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Notes Psychology

Chapter 3: Absorb the Master’s Power (Mastery)

A mentor is a shortcut to mastery. Of course, you can teach yourself anything you want on your own, and many have done this, but there are two main disadvantages with this. The first is that you could waste a lot of time. A good mentor can give you direct feedback, and they can tell you what to ignore. The second thing is that you may miss out on a better way of thinking that you may never have discovered.

It is natural to prize self-learning higher and more authentic, but this is a result of insecurity. It is difficult to admit that you need a tutor because it means that you are in a weak position. But when you are first starting out, you are, in fact, in a weak position. If you assume that you don’t need anyone’s help at all, then you may find yourself stuck in the same place, advancing only very slowly over time.

Faraday

Faraday was a Christian, he belonged to a denomination that believed that God was a part of everything in nature. This made Faraday curious about everything he saw. He was intensely curious and asked questions about everything he saw. There was nothing that didn’t interest him. Eventually, by chance circumstances, he found himself in a lab with Davies, a famous chemist. This was the start of his journey, to eventually discovering the first constant flow of electricity.

But he only managed to this by learning about how Davies thought about science. It was an experiment to figure out how it was possible for coal and diamond to both be made from carbon. That was the trigger. The experiment which Davies thought of was brilliant and definitive, it proved that the difference between diamonds and coal was not in what they were made up of, but in changes in their molecular structure. A diamond was placed in a tube and exposed to a concentrated beam of light – it turned into smoke (carbon).

Faraday applied his master’s methods to electromagnetism, in an experiment that made him famous after many years of living under slavish conditions. He went on to have a much more illustrious career than his mentor, even though the latter did much to stand in his way, because Davies believed that he should be credited with everything that Faraday ever did since he took him under his wing many years ago.

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

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