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Notes Psychology

Chapter 1: Discover Your Life Task (Mastery)

There is an idea, that since every person is unique, has never existed before, and will never exist again, that they are made up on a unique configuration of atoms, that they will have a life calling that is unique to them.

That is, there is something that you are attracted to, and the reason you are attracted to it cannot be explained by you, it is an innate feeling. It is this thing that you must pursue, to find meaning and contentment in life. And if you reject this calling, or if you do not find it, you will always be haunted by feelings of misery and incompleteness, regardless of how much money you manage to make, or who you surround yourself with.

To find this calling, you must defy your socialization. When you are a child, you are unrestrained in your exploration, you are not yet socialized, but as you get older, social forces mould you into something more definite and conventional. But by succumbing to these social pressures, you lose track of your innate tendencies, of what you are truly attracted to.

To get out of this trap, Greene offers 5 strategies based on stories from the past.

1. Return to your origins—The primal inclination strategy

It may be that in your memories of childhood, and of pleasant experienced you had then, that can guide you in your discovery of your life mission. Recall what you were instinctively drawn to – what had a powerful grasp of your attention.

2. Occupy the perfect niche—The Darwinian strategy

There are two strategies here. The first is to start in a general field, and then to narrow down your interest over time as you discover more.  The second is to master a field and then combine this knowledge to other fields you are interested in. Both strategies allow you to find your own niche, whether occupying an existing, or creating a new one.

3. Avoid the false path—The rebellion strategy

Mozart’s father wanted him to play what others had written. Eventually, Mozart grew tired of this lifestyle, where he was forced to work with no joy. He recalled his true interests, composition and theater. He rebelled against his father and produced at a furious rate the best works of his time, and perhaps of all time.

4. Let go of the past—The adaptation strategy

What may be holding you back may be your refusal to find a new way of doing something. Even if you are in the right business, you can be using outdated methods, and this is when both creativity and a willingness to take risks is necessary.

5. Find your way back—The life-or-death strategy

If have exhausted your options for finding success, and find yourself in a life or death position, then this could force you to be brutally truthful with yourself and your life task.

Read Mastery

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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