R is for the Rake

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One of the nine seductive characters from The Art of Seduction. Primarily male, the Rake embodies the female fantasy of a man who will do anything – face any obstacle, bear any risk – to be with her. Unrestrained, bold, and a master of seductive language, the Rake knows how to inflame a woman’s desire, providing an alluring blend of danger and pleasure.

P is for Primal Inclinations

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A concept from Mastery. Primal Inclinations refer to those activities or subjects that deeply interest us, and especially interested us as we were kids. These activities or subjects could be things like writing, playing with certain toys, reading about certain scientific fields, building things.

Albert Einstein, for example, was fascinated as an early child with a compass that his father had given him, and it was from that fascination that he developed a deep interest in physics. For Greene, one of the main ways to find your life’s task – your calling in life – is to look at your primal inclinations – those subjects or activities that really fascinate you or drew your attention as a child.

O is for The Original Mind

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A concept from Mastery. The Original Mind is the mind of a child, and reflects how children often see the world. With the Original Mind, the child sees the world as full of imaginative possibility. Everything is infused with wonder and flexibility. For Greene, as we grow older, we lose this original mind, seeing the world as more strict and conventional. The goal of Mastery is to try to regain a sense of this original mind, combing it with our knowledge of our craft.

N is for the New Prince

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A concept stemming from Machiavelli and referenced in The 50th Law. For Machiavelli, the New Prince is someone who, through dint of ingenuity and boldness, rises up to power from the bottom. They were not born with advantages; rather, they seized opportunities, acted quickly and with courage, adapted to the times, and overcame obstacles.

For Greene, a classic example of the New Prince is Napoleon Bonaparte, whose deep penchant for military strategy and strong ambition to be in power allowed him, despite humble beginnings, to rise through the ranks and become Emperor of France.

M is for Margin of Control

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Concept from The 50th Law. Margin of Control refers to the level of control you have over the people and circumstances you encounter in life. For most people, this margin of control is very small – we have very little influence over the people or events that cross our paths or the events. However, as you start to control your mindset, developing a philosophy of fearlessness in your life, you’ll start to see this margin of control increase, and you’ll have greater influence over your situation and the people you encounter.

L is for Life’s Task


One of the most important concepts from Mastery. A person’s life’s task is the specific calling, or vocation, of that individual. It is what that person is designed to do or express in life – a reflection of his or her deepest interests, talents, and yearnings. Greene advises using one’s life’s task as a way to guide one’s decisions and interests. To discover your life’s task, look at activities you used to love as a child or things that deeply interest you if you read about or see it.

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