How Great Masters Think

By Robin Sharma

#1 bestselling author of The Leader Who Had No Title

To believe in you when no one believes in you is to start your rise to genius. Every master was a beginner. Every pro, once an amateur. Just believe in your dream + talent. Then start.

It’s springtime in my hometown. The tulips bloom. The leaves return. The warm breezes flow.

Reading the TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and fascinated not only by the choices but by the common commitment to utter excellence that infiltrates their lives…

They mention famed author Haruki Murakami, whose book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running I truly adore. Murakami is a marathon runner (he started at 33), a former jazz club owner and self-described loner who took up writing because he wasn’t a great musician. More importantly, his painstaking devotion to his craft has allowed him to have an explosive impact on the world of literature.

They list Harry Potter star Emma Watson (she auditioned for the first movie at the age of 9), a gender equality advocate whose “HeForShe” speech before the United Nations moved me deeply and reminded me that few things matter more than standing for a cause you’d take a bullet for.

They include Kanye West whose debut album College Dropout is without a doubt one of the greatest Hip Hop works of all-time (Do yourself a favor and listen to the song Last Call before you ever give up on a dream–you’ll get a sense of the struggles he had to transcend over many years to become “an overnight sensation”). Love him or dis-love him, West’s devotion to total craft mastery is indisputable. And inspirational.

TIME also profiles tech visionary Elizabeth Holmes, the 31 year old billionaire founder of Theranos. Henry Kissinger, on hearing her vision for her healthcare company after she’d just dropped out of Stanford, told her she had only two prospects: “total failure or vast success.” She clearly committed to the latter. And at a young age has become a master maker in the entrepreneurial field.

A discussion of rare-air influencers and epic producers also makes me think of…

–U2. I know they’ve been around for years but these guys are absolutely relentless in their pursuit of perfection. If the result is not amazing, they just don’t mess with it. Just listen to Bono sing Every Breaking Wave live on YouTube and tears will flow as you witness the pure mastery born of an adult lifetime of practice, gorgeously expressing itself.

–Jazz legend John Coltrane. As a sax player in his school band, he was unremarkable (just like Mozart’s first 10 years of musical compositions showed zero signs of genius). But after being blown away by a performance of Charlie Parker, he committed to the monomaniacal focus, study, training and sacrifice that eventually allowed him to produce sounds that no one had ever heard before (he practiced the sax so hard the reeds would be soaked with his blood).

–William Shakespeare. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Shakespeare wrote almost 1/10th of the most quoted lines in the English language and has been said to have introduced nearly 3000 words to it. A true titan of production.

So what do these A-players of immense achievement + global impact have in common that you can consider, to find your ideal approach?

The 4 Mindsets of Genius

#1. Nothing Matters More Than The Work.

Not fame. Not fortune. Not glory. “Balance” just isn’t the game of most people playing at legendary performance. Their lives are all about their craft. It’s their true love, their greatest passion and their central mission. And because of this, they overcome the impatience, self-doubt, fear of stumbling and attraction to distraction that causes most of us to give up prior to genius showing up.

#2. The Process Matters More Than The Masterpiece.

Icons of their fields get that elite performance takes years of deep training. They see themselves as apprentices, learning the skill (often at the feet of a master) step by step, day by day. They commit to their education. They ritualize the discipline. They understand greatness takes time (Darwin had the devotion to study barnacles for 8 years as part of forging his scientific understanding).

#3. The Audacity of Originality Is The Dream.

Great performers go through a series of phases. They start as beginners (every pro was once an amateur). In this period, they watch the masters and copy their moves. With focus, grit and practice they reach the next part: technical brilliance. Audiences are delighted by their proficiency. But what lacks is soul and bravery and audacity. As the performer continues, they reach the final stage. This is where world-class skill meets serious heart. The performer has the guts to express their own voice. Do their own thing. Behave in ways no one has ever seen. This is the goal of every A-Player. To become a phenomenon.

#4. Genius Is an Inner Play.

Here’s what I mean by this observation: genius is less about natural gifts than internal character. The titans of sport + science + art + enterprise are not the smartest nor the most talented (just think of all the super-talented people who do nothing with their potential). No, the best of the best are those with the character traits that allow them to stick to the vision, transcend insecurity, endure the pain of intense practice and ignore the envious ridicule of their critics.

At this year’s Titan Summit, my legendary annual event for people ready to rise to best in world in their work and personal lives, I’m bringing in the top experts on the planet to help those who get a seat make genius performances a way of being as well as create lives they adore…

For now, please allow me to offer you these practices to start installing today to fuel your rise:

A. Set Initiations. All rare-air performers set clear challenges like the writer who sets a goal to produce a book within 60 days that contains languaging well-beyond anything she’s ever done. Or the tech star who creates the app that disrupts an industry. Or the athlete who runs farther than he’s ever run. Committing to regularly going past your limits, painful as this behavior is, is how you blow past them.

B. Leverage Solitude. We live in a world afraid of being alone. But masters get that isolation breeds ideation. We do our best thinking–and download our genius–away from the world, not within it. When we work alone in our studio or walk solo in the woods, our brain waves shift from beta to alpha. Neurochemicals like serotonin, dopamine and anandamide (the brain chemical of bliss) get made. Our pre-frontal cortex (the part of our brains that do all the thinking–and self-criticizing) becomes quiet. And we access the staggering brilliance that lies within each one of us.

C. Renew Your Assets. For the legendary producer, there are 3 main assets needed to sustain fantastic results: focus + willpower + energy. If all you do all day is use these resources without replenishing them, they will deplete. The wells will empty. You’ll descend from mastery to mediocrity. Your greatness will decline.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT…

Sorry…for everyone asking, registration for The Titan Summit 2015 (which has featured thought leaders ranging from Sir Richard Branson to Todd Henry, Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. James Rouse and Verne Harnish) hasn’t opened yet!

The best way to get one of the very limited seats to this event that many call the premier peak performance + business acceleration summit in the world is to get onto my priority access list here

You’ll go 100X deeper into the material in this post, get my most advanced information on growing a world-class company + life and spend 4 days with my amazing faculty. AND where else can you spend 4 life-changing days at The Ritz-Carlton in a room full of billionaires, sports stars, successful entrepreneurs and all round awesome human beings that will shape the rest of your life?

Get onto my advance registration list here to get first chance at one of the limited seats before we sell out the event again this year.

Ok. That’s it for today. Worked hard on this post. Hope it is super valuable + actionable!

Believe in the call on your life to do amazing things…and today, please just START! :)

P.S. A seat at The Titan Summit is one of the hottest growth event tickets anywhere these days…these 4 days with me and my rare-air faculty will help you create exponential results in your confidence, mindset, productivity, prosperity, business growth and impact on the world…

Can you really afford not to be in the room with us?….get onto the advance registration list here to get a chance at a seat.

Be great.

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16 Responses to “How Great Masters Think”

  1. namrata says:

    This is great Robin..thank you..your blog always show a path when life is taking a whole U-turn..thanks alot..

  2. salim says:

    Dear Sharma,
    What great article!
    Thank for the ever inspirational ideas and thoughts
    Regards,
    Salim.

  3. ola says:

    Peace on you Robin:
    Actually I need to translate many words to understand the article well,many difficult words. not a criticism, offcourse the problem in me, I have to improve my English language. So as you work hard to benefit us, i will work hard to learn from you and work on it. Thanks sooooo much for everything we learned from You. I really really love your thoughts. Thank you again and my prayers for you.

  4. Nokuthula says:

    Hi Robin
    Thank you very much once again,I am inspired as usual and I am taking action. One day, I will attend your summit.

  5. Gunjit Sharma says:

    Once again a big thanks to u robin, each time when i was about to lose my focus, i recieve ur mail and the whole game is changed.your world class thinking really inspires to be world class…and i will become world class one day..as masterpieces are never urgent…..keep writing keep motivating….

  6. tejas shetty says:

    Thank you Robin sir
    The Process Matters More Than The
    Masterpiece. was really a great point

  7. Teboho Jerry Makheth says:

    How I got hold the book, when all hope was lost, when quiting was the only option, I can never tell.
    It reinforced something powerful within that I never knew was ever there. Let me take this opportunity and say THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

    Me,
    Teboho,
    South Africa

  8. Jonathan Bitababaje says:

    Hi Robin,

    This article is great and wonderful. I am always reading your articles that have real helped me a lot and I see big changes within me as a result of what I put into action and daily practices. This is another great article.

    Thank you and may the Almight God keep you safe and high as always. Keep it up brother.

    Jonathan

    Dar es salaam, Tanzania.

  9. Siphamandla says:

    Thank you very much Robin, everytime when i’m about to loose hope i read your books or read my emails you sent. THANK YOU

  10. Amrit says:

    Thanks Robin sir
    Great Article
    God bless you

  11. Prathap says:

    Thanks a lot Robin. Without focus, willpower and energy, we cannot do anything

  12. Sneha says:

    Grt grt grt…. Just too good…. You are grt inspiration for me…. Thank you very much….

  13. Brin says:

    Dear Robin, as time goes by, and responsibilities increase, i appreciate more deeply the paths you have traced for a successful life. The time alone that you so strongly advocate, is vital for replenishing and giving better value to those around us.Trimming useless activities, including deleting unproductive thoughts can make space for a restful mind. Thank you for your blog. They always uplift when spirits flag down. All the best to you and your team for the Titan Summit.
    Brin

  14. Ebrahim says:

    Thank you so much. We, means a whole generation always waiting for your articles. Because now a day our educational Establishments not teach us what is mind and how we can manage it. There is you are everything with it is whole values of life U’R GRT..

  15. Dharmik Bagthariya says:

    Grt work robin sir,keep posting

  16. Siyabonga Vilakazi says:

    Wow Robin you are the Einstein of motivation, Whenever I read any of your writings, I get the bigger picture and I get it in HD. Please continue with you Excellent job.

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