How Journaling helped Robert Greene draft bestsellers

Robert Greene had never shied away from opening up on his weird journaling method when he was asked by a fan how he goes about his research before writing. He is known to always jot down ideas on index cards and shoe boxes while studying. His journaling habit is the secret behind many of his books.

He shared his experience, “I read a book, very carefully, writing on the margins with all kinds of notes. A few weeks later, I return to the book, and transfer my scribbles on to note cards, each card representing an important theme in the book.”

Summary of Robert’s success

Robert Greene born on 14, 1959  in Los Angeles, California,  U.S. He has six international bestsellers namely; The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law (co-written with rapper 50 Cent),  Mastery, and most recently, The Laws of Human Nature. His books have been respected for its unique content and its attribution to historical events.

At the age of 8, Robert Greene dreamed of being a writer, but he couldn’t figure out how to channel his writing passion.

He sees failure and the time he wasted in the past as a learning process. “A lot of people give up on themselves too early; they don’t realize that if you are 35 or 40. All these experiences it’s not like it’s wasted. Those years toiling away in Hollywood made me a better writer.”

How he journals?

Robert Greene journals before, while, and after studying. He writes essential ideas or passages on a note separated by different themes he hoped to work on in his book. Before he gets to the end of the research book, he must have generated a lot of cards.

He said, “…After going through several dozen books, I might have three hundred cards, and from those cards, I see patterns and themes that coalesce into hardcore chapters. I can then thumb through the cards and move them around at will. For many reasons I find this an incredible way to shape a book.”

How long has he been doing it?

Robert Greene has been journaling even before he became successful.

In a stunning comment about his favorite book, “Meditation” by “Marcus Aurelius.” He revealed that he had taken the book with him through twenty different countries, journaling. He also commented on how he has underlined it over 3000 times.

“…It will ground you as a warrior in life. It’s like the ultimate kind of mindset you can adopt where you are calm, centered anything that comes your way, you are going to turn it into a fuel, fire.” He reads and journals all the time.

Source: Robert Greene[@robertgreeneofficial]. (2020, March 3) [Talking ‘The Secret to Success and Lasting Power in a Chaotic World’ to 5000 attendees in Kiev]. Retrieved from

How self-reflection has helped him achieve their success?

Robert Greene, in his book ‘Mastery, ’ narrated the secret to his success. He talked about the importance of knowing who you are, finding something emotional that connects to you, and all these can only be discovered through self-reflection.

Robert Greene’s success quote is a quote from Marcus Aurelius ‘Meditation’ book, which focused on self-reflection.

The quote is an illustration of the unending power of the mind. Having a powerful mindset is as strong as wearing armor to war. It enables us to overcome obstacles that block our paths. It allows us to transform any failure into a motivation to push further. The power can only be utilized through self-reflection.

Robert Greene has transformed himself, and touched lives through his books.

What challenges has he faced?

Robert Greene on his journey to success encountered obstacles. One of which was finding himself at the age of thirty-six.

Before that, he struggled to figure out what kind of writer he wanted to be. He tried journalism, novels, screenplay waters, and this uncertainty of not finding his path caused his parents to start worrying about him.

However, the secret to his success was determination. Despite not fitting well into his purpose, he still never let go. He believed that he was worth more than the ugly challenges confronting him.

In 1995, he met a book packager who asked him if he had an idea for a book—and that was when he founded his purpose. He saw it as a golden opportunity to make things right. And if he never made good use of that opportunity, he wouldn’t have been the best-selling author that we all know.

Self-reflection helped him overcame another challenge he faced in his career. During the writing of the mystery, he needed to conduct in-depth research, and he was already running out of time. He still had two of the hardest chapters to write and a choice to make—Either to postpone the project, or finish it up in Eleven weeks.  He had to find hope and rekindle the flames of belief in himself through self-reflection.

As he put it, “having to work so intensely in such a short time frame made me think faster and deeper into the subject. All kinds of ideas were coming to me. It was an amazing experience.

What does the future hold for him?

Despite currently suffering from a stroke that paralyzed his left hand and leg, the future is still bright.

Through self-reflection, He has proved several times that he’s one of the most talented authors to walk the Earth. And he would still do. He would always be known as the master of the art of seduction and power.

How can you get started with self-reflection?

Like Robert Greene said, “The lesson that I’ve learned in mastery is not about individual brilliance, or IQ, or going to a special school. Every single person is born with a human brain, and it is wired for high-level achievement. It’s the matter of going through the process. You have the materials; it’s just how you look at yourself that matters.”

Self-reflection is needed to maximize our full potential.

“Our self is in constant fluctuation. If you’re constantly listening to what other people are saying and sharing on social media, you’re never understanding who you are. You’ve become a reflection of other people.”

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