Having started this book right after finishing So Good They Can’t Ignore You, I thought this book would be a wonderful way to put that knowledge to use. Oh how I was wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, this book is very good in its own right, but while Newport’s book focuses on the everyday guy like me and you, Greene writes about the outliers. He starts off by explaining that we should find our “life’s task,” that which we were born to do. Instead of thinking that it stands at odds with the principles outlined in Newport’s book, I chose to see it as if one book complemented the other. It’s not realistic to expect that everyone of us will find that one thing that we were meant to do our whole lives (as “nice” as that might sound), but it’s always worth studying the lives of those who do.
And that this book does. It’s nothing but case studies and (very short) biographies of people like Goethe, da Vinci, and Mozart. Greene does a majestic job at showing the reader how they went about living their lives and pursuing their passions to become the people they did. Lessons that the reader can easily apply to his life, even without necessarily following his “life’s task.” By living like one of the “Masters,” we can surely achieve this mastery the book talks about.