Los Libros que Inspiraron “English Mastery”. 1: “The Laws of Human Nature” (Robert Greene)

abril 18, 2023

vintage book and light bulb on wood table

“Give credit where credit is due”

Este es el primero de una serie de posts en los que doy cuenta de los libros que me inspiraron y motivaron a embarcarme en la loca tarea de crear English Mastery, para la didáctica del nivel avanzado de inglés, pero que de alguna manera reflejaran los conocimientos tan valiosos que aprendí de esas obras.

Hace poco leí en algún sitio (supongo que en algún feed de alguna red social) que- literalmente- “la gente feliz jode menos”. Y por muy ordinaria que suene esa afirmación, eso no la hace menos cierta.

Todos, en algún momento, necesitamos una guía o fuente de inspiración para tomar el camino del crecimiento personal, de evolucionar, y encontrar lo que en inglés se llama “a sense of purpose“, es decir, nuestro cometido en la vida (que idealmente estará relacionado con el dar un servicio a los demás). Algunas personas recurren a mentores, coaches, gurús o la religión. Mis mentores fueron autores como Robert Greene, Ryan Holiday, MJ deMarco o Stephen Covey. Encontrarme con ellos me hizo mejor persona, más reflexivo y crítico, pero también más empático y con mayor sentido de la gratitud. English Mastery está impregnado de las ideas que encontré en esas obras, y pensé que sería maravilloso que otras personas (alumnos) se pudieran beneficiar de su sabiduría.

Hoy nos centramos en el primero de esos libros: “The Laws of Human Nature” (Las Leyes de la Naturaleza Humana), de Robert Greene.

What most people tell me when they first lay their hands on English Mastery (but also, to some extent, Speaking Mastery and Gaining Momentum) is that they really like the book because it does not strike them as your usual “coursebook” for students of English. It doesn’t strike me that way, either.

Of course, it is meant to help students in their advanced English journey, with (literally) hundreds of exercises, tasks, and activities to provide them with enough practice in the different skills they need to become competent at, and make them ace that English test. I also tried to include thought-provoking texts, articles and references to make the lessons more dynamic, fun and engaging.

But, ultimately, English Mastery is my personal homage to the books that changed my life and that anyone who entertains the idea of personal growth, and self-improvement and who is committed to pursuing a meaningful, righteous life should check out. And by the way, props to Audible or audiobooks in general (no affiliation with Amazon whatsoever here; in fact, quite the opposite), because being the insufferable live wire that I am, it would have been impossible to consume all the invaluable knowledge contained in them, had it not been for the possibility of listening to them while going for strolls, walking my dear buddy (RIP) or driving to work.

These ten (tried to boil them down to the most life-changing) books had a profound impact on me and propelled me to the pursuit of meaningfulness, righteousness, rational thinking, and a sense of purpose. And I think it is fair to give credit to them so that anyone who is intrigued by some of the many fascinating ideas and topics discussed throughout the pages of English Mastery can quench their thirst for more inspiring (and hopefully life-changing) wisdom. Read all of these. Eventually. And thank me later.

  1. The Laws of Human Nature (Robert Greene, 2018)

I remember that a couple of years ago, my colleague Brittany (one of the ladies gracing the cover of Gaining Momentum) asked me whether I had read “Mastery” by Robert Greene (yes, even the title of this advanced English book has been inspired by Mr. Greene). I struck her as a particularly industrious guy, with a solid work ethic and she thought that I would really enjoy reading that book. I had not read “Mastery“, but I had heard of it through Mike Matthews’ podcast and his dissection of that book really aroused my curiosity. But back then, I didn’t go out of my way to find it (Back then, I hadn’t heard of Audible, either). At the beginning of 2020, however, I had the opportunity to discover “The Laws of Human Nature“, which had been published just two years before. Green had already become a household name with his best-seller “The 48 Laws of Power” (another wholeheartedly recommended read), but being into psychology (I’m a graduate in psychology, actually), the topics found in “The Laws of Human Nature” engrossed me from the get-go. Human nature and behavior has practically not changed since the beginning of times, notwithstanding technological advances. Envy, passive aggression, conformity and a pathological right to belong, or vanity and narcissism are as old as humankind itself. All these flaws, vices and urges are analyzed in this masterpiece, and embodied by historical characters who are chosen as archetypes of the behaviors being dissected. But don’t be fooled and think it is just a captivating read. It is an invaluable life manual. If (for reasons unknown) you can only read a book in the next months, make sure it is this one. Life is too short to invite the wrong people into it. Learn how to spot them.