In this clip Robert Greene introduces his 3-part Big Think Mentor (http://goo.gl/06gYu) workshop on Achieving Mastery.
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Transcript: The idea is -- is mastery appropriate to a totally modern world which isn't the world of Da Vinci or even Einstein? -- I find it almost -- it's a good question but it's almost a silly idea because we humans have evolved over the course of millions of years. The human brain is a masterpiece of design from our earliest ancestors to the earliest Homo sapiens to the invention of language to who we are now. And to think that in 20 years we have somehow overthrown five, six million years of evolution, is just absolutely ridiculous.
The brain is what it is. It has a certain pattern -- I call it a grain to it. It's an instrument that is designed -- if you focus deeply on a subject, you understand it better and better and better and more layers of it are revealed to you. You can't suddenly rewrite the configuration of the human brain or imagine that by surfing quickly from here to there on the Internet you're somehow gonna become a master of something. The laws that I'm talking about in the book -- about focus, about going deeply into a subject -- they still pertain but we give it a modern flavor.
So I interviewed nine contemporary masters to get rid of the notion that these are all people in powdered wigs -- masters from the eighteenth century or whatever. All of them fit the same pattern that I'm talking about but they've managed to use what's great about our time period. The level of distraction is a negative, let's face it. It is a negative. It makes it harder for us to go deeper and deeper into a subject or to focus deeply. But the good parts of our era is the incredible explosion of information, how much is accessible to us, how, with just a couple of clicks on the Internet, we can start investigating some new science or some new discovery just at our fingertips. It's incredible. And so these are all people who are taking advantage of all of this and are making connections between ideas, between different fields. That's where the future of mastery is.
Yoky Matsuoka, she goes into electrical engineering and then she goes into robotics and now she's -- and she studied neuroscience. So she's combined them all into a new field called neurobotics, where she's trying to design products that operate like a robot but are linked to how the human brain works so that there are things that learn. She's combined five or six different fields into this new field that she calls neurobotics. That's the future of mastery, but you have to master the basics of the whole thing, which is building discipline, being able to practice at something over a long period of time and being able to focus. Nothing we ever invent is gonna be able to change that. There's no drug in the world or any application that's gonna alter that.
Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd
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