The Learning Leader Show: Robert Greene – The Laws of Human Nature (Part 2)

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Key Takeaways
  • Never make decisions while under the influence of strong emotions
  • Find a career that’s in line with your passions
    • “If you’re older in life, and you’re at a crossroads, and you’re feeling frustrated and depressed, and you don’t know why, maybe you’re depressed not because of other people or your relationships. It might be because you’ve fallen into a career dead end and you’re not pursuing something that connects to you in any way.
  • If you’re not excited about the field you’re studying, you will learn at half the rate of someone who’s truly excited about it.
  • You’re much less independent and autonomous than you think
    • We are all are highly susceptible to the ideas of the people around us
  • “You are not entitled to anything. Nobody respects you just because you have a title. They might be a little bit afraid of you, but they don’t really respect you in any deep way. You have to EARN it.”
Intro
Mastering Your Emotional Self
  • One good piece of advice – try to never make decisions while under the influence of strong emotions
    • Doing so, on average, will hinder your decision making skills
    • Step back – never make decisions when you’re angry, tired, or upset
  • To help master your emotions – question them
    • Ask yourself – “Why am I angry?” or “Why am I so excited about this idea?”
    • “The ability to look at your emotions, question them, and understand that you don’t have to feel this way in this moment, and that you don’t have to give into your emotions, is half the process to mastering them”
  • Make a firm commitment with yourself that you will NOT give in to your emotions in the moment and, that you will always step back and think about them
  • “The process of mastering your emotions, not giving into them, questioning them, challenging them, and scrutinizing them, is the process of slowly developing presence of mind”
    • But you have to practice this – it’s not something you’re born with
  • Train yourself, question, and analyze – don’t simply give in to reacting to everything around you
Being Self-Aware
  • “When we’re young, it’s harder to be self-aware, because we’re so attuned to what people think about us, and we’re a little bit insecure, and that’s where most of our brain energy goes”
    • As you get older, a bit of distance develops, and you tend not to care so much about what people think of you – you’re better able to assess your life from a third person point of view
Advance Through Life With A Sense of Purpose
  • “If you don’t follow your passion in life, if you just drift, if you simply string along through a series of jobs just to make money, you will end up feeling very unfilled, very unhappy, and burning out. You’re going to pay a price.”
    • But of course, be practical – you need to be able to put food on the table
    • But there’s a medium ground – pursue something that falls in your wheelhouse, that generally excites you, and is something you were meant to do
    • Find a career that’s more in the direction of your passions – doing so lowers the chances of burning out, or falling into many negative addictive patterns of behavior to cope with your work life (alcohol, drugs, porn etc.)
    • The premise – there are multiple kinds of intelligences (one deals with numbers/patterns, another deals with words/languages, one has to deal with social situations etc.)
    • Every individual is naturally better at one of these forms of intelligence, and is naturally gifted in that area
      • What causes problems – when we pursue something that isn’t in line with one of the forms of intelligence that suites us
  • Reconnect to what really excites you deep down
    • That carefully – “What you would do with your day if money was no concern?”
  • “If you’re older in life, and you’re at a crossroads, and you’re feeling frustrated and depressed, and you don’t know why, maybe you’re depressed not because of other people or your relationships. It might be because you’ve fallen into a career dead end and you’re not pursuing something that connects to you in any way.”
    • “Be practical, but at the same time, always try to connect to something that comes from within”
    • “If you don’t feel emotional about something, you’re not going to learn. If you’re not excited about the field you’re studying, you will learn at half the rate of someone who’s truly excited about it.”
    • You won’t learn intensely enough if you don’t love what you’re studying
  • Robert recommends reading his book Mastery for more on this topic
Resisting Social Norms
  • Humans are such social animals, and we have the innate desire to connect to others in a preverbal way, and to be highly attuned to what others are thinking, doing, and saying
  • You’re much less independent and autonomous than you think
    • You conform more to the opinions of the group than you might imagine
    • We are all are highly susceptible to the ideas of the people around us
    • A real life example:
      • In a workplace, you will unconsciously begin to assume the ideas, the attitudes, and the style of the people around you
    • “You are not as wildly individualistic as you imagine”
    • Being aware of this, allows you to be able to step back, and makes you less likely to conform
How can we make people want to follow us?
  • “If you can conjure up the magic called ‘authority’, then you will have this leadership power that is absolutely the ultimate power you can have”
    • With authority – people trust and believe in you, and in turn, they want to follow you – you won’t have to force them to do anything
  • So how do you get authority?
    • Realize that you have to always be proving yourself – no one owes you anything
    • Many people who get a position of leadership, suddenly feel entitled to respect
      • “That is a deadly, deadly emotion. This will KILL your authority.”
      • “You are not entitled to anything. Nobody respects you just because you have a title. They might be a little bit afraid of you, but they don’t really respect you in any deep way. You have to EARN it.”
    • Every moment, you have to EARN the respect of the people you lead…how?
      • Be attentive to who people are as individuals – everyone is different
      • Set the right tone – work harder than everyone else
        • Have skin in the game – don’t ask people to do things you wouldn’t do
      • Most important of all – have a vision for the group
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