Reaching Mastery in 6 Steps Inspired by the Great Geniuses of History

Talent makes many people fantasize. Indeed, for many people, only a unique talent allows them to reach mastery. However, it has been proven by numerous studies that this popular belief is in fact false. Thus, flamboyant talent does not guarantee phenomenal success in the future.

On the contrary, the brightest children do not necessarily do the greatest things when they reach adulthood. If talent does not invariably lead to mastery, what are the keys to success and mastery? In this article, I invite you to discover how to achieve mastery in 6 steps, inspired by the greatest geniuses in history, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Edison.

To do this, we will rely on the excellent book “Mastery” by the American author Robert Greene. In this best-seller, Robert Greene gives us confidence that all these great historical geniuses have followed similar steps to reach mastery. A unique opportunity for people who want to succeed to be inspired by it.

1. Define mastery to achieve it in 6 steps

In order to achieve mastery in 6 steps, it seems essential to start by defining what mastery is. Indeed, without a common definition of mastery, it will be impossible to continue with the same level of understanding. Mastery corresponds to such a mastery of a discipline that your mind and body become one. In fact, you act and do exceptional things without even thinking about it. Achieving mastery allows the great masters of a discipline to have an overview of their art without having to focus on details.

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Robert Greene then reminds us that according to some theories, our primitive ancestors acted directly by following only their reflexes. Thus, abstract thinking only came later. If you don’t know exactly what it is, abstract thinking is the ability to remove some of our primitive reflexes in order to think before doing given actions. The great masters who succeeded in achieving mastery united their minds and bodies. In fact, they will automatically react in an exceptional way to the situations they have to face, without even thinking about it.

2. Follow your calling

In order to achieve mastery, the second of the 6 steps will be to find your major area of interest. By major, I mean the area that makes you want to get up every morning. In order to find this area, you must trust your inner guide. Indeed, it is this little voice that you have inside that will allow you to find your vocation. Perhaps you have already felt this feeling while putting it aside because it seems unrealistic. Today, you have to give him a free hand.

Indeed, many geniuses suddenly found their field of mastery. Thus, everything became clear to them and their vocation was then found. Some even go so far as to say that they have heard an inner voice telling them to continue along this path. In short, it is your turn to follow your vocation.

3. Your first objective must be to learn and not to earn money if you want to achieve mastery

People who want to achieve mastery should not forget the third of the 6 steps. This is probably one of the most important steps. Indeed, the primary objective of someone who wishes to achieve maximum mastery in his field cannot be to earn money. Thus, the main driving force to achieve mastery is the willingness to learn more and more about one’s field.

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American politician Benjamin Franklin, for example, refused to take over his father’s highly profitable candle-making business. Instead, he preferred to chart his course. This meant giving up a lot of money by working in the printing world. In addition to refusing financial comfort, Benjamin Franklin had to question himself to learn a lot of new things. He had to learn how the texts were composed, especially what was not an easy task. Nevertheless, this skill was very useful to him later on.

Charles Darwin did something similar in his quest for mastery. For example, he refused medical school places and well-paying jobs to work as an unpaid naturalist on board the HMS Beagle. The observations he was able to make during his travels on board this ship then allowed him to develop his famous theory of evolution.

There are many examples of this type in history. They allow to see the general trend to achieve mastery. Thus, work that gives you the opportunity to learn may be worth doing even if it doesn’t pay well.

4. Finding a mentor is one of the 6 essential steps to achieving mastery

Nowadays, information is accessible from anywhere at any time through the Internet. Thus, it has become possible to train on any subject quite easily. In fact, many people do not find the idea of having a very relevant mentor. This is a mistake! Indeed, a mentor allows you to use your time and resources much more effectively. It acts as a guide to guide you in the right direction. In addition, it can give you immediate feedback, which will prevent you from wasting valuable time in the wrong direction.

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One of the 6 most important steps to achieving mastery is therefore the search for a mentor. It must be someone you admire and who has a sufficient level of mastery. In addition, it is preferable that he or she has already done things that you would like to do in turn. Then, all you have to do is absorb his knowledge like a sponge.

5. Once the learning is complete, question the established rules

Once the learning process has been completed, you should not stop there. Indeed, you have not yet achieved mastery and you cannot stop without going through the process of questioning the established rules. You must demonstrate the open-mindedness and fearless mentality of a child. This is the only way for you to dare to break the rules and get out of the usual frame of mind.

You must be bold to think outside the box. This step should allow you to grow and innovate in your field. So, if you succeed, you will achieve excellence because your mastery of the field will be unique.

6. Training your mind to broaden your thinking is the last of the 6 steps to achieving mastery

Quite often, we make the mistake of thinking too narrowly. Thus, we restrict our way of thinking. All this is the logical continuation of the habits that society has shaped for us. In fact, we have a huge difficulty being creative. When facing a problem, you should ask yourself the following question: “Is this really the best way to solve this problem?”. Feel free to train your brain to expand its thinking.

In order to achieve excellence, the latter of the 6 steps can be completed by what is called the diffuse mode. This creative way of thinking was very often used by Albert Einstein. Indeed, he claimed that playing the violin led him to solve very complex theoretical problems. Likewise, walking can give your mind enough air to find new creative ideas.


In his book “Mastery”, Robert Greene clearly shows us that achieving mastery requires a 6-step process. The number of great historical geniuses who have followed these steps to reach an exceptional level of mastery clearly supports Robert Greene’s theory.

For your part, you can use it as a model to achieve mastery in the field of your choice. The important thing is to never forget that talent does not ultimately weigh very heavily in comparison to the willingness to learn more and more in a field.

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