther. It was the first platform for selling things on the Internet. He made a fortune and that ended up leading to one other venture and then to Y Combinator He didn’t know what he was doing. He was lost. He tried different things And by the time he was 30, he had developed five skill sets Literally that were so solid that it would come together at some point Something would trigger that moment on the end hearing something on the radio it may not have been that may not have been Netscape made him in something else, but It was it’s like a ground the soil. It was so fertile with skills Something was great was about to happen. And that’s that’s a great a path. I think it’s really Rich to to imitate. Yeah, it reminds me of how we we often poeta size the myth of Steve Jobs yeah now Steve Jobs studied calligraphy and Fonts and things like that and that was one more thing that was part of his path to mastering becoming who he was Yeah, if people don’t realize Steve Jobs was actually not much of a computer person He’d he was quite mediocre in his meeting of computer skills. It was Wozniacki. Who was the it was the the hacker I mean he wasn’t terrible but he wasn’t that wasn’t his strength his strength was design and His story is interesting because when he’s like five or six years old, he’s walking with his stepfather somewhere and in Silicon Valley where they grew up he grew up in Northern California and He passes an electronics store with all the gizmos in it of the time their tubes and everything and he goes wow He got so excited By technology, but the design of technology and this is a five year old. That’s what I’m talking about when you’re a kid In a very visceral way something strikes you and that’s what he ended up becoming it wasn’t Technology, it was the design element. That’s what his genius was was bringing together a pretty good knowledge of technology with a great knowledge of fonts calligraphy Modern design to create his greatest breakthrough which people don’t realize which was the iPod that started all of the changes and that we now have So he’s a perfect example of what we’re talking about. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely And I remember that the first iPod I ever got and it was this masterful piece of technology. It was beautiful It was fun to touch. It was fun to use. Yeah, it was amazing. Yeah. Yeah, so Robert you’re a master strategist I want to know Looking at situations where maybe you come across a tough boss in the workplace. This could be and maybe this could be anywhere. Oh, Is this a personal there have been moments? I’ve had people do this before where they try say. I have a friend. Yeah. Yeah, there’s another guy Who once wants to figure out how to navigate these situations and you’ve talked in mastery about how it starts with To gain social intelligence starts with a look at one’s self and your own biases and why things are triggering you How how can someone use that? To handle their workplace situations first to look at themselves and then to figure out how to navigate the social sphere of work Well, I would tell them to read the 568 pages of my new book Because it’s something I go into a lot It’s kind of scattered throughout the book. Mm-hmm, which is a basically what I took in that is chapter four and mastery on social intelligence and expanded it into an entire book, you know, I There’s a whole literature about what we call this psychotic boss We’ve all dealt with that I’ve had it it’s the boss. We’re nothing you can do quite will ever please them They’re very difficult and it’s a really awful situation and then there are gradations where there’s the less than psychotic boss but there he or she’s just Just an a-hole and they’re just really hard to deal with you know, yeah, we’ve all been through that Well, okay. So what I’m talking about and what you’re referencing is You have to realize the worst thing is to take everything personally and get emotional so people who are psychotic bosses Their power is in grabbing your emotions and Entangling you in the in a drama. They’re better at it. They’re more aggressive They’re nastier. They’re more difficult. They’re more amoral than you are. You’re never gonna win Playing to their strengths they thrive on on making you emotional So you have to learn? In general in life to stop taking things. So emotionally now it’s not everything I do want you to fall in love and have a family and love your children, etc but in the work world it pays to cool things down and to not real to realize that it is never personal so when you’re facing this Person this boss Your tendency is to think is to take it personally to think their anger and their Difficult nurse and their aggression is directed at you that there’s something about you. They don’t like whatever definitely this this other guy He felt like like was trying to pretend it pick on him. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. All right It’s never about you personally never hardly ever People who are like this I go into the in the book. I delve deeply into their psychology I give you numerous ways for understanding them, but the gist of it is is They’re re-enacting dramas from their own troubled childhood They have terrible issues They’re reliving things from their horrible father or their mean narcissistic mother or whatever it was Generally from very early in childhood, maybe a little bit later and you’re the target They’re just simply replaying their old dramas with new actors. It’s not personal Thing to do with you. Don’t take it personally see them for what they are understand That they are twisted people with some kind of Issues and I talked about what these various issues are I go into it in all the different types of Horrible people that there are in this world and there are there are good many types of them from the passive-aggressive to the the narcissist To the control freak to all those types, you know knowledge will will liberate you Knowing that this is what is motivating them. All right. Now I have options I don’t have to react I don’t have to get emotional I can retreat I can withdraw I can play Certain games on them that’ll in if you want to infuriate them and imbalance them. So they’ll leave you alone You have more than enough material to do that You have deterrent strategies from deterring them from being aggressive you have options when you have knowledge The other thing is you cut them down to size You see them as the little child stomping their feet in The war book I having to read Joseph Stalin is sort of my Quintessence of the awful psychotic boss. There’s nobody worse in history than Joseph Stalin imagine You have a boss that if you anger you’re sent to the gulag and you’re gonna die So you have a boss that is holding life and death over you. He’s terrible. He’s horrible. I Talked him war about Shas the the great Russian composer Shostakovich Who suddenly is? Meeting face to face with Stalin. He’s so intimidating. He’s got this look where he’s just like People were like, I’m so serious people would literally shit in their pants, but he looked him at this certain way You know, he he looked him that way. They’re gonna go do it. They’re going to the gulag They’re gonna die. Their life is on the line their life is on the line he gave that look to Shostakovich basically This other person that was in the meeting was saying stalling was was upset because this was a meeting about Who was gonna compose the new national anthem for the Soviet Union after World War Two? And Shostakovich had written something and Koch taurine and something and Stalin was critiquing these people and this one and he was critiquing this one man’s orchestration and the man said well, you know what I actually didn’t orchestrate if this other guy did and Shostakovich was realizing he just signed the death warrant for that young man. Who did the orchestration? By saying that he did the faulty orchestration. It would literally was gonna mean that so Shostakovich, you know in a flash Realized that didn’t fall for Stalin’s intimidation game. He saw him as a little child as a six-year-old boy with a Philandering father and a mother who beat him and a awful childhood and he cut him down to size I’m not intimidated by this man. He does not intimidate me and in that moment he had presence of mind and he said oh such-and-such You’re Orchestrator is a very fine Orchestrator. You shouldn’t blame him you know you should do your own orchestration from now on he sort of saved the situation, but the mental process was He cut this person down to size. He didn’t fall for the myth. He saw them as a human being with temper tantrums with issues Etc when you fall for the myth when you start real thinking that they’re greater than they are when you start trembling when your bowels start moving from fear you’re in their grasp when you’re Reasonably calm you maintain your presence of mind. You see them as a little baby that’s throwing a tantrum Or whatever it is You’ve got some control and you have options If we’re talking about strategy the number one Strategic principle that ice is the most important of all is the person who has options Has more options as the one who will win in a competitive situation If you only have one option You’re generally under the control of your opponent But if you create a situation where you’re there and you can go here here here or here That means you can react in the moment and you can take the path. That might be the best for that situation You always want options and when you get emotional when you react When you get caught in their drama, you have only one option anger You’re you start repeating in your mind the same thing over and over and over again You’ve lost you’ve already lost when you’re calm and you can you can not say anything you can quit You can be a toady for a few moments, but not really feel like you’re that’s who you are All right, you can choose you’re in control and that asshole boss is not in control because you have options amazing but you have you have such a knack for Metaphor and image and so many of the images of power and strategy to use or about water There’s there’s something dynamic whether there’s water there’s rivers. There’s tidal waves. What is it about that idea? That’s so appealing and strategy and power Well, I swim a lot You know, I’m kind of obsessed my girlfriend will tell you I take trips just so I can swim You know or an ocean or in this city, they have a great swimming pool kind of thing. So, you know, there’s one thing but You know, it’s about fluidity and it’s It’s a certain philosophy of life of flowing with with what you know Water can wear down the largest Boulder. Give it five hundred years. It’ll turn that Boulder into a pebble And and it’s just through the force of that water It’s if you’ve ever taken a dam And and released it, you know the power in water is and is intense it can kill you It has so many is it has so many it’s also the source of life Without water on this planet. We wouldn’t even be here talking a Planet without water is a dead planet and It’s the name. It’s a greatest metaphor for strategy in Asian strategy now, I’m a Great fan of Asian strategy Maybe more than Western strategy Because I think they they understand strategy better And the and the those in the West who do understand strategy are more aligned with Asians so von Clausewitz is Actually kind of similar to Sun Tzu Napoleon was probably the western general who actually is most like what’s the ideal of a Sun Tzu general at least the early Napoleon and for Sun Tzu and for Asian philosophy Water is the essence of strategy It’s adapting to the moment It’s always flowing to where you you can’t you can channel it where it’s being channeled It’s using the kind of energy of the moment What sons who calls shit the the kind of position of ultimate power Is like water that’s been dammed up and now it can explode So the and the formlessness of water, you know, it’s The last law of the 48 laws of power is is it’s a pure formless. I forget what the verb is is Never taking a form is being fluid in life is people don’t know you they can’t predict what you’re going to do next You’re always reacting to the moment, you know the word flow for rappers. They It’s got so many Complaints of convergence when it comes to Powerful thinking as opposed to rigid Thinking that thinks in terms of preset concepts That I’m just drawn to it in from a thousand different directions and I’ve even Built it into into my new book. I’m always somehow returning to water But I think it’s just the essence It describes the essence of true strategic thinking and Most people are not fluid in life. They’re always coming at life They’re fighting the last battle they have certain preconceptions certain stereotypes, they’re not in the moment That when they are interacting with a stranger or a new person, they’re never quite keying into what makes them different. They don’t have flow So, I don’t know I could I’m dancing around it, but it’s hard to Put in concrete terms something. That’s kind of poetic. Yeah, absolutely. That’s kind of the idea. Yeah. Yeah Yeah, and you said fighting the last battle? I think something that we often talk about in the military is getting frustrated though That’s the way we’ve always done it How how can we protect ourselves from fighting the last battle from getting into doing things to where we’ve always done them? well You know Let’s be realistic The military is a large organization it’s Minoo its bureaucratic. It has to be bureaucratic when you’ve got Hundreds of thousands of people in your employ you you can’t everyone can’t just be flowing and doing their own thing You’ve got to have structure Okay, we get that But if you want to be successful, you got to learn to loosen up, you know in the military sense We were kind of loose in World War two because we didn’t have a great military tradition yet It was sort of the first instance. I Mean World War one a little bit but where our military might was on display and we had some great generals in World War two who were quite fluid in their thinking my favorite happens to be Patton because I think he was Quite a brilliant. He maybe wasn’t a very good person But he was great strategist and then after World War two in the military the Pentagon became such a bureaucracy And it was exactly what George Marshall tried to prevent. It was one of the Defense Department, but he was trying to Imbue a very open spirit It became such a bureaucracy it became this complex In such rigid thinking as opposed to maneuver warfare, which is a little bit What was happened in World War two it became attrition warfare Let’s bomb the Vietnamese. We’re gonna bomb them into oblivion We’re gonna pour the American military might in and and and level them and it’s very rigid Kind of thinking it’s very fighting the last war type Thinking and it led to our greatest disaster to an utter utter catastrophe the worst military adventurer in our history And they learned the lesson and after world after the Vietnam War there was a shake-up in the military and there were now Mavericks Coming up and there were people who said we have to learn From terrorists and insurgents and guerrilla warfare and we have to learn counterinsurgency there were already seeds of that in the 50s, but it really took off after Vietnam and people like John Boyd, but there were others and Desert Storm became kind of the model they kind of let go of that Vietnam Sort of syndrome and they had tremendous success if you want success in life if that’s your goal if you want to win you’ve got to let go of What worked the last time so it simply comes down to? this formula Do you really want to win if you really want to win if you’re not bullshitting if you’re not trying to? act like you want to win but you’re just all into the attention in the ego then go ahead and use the strategy that worked a year ago and think that it will work again because your ego is tied to that you think That that strategy that worked year ago was cuz I’m brilliant Well, maybe a little bit but also because the luck because of the right moment there were factors It wasn’t just you. You need to adapt so your ego intervenes And you think I’ve got to do what I did last time Because that means I’m great and to try something else means maybe I’m not so great That means you’re not really into winning If you really want to win if you really want to see successful you have to be in the moment You have to look at the circumstances. No, two battles are the same. Yes. There are similarities Yes Hannibal’s defeat of the Romans that can I has bears some similarities to some of the Counter-attack strategies that were used in in world war ii or I don’t know exactly what the but there are some parallels But it’s never the same. Right? The technology is different never the same every war is different Every battle in life is different. That doesn’t mean You let go of everything you believe it may be the last strategy will work But you want to do you want to face a new situation? Let’s say you start a job Alright, it’s a new battle My new job is a new battle and you’re gonna refresh yourself like you hit that refresh button on the computer. I’m starting over I’m letting go of my preconceptions. I’m in the moment. I’m studying the people that I’m now around and I’m at square one, or I’m back to zero and I’m gonna reassess and fight from that position When I write a book each book, I go back to zero. I tell myself Robert. You’re actually a terrible writer This is gonna be your worst book. This book is gonna suck People are gonna really think that you’ve lost it your mother’s gonna not return your phone calls. She’s gonna be ashamed You are not great You in you but you gotta up your game because this book is above you. I’m serious. I’m not neurotic But it works, you know, obviously Julius Caesar had a slave whispering into his ear You are mortal you as you are mortal everywhere. He went you are not a god you are mortal you Need that person whispering in your ear Making you realize that you’re not so great Don’t let your ego get involved and if you want to win, you have to look at each situation as different. What are the circumstances? What is the zeitgeist what is the element of luck? And timing that worked the last time that won’t work this time, etc Yeah, so you talk about your writing process and you have a new book coming out soon on human nature And it’s a parent through all your books that you have a keen understanding of human nature You could say that so many of them are about human nature. So what what new insights are you coming to in this new process? Well, I mean the insights ok I’m basically of the of the opinion I Like looking at us as if we are animals, which we are. Ok. And so when you look at zebras Or even your pet dog they have certain behavior patterns they’re obvious after a few, you know, they’re pretty simple and you could study them and though the zebra will always go to the Waterhole at this time of day to avoid, you know, your dog will always do this. Well, we’re the same we’re not we think we’re so sophisticated, but we’re actually Malaika zebra and like a dog we have patterns of behavior. We’re not limitless in what we can do. We’re not gods We can’t suddenly do something that’s not in our nature. We have a nature Where does that nature come but? Well, yes. We’re more complicated than a dog or a zebra. I obviously but We’re not that much more complicated than chimpanzees Which we are very much related to and I tell people if you want a great experience if you’re ever in Australia Go to the zoo in Sydney and watch the the chimpanzee compound and you’ll think god damn that looks like my office You know, there’s the alpha male. I’m kind of strutting around and all the other chimps kind of following him and Imitating him and you know, it’s got sort of looks like your office So we’re not that different from chimpanzees, but we’re more complicated than that But we have a nature it came from millions of years of development And there’s certain parts of this nature That I that are pre verbal and that I like to indicate So for instance just to choose one of them and I’m gonna answer your question in a minute. I choose one of them We’re a social animal Highly social animal and that’s what made us survive. It’s made us why we’re here today and We were a social animal before we had language. So we were grunting and we were gesturing etc And we had to communicate on a very high level to survive and to hunt hunting big game in a group of 10 12 very complicated Without language you tried some time with like stones and it’s not easy. Okay, so we had to develop forms of communication and one of the forms of communication we developed or emotions now emotions all animals have emotions lizards Have a fear response But humans develop much more complicated emotions Hundreds of thousands of years ago and they developed them to show on the face You could show fear you would show shame you would show love or excitement of animals do but we had more gradations we had joy, we had disappointment and We use it as a form of communication What this meant was as a highly social animal Was that our emotions? Communicated themselves to other people very quickly and they were contagious so if one member of the group suddenly felt fear because something was on the horizon, perhaps A leopard was nearby The group would see it and they would all feel fear feel fear together and they would react together It bonded the group more tightly that allowed them to respond to things quickly. So hundreds of thousands of years ago we developed Susceptibility to the emotions of other people in a very powerful way All right fast forward a million years later to us here today on the internet Scrolling around Facebook or Instagram or whatever the hell you do? You’re constantly feeling the emotions of other people. You don’t know it you think you have your opinions your ideas Because you’re just such a smart rational independent person. It’s bullshit your ideas Your emotions so much of what you think and feel come from other people Viral affects what everyone’s clicking on on Facebook what you’re seeing on the screen? what people are excited about or outraged about go to a rock concert or any concert and You feel this wave of emotion everyone bonding It’s the animal part of you now, that’s an element of human nature. That’s one of them. I have 18 Okay, it’s chapter 14. I talked about the social effect. I talked about our conformity our conformist principles It’s it’s a nature It’s an element that developed before we were aware would that we had language and it operates within you today on the Internet the most sophisticated piece of technology is this has elicits the same reaction as As Homo erectus a hundred thousand years ago planning a big hunt we’re not different and so Human nature are these forces that operate in us That we don’t control we cannot control they make us feel Envy They make us feel aggressive. They make us irrational. They make us have a dark side Everybody has a dark side that they try and repress It makes us I Don’t know I said I have 18 it makes us afraid of death. It makes us Respond to authority figures way and this these forces were said in Hundreds of thousands of years ago. Yes, we’ve progressed. Yes. Things are not the same I would be an idiot to think that we’re exactly the same No, we’re we oh there are differences, but they’re not as many as you think We’re not so different from the people in the Bible Joseph and his brothers and the envy of the brothers because he was the favorite of the father and They threw him in a ditch to die because they felt Envy and he’s a very powerful factor in the world today so my insight is We’re not really aware of who we are We think we’re this creature Because we live in the sort of conscious realm with our daily thoughts but actually there’s this stranger inside of us this Animal that has these forces from so many so deep in our past that’s actually very powerful and you’re not even aware of what how it governs what you do and By becoming aware of it You have Something changes. I’ve noticed it in myself in writing the book. So I have a chapter for instance on narcissism and Self-absorption which is clear humans are self-absorbed We’ve gotten worse that way but our tendency is to think She’s a narcissist. He’s a nurses never It’s not are you kidding? I’m the most loving giving caring person around of course In writing the book Hell I am a narcissist. I am one come to terms with it Robert You think mostly about yourself you are kind of in love with yourself. You think your ideas are great You think you know etc? All right. Now with that awareness I can catch myself I can go And I make the case that being a narcissism all bad. It’s good to have self-love Because if you if you don’t have that Then you become what I call a deep narcissist Which is very dangerous You need self-esteem. You need a sense of self-love to anchor yourself in life So it’s okay to be a narcissist, but there’s but it can go too far But now with awareness I can catch myself and going Alright your being that now and and you’re closing yourself off from other people and you’re not this is this is narcissism and you know it and Here’s aggression. Oh, it’s always the other person who’s aggressive. I’m not aggressive. I’m I’m so peace-loving. I’m a dove I never start anything the ho it’s not true. You’re just as aggressive as anyone else Women are just as aggressive as men. Let’s get over that fallacy women have aggressive energy They might make it into passive aggressive, but man can be passive aggressive to Where an aggressive animal? Yeah, we’re not violent. Let’s let I make a distinction between violence and aggression We don’t go around killing not most of us Don’t go around killing people But we have aggressive energy and it can come out in certain circumstance when you’re aware of it. Now it changes Instead of trying to repress it and act like you’re a saint like wow, man. I’m so PC. I’m so great And and then what happens is because you’re in denial You actually become very manipulative because you’re denying your true nature but when you’re aware of it, you can channel that aggressive energy into positive things like Standing up for yourself You’re in a negotiation situation. Normally you’re weak. Normally you don’t, you know, you’re not so strong You you let them kind of determine. All right Now here’s a place where I can become aggressive and it’s right and you’re negotiating you’re contrary you want to be grandiose But here’s a time when being aggressive is good You want to be aggressive with your work? You want it to succeed you want to be persistent? When something is unjust in this world when you think something is unfair you want to be aggressive in fighting it? Okay? I know I’m aggressive here. I can show so awareness of your nature is So much better than denial and repression. So those are the those are the best the fundamental insight You don’t know who you are You have these dark forces you that are governing you awareness of those forces is a very liberating thing Yeah back to pressure. We said earlier know thyself. It’s yes great starting point. Yeah, Robert. Oh, when are we respectful of your time? So before I asked my last question Oh is there is there a place where people should look for you online a particular platform? Well, you know, I wish I were Better at this, but I haven’t a website that needs some updating It’s called power seduction and power seduction and the an spelled out In case people don’t know I wrote a book on the art of seduction so it doesn’t sound so weird it’s a little weird seduction in war but actually seduction is a form of warfare and You’ll find old blog posts, etc and a link to a mastery page I do have a website for mastery and we’re gonna be a build something new for the new book on human nature Alright, so and I’m gonna start blogging a little bit more about things in the news. I haven’t blogged for years And the book will be out October 23rd And I don’t know if you’re familiar with Ryan holiday absolutely, oh yeah huge fan. Oh, okay cool one of your purchase my protégée Yeah, what am I huh? My greatest protege? Well, Ryan handles my digital marketing. He’s kind of a digital marketing master And so well, we’re gonna be offering special things where you you know, if you subscribe to My site, etc. We’ll give you some bonus parts of the of the Human nature book that didn’t get into the final version, you know, they’ll be goodies for you But you know look for that in a couple months, you know more clay like in September closer to the book launch on power seduction and Yes, well, there’ll be links to the new site from there. Okay, great. So Robert my final question Yes, you’re talking to a young military leader and they’re looking for advice to become a more strategic thinker What suggestion would you give them? well, I mean You know strategy is is a combination a the reason why I like strategy is I’m a practical person and There’s so much bullshit in the world today people just Talking and talking and talking and talking and they never they don’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean anything, right? Strategy is getting results. It’s the bridge I call it the bridge between an idea and the result And if you’re not strategic you never get the result that you want So it’s it’s a great thing So it it has to be a combination of two things. It has to be the idea and The bridge to the real is realizing the idea and one without the other is useless So if you read a lot of great books and strategy It’s kind of useless and if you only try and Get things done You don’t have a rich enough mind with enough Options in your brain to choose from you want to combine the book the two? So what does that mean? If you’re a young person in the military? I’m sure you have to read a lot in your in your curriculum etc. So Read the classics on strategy. There’s so many good ones It’s one area. I Happen to think that books now a lot of writers now, not all But a lot of writers now are not as good as they were 50 60 years ago But in strategy I’d make an exception military writing is Better than ever some great writers Martin fan crevel Keegan I could go on and on a lot of great people writing about Litvak a lot of people writing about strategy that are really top-notch But choose your own books don’t necessarily read What what you’re given? Read things that are more exciting that are more relevant necessarily. I don’t know. This is John Boyd For instance Colonel Boyd someone that is taught in classes these days. Oh, yeah. Yeah Who’da loop is is huge – yeah curriculum on situational awareness. I used to teach tremendous. Okay, so I mean I’m operating from from what I call a Knowledge asymmetry of You know, I don’t know as much as you do there’s a lot of asymmetries in war and one of them is information So I don’t know as much as you do but I’m personally attracted to people like Boyd who who are outside the mainstream But now obviously are accepted and there are others and there are other kind of radicals like that who are really interesting You know, you can look at my bibliography in war if you want to write to me I have other books that I recommend and then prêt and then Becoming a strategist in your life. So in a day-to-day this sense being more strategic Practicing it not just reading about it looking at your You have a children and and and the boy is acting up Applying strategy to that situation and using reverse psychology and using a kind of Counter-attack or flanking maneuver on your son not hard to do and I can talk about that in another interview Being strategic with your boss and your situation with your career Grand strategy. Well, don’t just wait for you becoming a general and being in charge of of You know dealing with with terrorism in the Middle East practice grand strategy on yourself Where do you want to be in 10 years? That’s grand strategic thinking Ok, I want to be at this point. I want to be you know, this is a person I admire I’m gonna get there Okay now a plan for where you’ll be in five years and then one year in the next month and building that up strategist in life Dealing with your boss dealing with colleagues Practicing it every day catching yourself Getting emotional stepping back and saying no remember Roberts number one principle options the person with more options wins If you’re playing chess and you put it doesn’t matter if the other side is decimated if you have less pieces but if your queen is in a position That can attack from four directions. You’re gonna win hmm, you know options think of that You’re in a new situation. How can I have options to maneuver? Be a strategist in life not just reading the books That’ll that’ll that’s my main advice Amazing Robert. Thank you so much. Oh my Love fun. Great. I’m so glad know. Hey everybody. Thanks so much for watching This was so much fun for me to make Robert is a real hero of mine If you like this there are more episodes coming just like it. So be sure to subscribe You

100 thoughts on “Robert Greene on The Laws of Human Nature, Mastery, and Strategy

  1. For those who haven't heard, Robert recently had a stroke. He expects to make a full recovery, but has cancelled other interviews on The Laws of Human Nature. Feel free to wish him well in the comments

  2. Probably the most important thing I learned from reading Mastery, was in reference to learning something new. When you learn something new you have to mentally in a sense, become like a child. A child is open, curious, dependent, and has no ego or pre notions. He/she just wants to understand.

  3. Robert pronounces niche like an American philistine. Neesh is the classy french way, nitch is the banal garbage man way.

  4. Dr. Greene, soy un gran admirador suyo; sus obras me han ayudado bastante a ver el mundo como realmente es y aprender a desechar las falacias y la comodidad. Espero que pueda recuperarse plenamente del derrame que sufrió y pueda volver para compartir sus conocimientos con nosotros. Muchas gracias por su importante labor.

  5. Profound insight from Robert Greene… Sir is just phenomenal and no doubt wonderful teacher through his works…
    Best part of the interview is that video stays every second on Robert Greene and we can hear Brendan’s voice in background…this helps in absorbing all the non verbal part of teaching which is really commendable…Thank you so much..

  6. I love this interviewer because he lets Robert “flow” into the interview, rather than doing a power play and using their ego to create a defense against Greene IMO. I’m noticed that others interviewers bombard him with questions and dance for the camera too much. This is lengthy but good!

  7. Simon N
    Simon N
    för 3 minuter sedan (redigerad)
    I would like robert debate Sam Harris.
    Sam just thinks that take away religon and we reach utopia. Look i use to love his way of thinking5 years ago, just brilliant rational 0 emotion, but he hasnt changed his arguments in years.
    And one special thing i thought about was his lying book. I took it to heart cause he said it was one of the most important descisions in his life not to lie again or making a big effort. This fucked my humor up alot. And sam is many things great guy, good for him but his "NOT" funny omg(It also messing up seduction?) . Makes his twitter jokes 3 times the same seminarium. I thougt first the book was a 5/5 now its a 3/5 or medicore. Could be sooo much better he takes few exsamples and acts like he covered everything. Very sloppy like "if the nazis knock at your door and you have jews in the basement" what about this mystery stuff in seduction or influenceing/manipulating others for a good cause? I wanna get in the grey zone and you two would be the best.
    What Robert said about being a child and knowing what you want. I use to love Jim Carrey pet detective when i was a child, i wanted to be like him acting in a fun way. Now i found out im bipolar like him.
    However when i was 18 i read the game" by neil strauss and ironicly now again i found robert greene threw going back to his website. Seeing in 48 laws of power how ignorant i had been was just a mind-blower. But that book man i read it one half time and thought i could manipulate everyone and get everygirl even if they had boy friend by saying a few lines/routines. It maked me not go my own way but his way and losing myself in drugs, books, shrooms. before that i also find out my both my step father and mother tricked me my stepfather was my real father and my father didnt exist. Sensitve age. However everything is my fault! I feel it now. got to make the best of it. Hope someone sees this take care.

  8. Malcolm Gladwell ruined the 10,000 hr rule I thought it was a cliche until Robert Greene explained its a real scientific study.

  9. I wonder when his last book is going to get published. Been very impatient since he talked about it after mastery release

  10. i love this Man so much i really want to buy his new book from Marocco but i dont know how , any one Can help me please??

  11. Hey man, great interview. Would love to see your face more when you are talking! It would make the podcast look less awkward. Don't zoom into his face too much either lol. Another thing I suggest is to have a third front facing camera angle that has both of you guys in one frame. Good luck

  12. I've been a Robert Greene fan for quite a while now, and I must say that this interview was rather lacking.
    He's definitely less sharp than before, and at first I thought it was just my impression, but after reading The Laws of Human Nature cover to cover I'm afraid he's missing his edge.

  13. A true realist! Highly intelligent. He tells it like it is in life. Read his books… it will educate you on modern life. You must read to gain knowledge.

  14. if you want to be a master porn actress you need to watch the best in this field and subdivide the challenges in small ones, like Napoleon. Thats napoleons porn.

  15. 1:11:37 Something got edited out. Just after he said 'Seduction is a form of warfare'. What did Robert say after that?

  16. He has such a beautiful mind. I hope the stroke didnt damage parts of the brain for writing and speaking….we all want Robert to be alife being able to continue his passion! Best wishes for his recovery

  17. i love the interview, but for fucks sake that camera man was wayyyy in love with the minute details of your faces.

  18. Dude this book has been amazing so far. So insightful this interview is. I really do feel like he should be put on the shelf of the other great thinkers that he mentions such as Pericles and Marcus Aurelius. We’re very lucky to have this individual

  19. Robert Greene you are amazingly, outstandingly honest and intelligent. 48. Laws of Power has helped me a great deal. I have not found a book as helpful as this. Thank you so much with sharing your knowledge. 48 Laws of Power has helped me deal with challenges in the working world. I have found that people at work are rarely honest and forth coming. Their words don’t match their body language.

    I hope you have a speedy recovery and send you best wishes.

  20. Come on Robert that 10000 rule is quite outdated, how many hours really depends more on context than the number of hours, some people learn faster, and some skills are easier or harder to learn and so on.

  21. This is the first time I heard of Robert Greene, I really like him right off, I aspire to be a writer and I love philosophy like he does and I really hope I can get off drugs and redirect my sex drive to make something of myself, I was on top of the world, I worked so hard on myself until I fell in Love, I gave her 100% of myself and she took that and more, I got addicted to pills then when I went to quit she hurt me and stole my subs, the detox meds, from that pain I turned to heroin by I.v. which took over my life, I just couldn't deal with the pain she caused, ive never been so abandoned and betrayed, I had 40 grand in the bank and went through it all in 6 months, I lost my drive, then my business, then my home. Now I'm struggling to want to get up, I'm stuck, I'm not emotionally in pain like before, the woman just tried to get me back, she was so sweet again, then I could not help her move and now she says I have nothing to offer, she just tried to use me again, I feel good I see her as the narrcicist she is, I feel bad for her but I know I can not help her. Right now I need help but I can not ask anyone I know, I was on methadone but quit to avoid months of pain in detoxing, my plan was to do drugs for a week because the detox is less time than the legal methadone. Well one week went by and I couldn't quit because I have to work, now its been a month and all my income is going to drugs so I can work. My life is not easy no doubt and I need help but I can only help myself, I listen to guys like this because in the past I had my subconscious mind working with me becauae of years of self programming, between watching videos like this, reading and writing I got myself up twice before, its so much harder this time because I lost everything I worked so hard for. I wanted Love so much, it was what gave me the drive to build up my life. I wanted to have a lot to offer, I'm having such a hard time wanting anything besides to get high. I know quitting drugs is the first and most important step but I don't have the self control to stop. I know I have to, I know I can not continue this and I want to stop before things get even worse. I must, I am scared of what will happen if I continue drugs, I'm in a horrible spot right now and I could use some encouragement. I want to make videos on youtube and write a book on how to get out of the drug trap. I love helping others, I must get myself moving forward again. I need a strategy. I need a will.

  22. If you get to be 50 or 60 and are bummed because you never reached your so called potential, it's because you're looking at things the wrong way. Don't go's a trap. Do you really need to worry about another one of those things at that point?

  23. I think instead of looking for a shortcut like they talked about in the beginning of the discussion, it is better to break goals down into steps. For instance, if someone approached a goal as one big step you are more likely to fail 100%, but not necessarily 100% of the time. If someone breaks a goal down into more steps than one, he or she is likely to fail at a smaller percentage because the success rate would be the average success rate of all the steps. And, of course, someone could see what he or she needs to work on better. From there someone could continue to break down the steps that he or she is having problems with. Plus that person won't be as discouraged. A good example of this is writing a program to run on a computer. I wrote one the other day where I broke it into steps with each step being able to compile and run, so I knew when I had an error or incorrect results it somehow related to the current goal.

  24. Apple always copied Braun designs… iPod was copied from a patten that had ran out
    iPhone was copied from the palm

  25. I watched this today and found it quite interesting and helpful. Will definitely be checking out some of Roberts other interviews on you tube. Wishing Robert and his family all the best.

  26. Robert you are an amazing human! You have given us all so much to digest with this masterpiece. Please give yourself time to heal and correct your health problems. We will wait patiently. Many blessings to you.

  27. This guy is like a rambling old pigeon feeder in the park. He uses a tremendous number of words, spoken slowly, to say little to nothing.
    When I watch a video of Thomas Sowell, I'm astounded every 2 minutes with something he has to say that I never thought of.
    I've yet to have anything close to that experience with this charlatan sheister flim flam con man.

  28. Outstanding Brendan with Robert Greene! Hopefully our friend Robert has recovered greatly and is doing much better. I wanted to know how can I help you bring more value to your show and segments?

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