I read Robert Greene’s books. I have read “The 48 Laws of Power,” “Art of Seduction,” and the “33 Strategies of War” and they’re all courtesy of my kuya Edgar who one day sent copies from the U.S through a package containing also other things. I think these three books by Robert Greene contributed in helping me move out from my comfort zone. And I think Robert Greene is not pretending to be a know-it-all either. In fact, based on my experience, reading Robert Greene’s books feels like reading history books, not the information type of history books but the novel kind, where there’s blood, violence, lust, and stories of our forefathers’ failures and triumphs that we could learn from. His books didn’t exist to impose on what to do and we don’t think anymore, but just simply as guides in dealing with interpersonal relations and wars, even on matters of the heart and understanding the psychology of love and relationships. I admire Robert Greene for his fortitude and perseverance and sincerity in finishing all these books. Like music, Robert Greene’s books have helped me survive some of my personal tribulations.
Just like his books, Robert Greene is also interesting and engaging during interviews and lectures. Words of wisdom on how to deal with life generally which he gathered from his painful research of our history, and based on his own experiences that he would share with people who’d care to listen, who’d like to improve their lives. Words of wisdom which aren’t exactly secrets or new inventions of this world, they’re already there but what we oftentimes forget, the older ones, and sort of a warning to the reckless young ones. Here’s a few of those inspiring words of wisdom I picked from Robert Greene courtesy of YouTube.
“Pain is great. Pain is pleasure. Like exercising, it hurts. But it leads to something good. Boredom is not bad. If there is no resistance to you, you’re not gonna go anywhere in life. Who are the most messed up people in the world? Spoiled kids. Kids who were given everything. So there are no limits, no resistance. They don’t have to push against anything.”
“When we have to do something, we have to work three times harder. You gotta work thrice as hard.”
“You have to put yourself on death ground on purpose. That’s the trick in life.”
“Superiority takes grit. Persistence. Not settling for anything mediocre. Meritocracy is not about going to Yale. It’s about you.”
“There is no correlation between where people went to university and their success. There is zero correlation. Whether you went to Yale or you went to Dallas Community College, there is equal chance that you will be successful. ~A quote from Paul Graham”
“When you are motivated, when you feel yourself emotionally engaged in the subject, you learn faster.”
On self-awareness, dealing with insecurities:
“Each person is born unique. One of a kind. There’s something weird about you. There can be bad but there can also be really good. And you’re not minding that weirdness. You’re letting it go. You’re not becoming a copy of other people. And if you take a step back, embrace what makes you different.”
On dealing with failures:
“Having a goal will change you completely. From being depressed to being energized and moving in the right direction.”
“Failure in life is not realizing your potential.”
On dealing with the humdrum of work:
“Transform yourself through your work.
“I know this runs counter to our prevailing prejudices: Work is too ugly, too boring, too bane. Self-transformation we think comes through a spiritual journey, therapy, a guru who tells us what to do, intense group experiences, and social experiences, and drugs. But most of these are ways of running away from ourselves, relieving our chronic boredom. They’re not connected to the process. So any chances that occur don’t lasts instead, through our work, we can actually connect to who we are instead of running away. And by entering that slow, organic process, we can actually change ourselves from the inside out in the way that it’s very real and very lasting.
“This process involves a journey of self-discovery that can be seen as quite spiritual if you like. And by the end of this process, we contribute something unique and meaningful to our culture through our work which is hardly ugly, boring, or bane.”
On dealing with bullies:
“You’re constantly surrounded by fools. And maybe you’re a bit of a fool. And what you need to do is you need to put up with bullies, laugh at them, and not take them seriously. That’s the wisdom in the Bible. But somehow it got turned around in modern times where it seems to be a virtue where you don’t suffer fools gladly, that you don’t put up with them, that you get angry with them, you confront them, you try to change them and on and on and on. You’re not gonna be a master in this world if you don’t know how to get along with people. You can’t just be the nerd, the tech guy, there’s no contact with people. You have to learn how to deal with people. Be socially intelligent and it’s a beautiful form of intelligence. And one of the aspects is to learn how to suffer fools gladly.
“And I tell you what I think of a fool is.
“A fool is somebody that doesn’t have the right kind of sense of priorities. They magnify the little that we should just not worry about. There’s a huge dramatic thing. They have no sense of proportion and we encounter them everyday in our lives and, in fact, we encounter a little bit of them in ourselves. We all have a foolish side.
“So let’s all be patient with fools. If you try to change them or right them, you’re only gonna waste a valuable time and energy in your short life.
“Learn to laugh at them. Learn to know that it’s part of the human comedy, and I find that’s gonna save you energy in the end. And I had stories of how not only do you suffer fools gladly but you turn it around to an advantage.”