The Virtuoso’s Mantra

Virtuoso's MantraMany of us field 500+ emails a day. There’s more work and less time. Expectations have never been higher. And the pace of change has now been set to revolutionary.

The best performers have a singular ability: they strip away the noise and focus on doing just a couple of things…really really well. Makes me think of Michelangelo’s protocol for delivery masterpieces: he’d see his David in the block of marble. Then he’d cut away at all that was not of his absolute best vision.

Picasso didn’t play the piano. Federer didn’t learn the flute. All Virtuoso’s have a mantra: “I avoid the trivial many so I can master the vital few.”

Keep Leading Without A Title!

Robin Sharma

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23 Responses to “The Virtuoso’s Mantra”

  1. Srinivas Rao says:

    Very good thought..however the fast paced world of today requires more multitasking than ever..resulting in people being jack of all trades and master of none….only the courageous few choose the difficult but ultimately rewarding path over the shortcut to success path….

  2. Arvind says:

    What you have said is true … But the main issue in today’s world is you lose your respect even with the persons in your family if you are good at something and not even average with other things….

    For example … You might be good at making a fortune by working hard … But If not managed well you would be broke … Well, the above mentioned might not be the best example for what I meant or tried to mean … But, I do feel and know you can do a better job than me on that interpretation of mine …

  3. So, true. I focus on the big important stuff. No one notices the minor details fade into history.

  4. anil says:

    It is very attractive to stick to one task and do it well. But i find it difficult to perform, as there are so many things to look into along with that one task.

  5. Thembeka Ngobese says:

    I also find it difficult to focus on one thing cause there is just so much to do within a day but I have found that having the daily five helps a lot.

  6. Mallee says:


    Your point is great. I would expect you to make your blogs even more lengthier to hit the nail hard on heads of people like me :) . By typing this buzz word “vital few”, I am allowing it to seep into me.


  7. Mehmet says:

    It is so true and makes so much sense…it is so beautiful that truths make one so happy…

  8. Harshi says:

    True Robin. Reminded me of “Clarity precedes Mastery” from you..

    Having a few vitals to focus on really streamlines the day and makes the day, and our lives, truly impactful and significant. One feels so much lighter when we mindfully strip away the non-essential. Life is simpler then. We do have to juggle very many things to keep our life going, but barring that, one can still make space for what’s truly significant, what takes our lives, our inner desires and dreams, our learning, our vision for a life we would like, one step further – even though some of the pursuits can be scary. Actually making time for it helps get our feet wet, and helps us feel less fear eventually. Being busy with “Other things” can conveniently build that fear, and keep us away from the essential. We can gradually try spending more time in key areas that really mean something to us.

    At work, we can all think about priorities/key areas/key actions/values that would make the Most difference to the environment around us, to the day, to the business, to the people we serve. Every action can become a vehicle to a larger purpose. We can all be pro-active, learn about the mission and values of our company, open up discussions, ask questions, observe needs, and be leaders that way, by taking time to think and implement whatever is most significant, from our space.

  9. Shyam says:

    Yes Robin agreed but would add one point. The best shut out the noise and also ensure that they dont really care abou what others perceive on their lack of knowledge in other areas, this is the key and not easy to master but a great skill to become the best leader you can be

  10. Chetasi says:

    yes sir,perfectly said..the sentence has itself a superb meaning….infact everyone has to understand this sentence’s meaning deeply n apply to their’s own life…really sir i am feeling really good when i read your books & blogs…really every time i got something messages..n tryin to put it in my life…thank u sir…superb blog..thank u so much…

  11. LolitA says:

    LolitA is more than Busyness as well LolitA is more than choices. What that means? Meaning LolitA realized that in every Action she makes it will be her BEST choices that will come out to Revelation 3: 7 to 13 the ONLY way to reach the REAL LIFE on EARTH.

  12. yasmeen says:

    what you said is true but the main thing is also that when you master the vital few you dont have to get it to your head that you everything about that as learning is an ever going think. we may learn someting from school going kids and at same time something from people in the current field as well. The main thing is never stop learning your vital few and try to master as much as possible about them. Never be in race to achieve everything in life rather be the one to learn everything related to field whatever may come to you

  13. anish says:

    yes people can become virtuosos as u said. but there is time factor also. say federer needed 10 years to become virtuoso. nadal needed 15 years. then definitely nadal can never become federer. then who is virtuoso? I will call federer a viruoso than nadal.

  14. lillsgarden says:

    just simplify and focus, easier than I thought!

  15. Manoj says:

    my undergrad prici used to say, while many notes and coins of money fall, all you need to do is spot the biggest & catch it but not get tensed while catching all the small coins…

    the movie peaceful warrior speaks about a mind which needs to be free of many thoughts or clean to focus on one

    as you have also suggested in your books, physical activity in the morning before breakfast is a great way to feel hungry and both accomplish physical workout needs for the day thus focus attention on others. But it follows up with what you would want to do and why to make yourself free at mind. A few minutes of swim works well for me compared to the more tiring running.

    lastly, a point about focus, writing down what you are about to do immediately causes a realisation of what is important and not. You have mentioned about writing down things which are of more priority among thoughts as well, its similar. Again recollect my undergrad prici advising writing down a program or logic by hand and then programming is better compared to coding straight away.


  16. Rohit bhatnagar says:

    Robin sir u always right…
    As you said in the greatness guide

  17. […] best Productives and the genuine Virtuosos focus on steady and incremental accomplishments acutely focused in the direction of their most […]

  18. Mudasar says:

    Very well said Robin. I fee that one should always do what one loves and be a master in his field.

    Cheers !!

  19. elena says:

    Самое главное лично для меня выключить свою словомешалку ( не думать ни очем постороннем) и концентрироваться на одном важном деле. Всегда успех!
    Простой пример: люблю вышивать – занятие простое, но вот досада, как только начинаю думать о чем- то другом, работа идет плохо. вывод: для продуктивной работы – думать о том,что делаешь.

  20. Ravi Shakya says:

    To augment Robin’s post, I would like to cite following from Warren Buffett’s biography ‘The Snowball’:

    “Then at dinner, Bill Gates Sr. posed the question to the table: What factor did people feel was the most important in getting to where they’d gotten in life? And I (Warren Buffett) said, ‘Focus’. And Bill (Gates) said the same thing.”


    this is the thing we all will have to cover… :-) nice thought

  22. […] best Productives and the genuine Virtuosos focus on steady and incremental accomplishments acutely focused in the direction of their most […]

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