Robert Greene: Do You Think You’re In Control? Think Again.


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How did one of the greatest geniuses of all time lose his life savings overnight? Despite our illusions of rationality, even the most brilliant humans are not rational at all. We tell ourselves that it’s always the other person who is irrational, envious, and aggressive, and that it’s never us. But science shows that all of our brains are remarkably similar, sculpted by evolution to have baked in biases and bad habits. No one is exempted from the laws of human nature. In this episode we explore the path that all the world’s greatest strategists have used to master their own irrationality and achieve mastery with our legendary guest Robert Greene.

Robert Greene is an author known for his books on strategy, power, and seduction. He has written six international bestsellers: The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law, Mastery, and The Laws of Human Nature. In addition to having a strong following within the business world and a deep following in Washington, DC, Greene’s books are hailed by everyone from war historians to the biggest musicians in the industry (including Jay-Z, Drake, and 50 Cent).

  • How one of the greatest geniuses of all time lost his life savings overnight. Could it happen to you?
  • Despite our illusions of rationality, humans are not rational at all - we are governed by our emotions.
  • To be rational requires deep work and training.
  • Many forces from evolution that are wired into our brains used to be adaptive, now they can be dangerous and even counter productive
  • These primitive elemental forces form the cornerstones of human nature
  • Are the emotions that you’re feeling actually from your life? Did they come from you or did they come from other people?
  • We need to be independent, we need to think for ourselves, we need to gain control of our emotional responses.
  • You can’t begin to be a rational strategist in life until you are aware of your own emotions
  • It begins with humility. Turn your internal self absorption around.
  • Rationality is being aware of your irrationality. Being aware of the emotions that govern your decisions.
  • Step back. Cultivating the ability to step away, to pull out of tunnel vision, to see a bigger picture, is a cornerstone of rational thinking and strategic thinking.
  • The brain operates by simplifying information - we often don’t have access to the SOURCE of our feelings and emotions.
  • You need other people to do anything in life. Investing in the skill of influencing them is one of the most powerful things you can invest in.
  • How LBJ was a master influencer and could melt away anyone’s defensiveness
  • Respond to people as they ARE not as you want them to be
  • Your natural tendency as you get older is for your mind to close up.
  • Open, curious, having a mindset of discovery and openness is much more powerful than a deeply convicted rigid mindset. Having a rigid perspective is destroying your mind.
  • A creative mind is incredibly flexible. That’s the quality of any truly great artist, entrepreneur, or political figure.
  • It’s the path that ALL of the great strategists in life have followed. Do you want power, creativity, success, and influence? OPEN UP YOUR MIND.
  • Homework: Use a journal or simply do a thought experiment in your own head - in the course of a day you will feel many different emotions - dig into those emotions and understand what is going on with yourself and your own emotions. Try to find one moment, one emotion, and think about the root cause, think about where that emotion comes from. Where does it REALLY come from? Question. Dig. Think before your act. Try to come up with one little nugget about yourself and why you feel that way and analyze it instead of giving into it.

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