48 Laws of Power

“Immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret reveries that you were born to control affairs.”
-Andrew Carnegie

We live in a world where mental strength, discipline and independence dictates your success. Nothing is by chance and no one succeeds without being sharp, smart and understanding the nature of people who we live or work with. I favor psychology and often try to view circumstances and happenings from different perspectives. Understanding people will give you an edge in this world and to be naive you may become a victim who stumbled in the way of someone else’s pursuit of happiness. 

In a perfect world we as human beings would interact with one another cordially and honestly at all times. In reality we must never be naive about people. Evil is left up to perspective as no one can be judged. In this dog eat dog world where men fueled with hunger riches most are urged to reach depths of deception, seduction and manipulative strategy.

I recently got exposed to the 48 laws of power and find it very intriguing as we often demonstrate some of them in our personal lives just by learning from past experiences. Some of the laws can be seem cruel or evil but that is the world we live in. To allow yourself to be a victim is not productive to any dream or aspiration. Self preservation is obviously necessary for you to reach your goals. Be wary of the minds of others it can be more dangerous than the bite of a rabid dog or even the most infectious disease.

Here are my favourites:

10. INFECTION: AVOID THE UNHAPPY AND THE UNLUCKY.

• Transgression of the Law
In the 1840’s Marie Gilbert, better known as Lola Montez, came to Paris to become a
dancer and performer. She had many husbands, and caused the ruin of many a powerful
man. Because of her ambition to be a dancer she “accidentally” ran into Alexandre
Dujarier, then the owner of France’s most popular newspaper and a drama critic himself.
Although still legally married to an Englishman with whom she eloped at 19, Lola kept her
status secret from all her husbands. Dujarier was shot dead defending her honor at a
duel against another drama critic. Lola went on to have several husbands, even causing
King Ludwig of Bavaria to abdicate. She left another man who later fell into a deep
depression, became a drunkard, and eventually died at a relatively young age. The man
who published her autobiography went bankrupt.

Wisdom in a nutshell:

• In the game of power, the people you associate with are critical.
• An infector can be recognized by the misfortune they draw on themselves, their
turbulent past, a long line of broken relationships, unstable careers, the very
intensity of their emotions, and the force of their character.
• Gravitate towards prosperous, cheerful, and gregarious people.
• Never associate with those who share your defects.

13. WHEN ASKING FOR HELP, APPEAL TO PEOPLE’S SELF-INTEREST,
NEVER TO THEIR MERCY OR GRATITUDE.
• Observance of the Law
Genghis Khan was known for his greed and self-interest. When he conquered China,
instead of slaughtering all the citizens, his adviser Yelu Ch’u-Ts’ai persuaded him to reap
the benefits of their new territory by taxing its people. It was Ts’ai who also convinced
Khan to spare the inhabitants of Kaifeng, where China’s finest craftsmen and engineers
had fled. Ts’ai’s reasoning was Khan could use these people for his own benefit.

Most people are very pragmatic, and when negotiating, do not bring up the need for
gratitude for what you have done for others in the past. These appeals will be ignored.
Pragmatic people look towards the future, so it is best to emphasize how they will benefit
from an alliance with you.

Wisdom in a nutshell:

• Understand the other person’s motivation.
• See things their way and offer suggestions that will advance their cause.
• For others who want to feel superior and do not want to appear selfish, appeal to
their need to display their charity in the public eye

20. DO NOT COMMIT TO ANYONE.
• Observance of the Law
Queen Elizabeth I managed to avoid the trap of marriage and war, by dangling the
possibility of marriage to all who courted her. She forged alliances with the countries
these suitors came from, all for the benefit of England. By keeping her independence
above all, Elizabeth protected her power and made herself an object of worship.

28. ENTER ACTION WITH BOLDNESS.
30. MAKE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS SEEM EFFORTLESS.
Observance of the Law:
Sen no Rikyu was an important tea master and adviser on aesthetic and political matters
to the Emperor Hideyoshi. He despised hosts who looked like they were trying to hard.
Cha-no-yu, or the Japanese tea ceremony, is an art form, from the preparation to the
serving; the whole process must look natural and easy. Accidental grace and beauty
were Rikyu’s specialty. On the night before the Emperor was to visit him for a tea
ceremony, he artfully laid cushions in the snow on each stepping-stone to his house. In
the morning, he removed the cushions revealing the pattern of the stepping-stones like a
perfect mold within the snow. This was just one of Rikyu’s clever aesthetic tricks which
impressed the Emperor, never calling attention to the work gone into it, but implying a
polite gesture in itself.

Wisdom in a nutshell:

• What imitates nature by appearing effortless and natural approximates nature’s power. Never show your work until it is finished. When people see the effort and time it takes to make it, and if they witness a work-in-progress, the magic of the finished piece is spoiled.

34. BE ROYAL IN YOUR OWN FASHION: ACT LIKE A KING TO BE
TREATED LIKE ONE. 

• How you carry yourself reflects what you think of yourself. Exude confidence and the feeling you were destined for greatness.

46. NEVER APPEAR TOO PERFECT.

Wisdom in a nutshell:

• Never underestimate the power of envy. Occasionally reveal a weakness, defect,
or anxiety, or find new friends. It is the people in your own circle of peers who will
be the first to envy your success.
• Envy is often a problem for people who have great natural talent. You may think
you are charming people with your natural talent when in fact they are coming to
hate you for it.
• To deflect envy, employ a display of weakness, or a harmless vice.
• Envy is disguised sometimes as excessive praise, or slander and criticism. Win
your revenge by ignoring the envious.
• Reversal: Display the utmost disdain for those who envy you. Instead of hiding
your perfection, make it obvious. Make every triumph an opportunity to make the
envious squirm.

http://home.earthlink.net/~denmartin/flp.html – The full list here.

Credited to Robert Greene

“Knowledge is power.” 
Francis Bacon

One thought on “48 Laws of Power

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