Most of the time we live in an interior world of dreams, desires, and obsessive thoughts. (Location 216)

we are impelled by the need to get something done that has a practical effect. (Location 217)

We imagine that creativity and brilliance just appear out of nowhere, the fruit of natural talent, or perhaps of a good mood, or an alignment of the stars. (Location 224)

The great danger is that we give in to feelings of boredom, impatience, fear, and confusion. We stop observing and learning. The process comes to a halt. (Location 237)

As we continue to observe and follow the lead of others, we gain clarity, learning the rules and seeing how things work and fit together. (Location 239)

We try out our own ideas, gaining valuable feedback in the process. (Location 243)

he had come to hate the dependence forced upon artists to gain royal favor, to live from commission to commission. (Location 585)

He would pursue all of the crafts and sciences that interested him—architecture, military engineering, hydraulics, anatomy, sculpture. (Location 588)

it was the search and process in creating something that had always excited him. (Location 605)

Many of the greatest Masters in history have confessed to experiencing some kind of force or voice or sense of destiny that has guided them forward. (Location 626)

You have a destiny to fulfill. The stronger you feel and maintain it—as a force, a voice, or in whatever form—the greater your chance for fulfilling this Life’s Task and achieving mastery. (Location 645)

This counterforce can be very powerful. (Location 648)

You end up choosing a career that does not really suit you. Your desire and interest slowly wane and your work suffers for it. You come to see pleasure and fulfillment as something that comes from outside your work. Because you are increasingly less engaged in your career, you fail to pay attention to changes going on in the field—you fall behind the times and pay a price for this. (Location 652)

Instead you want to see your work as something more inspiring, as part of your vocation. (Location 667)

Finally, you must see your career or vocational path more as a journey with twists and turns rather than a straight line. (Location 675)

Once on this path you discover certain side routes that attract you, while other aspects of this field leave you cold. (Location 678)

You will recognize it when you find it because it will spark that childlike sense of wonder and excitement; it will feel right. (Location 681)

At the same time, it is a world teeming with critical problems and opportunities, best solved and seized by entrepreneurs—individuals or small groups who think independently, adapt quickly, and possess unique perspectives. (Location 688)

It requires a good deal of planning and strategizing to do it properly, since so many obstacles will present themselves. (Location 714)

Only when dancing could she feel alive and expressive. Years later she would go on to invent a whole new form of dance and revolutionize the genre. (Location 736)

You must understand the following: In order to master a field, you must love the subject and feel a profound connection to it. Your interest must transcend the field itself and border on the religious. (Location 750)

to instead find a niche in the ecology that you can dominate. It is never a simple process to find such a niche. It requires patience and a particular strategy. (Location 831)

Once you have mastered your first field (robotics), you look for other subjects or skills that you can conquer (neuroscience), on your own time if necessary. (Location 837)

This second version fits in well with a culture where information is so widely available, and in which connecting ideas is a form of power. (Location 840)

false path in life is generally something we are attracted to for the wrong reasons—money, fame, attention, and so on. If it is attention we need, we often experience a kind of emptiness inside that we are hoping to fill with the false love of public approval. (Location 875)

If it is money and comfort that dominate our decision, we are most often acting out of anxiety and the need to please our parents. (Location 878)

He swore that from that moment on he would listen to nothing except his own experience, his own voice. He would create an alternative way of making things that would open people’s eyes to new possibilities. (Location 968)

Most often you deviate because of the lure of money, of more immediate prospects of prosperity. (Location 975)

She was a practical person who liked to build things and yet needed constant mental stimulation. (Location 1016)

When you are faced with deficiencies instead of strengths and inclinations, this is the strategy you must assume: ignore your weaknesses and resist the temptation to be more like others. (Location 1023)

A few weeks into the journey, feeling somewhat desperate, he decided upon a strategy. (Location 1089)

On the journey home Darwin began to develop this theory further, so revolutionary in its implications. To prove his theory would now be his life’s work. (Location 1144)

in which all of their future powers were in development, like the chrysalis of a butterfly. (Location 1152)

receives little attention because it does not contain stories of great achievement or discovery. Often in their Apprenticeship Phase, these types are not yet much different from anyone (Location 1153)

childhood we are inculcated in culture through a long period of dependency—far longer than any other animal. (Location 1159)

the goal of an apprenticeship is not money, a good position, a title, or a diploma, but rather the transformation of your mind and character—the first transformation on the way to mastery. (Location 1176)

Your knowledge of the world is subjective, based on emotions, insecurities, and limited experience. (Location 1179)

This has a simple consequence: you must choose places of work and positions that offer the greatest possibilities for learning. (Location 1183)

constantly looked for challenges, pushing himself past his comfort zone. He used danger and difficulties as a way to measure his progress. You must adopt such a spirit and see your apprenticeship as a kind of journey in which you will transform yourself, rather than as a drab indoctrination into the work world. (Location 1191)

Step One: Deep Observation—The Passive Mode (Location 1200)

The greatest mistake you can make in the initial months of your apprenticeship is to imagine that you have to get attention, impress people, and prove yourself. (Location 1205)

Instead, you will want to acknowledge the reality and submit to it, muting your colors and keeping in the background as much as possible, remaining passive and giving yourself the space to observe. (Location 1207)

If you impress people in these first months, it should be because of the seriousness of your desire to learn, not because you are trying to rise to the top before you are ready. (Location 1209)

You can observe such rules by looking at those who are on their way up in the hierarchy, who have a golden touch. (Location 1215)

do things this way and you will suffer. (Location 1217)

Every task you are given, no matter how menial, offers opportunities to observe this world at work. (Location 1223)

Slowly, you begin to see behind the appearances. As you amass more information about the rules and power dynamics of your new environment, you can begin to analyze why they exist, and how they relate to larger trends in the field. (Location 1226)

First, knowing your environment inside and out will help you in navigating it and avoiding costly mistakes. (Location 1237)