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Luck Favors the Prepared and Persistent

James Altucher‘s latest blog post “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastery” is worth a read if you want to know what it takes to truly master something. An excerpt:

At some point you have to cook 10,000 meals. Or play a million hands of poker. Or 1000s of games of chess. Or start 20 businesses.

Very few are successful right away. That would require too much luck and luck favors the prepared and the persistent.

In those 1000s of whatever you will encounter much failure. We all know that the best baseball players in the world are enormous successes if they strike out “only” 70% of the time.

When my dad died I went to his house and logged onto this chess account. I saw that he played about 30,000 games. He never got any better.

A lot of people can play the 10,000 hands of poker and never get better. Or bake 1000 cakes and never get better.

You have to remember your experiences, study your failures, try to note what you did right and what you did wrong, and remember them for future experiences.

Will future experiences be exactly like the old experiences? Almost never.

But you have to have the ability to say “Hmm, this is like the time four years ago when X, Y, and Z happened.”

Read entire article here. Good job James.

Ep. 80: Robert Greene Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Robert Greene
Robert Greene

Michael Covel speaks with Robert Greene, the bestselling author of the classic book, “The 48 Laws of Power“, in addition to other bestsellers such as “The Art of Seduction”, “The 33 Strategies of War”, and “The 50th Law” with musician and entrepreneur 50 Cent. His new book, “Mastery” is out. Covel and Greene came together through their mutual friend Ryan Holiday (author of “Trust Me, I’m Lying”), a past guest on Covel’s podcast and a former apprentice of Greene. Covel talks to Greene about the influence “The 48 Laws of Power” had on Covel’s own writing; using the 48 Laws as a defense strategy rather than as a cutthroat offense; some of Greene’s early influences that led him into his writing career; using Zen Buddhism and meditation as a tool to gain perspective and focus; the importance of using your unique life experiences in your career to create an irreplaceable style; and embracing opportunity. When “The 48 Laws of Power” unexpectedly pushed a button in the hip-hop community, Greene and musician 50 Cent began a collaboration that eventually became “The 50th Law”. Covel and Greene discuss the stories surrounding their collaboration, why 50 Cent should be taken seriously as an entrepreneur, and how he embodies the paradigm found within Greene’s new book, “Mastery”. On the subject of “Mastery”, Covel and Greene discuss how Greene mined the biographies of both contemporary masters and masters throughout history to discover how these people reached new levels and developed a different kind of intelligence. These people are highly creative, can connect ideas in a way that no one else can, and have become masters in their own respective fields. Greene made the startling discovery that genius, talent, luck, and intelligence did not lead his subjects to this power. Rather, they went through a process: They went through apprenticeships, mentored with the right people, knew how to observe what was happening around them, absorbed all of the rules of their field, developed skills, and had many failures. They aren’t superhuman. They went through a process that Greene discusses in extremely clear terms in his new book. Greene makes the case that given the competition in today’s world, becoming a master in your field is the only way to achieve true success.

Listen to this episode:

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