Five years ago I interviewed one of my all-time favorite authors and brilliant thinkers. Now, I\u2019m bringing this interview back to the surface. It\u2019s about mastery.\r\n\r\nBut before you can master something, you have to know what that \u201csomething\u201d is.\r\n\r\nSo I asked Robert Greene, bestselling author of \u201c48 Laws of Power,\u201d and \u201cMastery.\u201d\r\n\r\nI said, \u201cIf you were going to give someone the five minute summary of how to master a topic, what would be the most important factors to look at?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWell, the most important factor is chapter one in the book. You\u2019re never going to master something unless you understand this\u2026 the brain learns much better when we\u2019re emotionally engaged, when we want to learn, when we\u2019re motivated.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe gave an example.\r\n\r\nLet\u2019s say you have to learn Spanish in school. Versus if you\u2019re living in Spain, fall in love and want to learn the language of your lover.\r\n\r\nThe second is more motivating. Your heart\u2019s in it.\r\n\r\nSo then it comes to the big question. \u201cHow do I find my passion?\u201d I get this question all the time.\r\n\r\nOne answer is fall in love.\r\n\r\nBut that\u2019s not so easy either\u2026\r\n\r\nSo Robert broke down the ABC\u2019s for me. I\u2019ll tell you what I learned. But first, I want to say that re-releasing this podcast episode helped me in two ways.\r\n\r\n \tIt helped me see how much I\u2019ve changed in my podcasting. Even my voice sounds different. I can hear the youth of a 45-year-old in this episode with Robert.\r\n \tIt helped me remember one of the many reasons I do this podcast still\u2026 five years later. I love it. But that\u2019s not news. When Robert brought up this question of \u201cfinding what you love\u201d it created a force. That force (among others) are the questions and answers I hope to find. There are still so many unanswered questions. \u201cHow do I find my passion?\u201d \u201cWhat\u2019s joy?\u201d \u201cShould I quit my job?\u201d \u201cHow?\u201d\r\n\r\nEveryone I interview gives me a new question. I just hope that listening to this show helps you find your answer.\r\nThe ABC\u2019s of Mastery:\r\nA) Attention Leads to Aim\r\nStep one is finding your direction.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt takes time to figure out but it\u2019s so worth it,\u201d Robert said. \u201cYou have to go through a process of looking at yourself.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe told me about his consulting. \u201cI\u2019ve dealt with many people who say, \u2018I\u2019m 35, I\u2019m 40. I don\u2019t know what I\u2019m meant to do. I really have no idea.\u2019 And that\u2019s troubling. Because that means you\u2019re not listening to yourself. You\u2019re not aware of your own likes and dislikes. You\u2019ve been paying too much attention to what other people are saying.\u201d\r\n\r\nThat\u2019s lesson number one. Notice what you\u2019re paying attention to.\r\n\r\nNotice what you\u2019re giving your heart to.\r\n\r\nI got a text once. It was from a stranger. I used to give out my number on old episodes of \u201cAsk Altucher\u201d and then I\u2019d answer the questions on air. But sometimes I\u2019d just write back.\r\n\r\nThe text said, \u201cWhat do you do when you don\u2019t know who you are anymore?\u201d\r\n\r\nI wrote back immediately. \u201cUnlearn everything you thought you knew.\u201d Unlearn who the \u201cbosses\u201d are in your life. Unlearn the rules your parents taught you, school taught you, fear taught you.\r\n\r\nThen dream.\r\nRobert tells his clients, \u201cLet\u2019s go back. Let\u2019s look at your childhood. Let\u2019s look at the things that excited you. Let\u2019s look at maybe where you went wrong. Let\u2019s look at the things that you hate. If you hate working for a large company, if you hate politicking, you\u2019re probably meant to be an entrepreneur and working for yourself on some level.\u201d\r\nHe gave more examples in the podcast.\r\nB) Build a Talent Stack\r\nRobert told me about someone who to law school. And hated being a lawyer. She wanted to write.\r\n\r\nSo she took the 3,000-4,000 hours put towards one career (law) and turned it into a new career (legal writer).\r\n\u201cTake the time that you think you wasted doing something else and apply it to something that really appeals to you.\u201d\r\nMake it part of your talent stack.\r\n\r\nMeaning, your current job or whatever you\u2019re doing doesn\u2019t have to be who you are. It can be part of your array of skills.\r\n\r\nI learned this from Scott Adams who created of the famous Dilbert cartoon. He says, \u201cIt\u2019s really hard to be the best in the world at one thing, but if you are \u2018pretty good\u2019 at a bunch of things and use them together, you can succeed.\u201d\r\n\r\nSo if you combine the talent stack theory with the 10,000-hour rule, you get new eyes and a new resume.\r\nC) Creative Potential Is Either Used or Wasted\r\nRobert reads 200-300 books to make one book. It\u2019s part of his research. He\u2019s read thousands of biographies. He\u2019ll use lots of stories and quotes in his books.\r\n\r\n\u201cI have a quote in there from Davinci, which I love\u2026\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cJust as a well-filled day brings blessed sleep, so a well-employed life brings a blessed death.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cThe idea is that if you\u2019ve felt like you\u2019ve realized your potential, you almost feel like you can die a happy person.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cSo how do you do that?\u201d\r\n\r\nHe told me about Steve Jobs and Nikola Tesla. They both obsessed over work. They obsessed over their potential. Which we all have.\r\nRobert says in the podcast, \u201cEverybody has creative potential. Everybody. And I think the worst feeling in life comes from the sense that as you get older you didn\u2019t somehow tap that potential. You\u2019re not expressing what you think you could\u2019ve expressed.\u201d\r\nSometimes we have to let go of the idea of what will happen if we gave ourselves a chance at the life we want\u2026 (I\u2019d lose my job, I\u2019d lose my house, I won\u2019t have money, I\u2019ll struggle) just to experience the idea of what could happen if it worked out.