Perhaps the best way to explain the difference between success through personal mastery and what the current misunderstanding about success tells you is by reading together part of a review of Srikumar S. Rao's course and book Are You Ready to Succeed? (Amazon affiliate link).
From Brandon Peele's review, which in my view reflects where so many get stuck, even today:
[…] Prior to taking Creativity and Personal Mastery, the course upon which the book is based, I was an obnoxious, mechanistic, sociopathic prince of capitalism. I viewed wealth as a means to exert dominance over others, as well as a vehicle to procure hedonic bliss. I found a happy home for this way of thinking in the world of investment banking, venture capital and startups. I drank, drugged, womanized, broke the law; I created a world in which those without a similar plunderer-type mentality were weak and destined to be dominated. […]
[…] the wisdom and exercises from the course (and book) did not do all of this (Note: the many things he lists changed in his life will be different for you), I did, but it was the seed crystal that allowed me to embark on a path of rapid transformation and achieve an infinitely more rewarding life. […]
By the way, you will note that a couple of people who commented on this review show resistance to the story. In my experience, resistance to new ideas, or different points of view, is to be expected. Going along and getting along as in not questioning or challenging the status quo is also a way to get stuck.
Everyone acts in their own self interest. Once you see that with clarity and without judgment, you have a better way to utilize your own energy towards the work you want to do to achieve your own personal mastery, along with resilience.
The book, any book, the course, a conversation, are the sparks that will inspire you to get going. Which is the same as strategy — it's motivation, it's not the journey. Even with a detailed plan, you still determine the execution. What and how you do it and why it matters to you. The external help is a guiding light in the process.
Essentially, what you need to do is lead yourself.
As Rao writes, mental models are pernicious creations and stoutly resist attempts to tamper with them. That's why to learn, you will need to do the book, not just read it, and keep it to yourself, so you don't open the door to negativity and resistance while you strengthen your core.
What are the kinds of changes Rao outlines?
- individual attitudinal change — we do not function in isolation.
- organization structural change — the old command and control hierarchies are totally unsuited to the present era of instant multilevel communication.
- societal value change — better leaders will emerge only when we change what we honor.
It works as ripples, one affects the others. As Woodrow Wilson said "We are not here merely to earn a living or to create value for our shareholders. We are here to enrich the world and make it a finer place to live. We will impoverish ourselves if we fail to do so."
Are you ready to succeed?