Alive Time vs. Dead Time: My Conversation with Robert Greene [The Knowledge Project Ep. #35]

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In this episode of The Knowledge Project, I have Robert Greene.

Robert is the author of 5 New York Times bestsellers, including The 48 Laws of Power and The 33 Strategies of War. He’s also written on mastery and seduction.

Robert’s books have been somewhat controversial over the years and have been called amoral, cunning, and even ruthless for what they reveal. Yet millions of readers, from mid-level managers to hip-hop royalty and corporate executives have revered his work as a canonized scripture for the ambitious.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of ground, including:

  • Why Robert believes his first book, 48 Laws of Power has continued to sell steadily for over two decades.
  • What Robert calls “alive time” and “dead time” and how we can optimize each day to be filled with “alive time” and live the life we’re proud of
  • The one skill that determines how far you’ll get in life, no matter how talented you are in anything else
  • Robert’s research method and how he finds such unique and interesting examples
  • What Robert looks for when he reads, and what qualities separate good books from excellent books
  • How Robert developed his famous note card system to extract the meat out of anything he reads
  • Why Robert insists on writing all his notes longhand even though it’s less convenient and less accessible than taking notes digitally
  • What Robert’s daily routine looks like, particularly when he’s writing and researching for a new book
  • What Robert considers to be the single greatest power any human has, and what we can do to strengthen it
  • How having unfettered access to information is actually making us dumber in very important ways and what we can do about it
  • How to fine-tune your “bullshit detector” so you’re able to tell the difference between pretenders and performers. (As a bonus, Robert shares a few ways you can improve your bullshitting skills when it becomes necessary)

And a lot more.

Plus, Robert gives us a sneak peek into his newest project, The Laws of Human Nature, which explores the hidden motivations that drive what we do and say.

This interview is packed to the brim with interesting and actionable insights that I think you’re going to love. Grab a pen, a notebook, and a glass of wine and enjoy!

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Transcript

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Books Mentioned

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