What is power and what is it good for? The book “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene explains what power is and how to use it properly. By understanding how power works, we can accomplish more in different situations and protect ourselves from outside powers applied to influence us.
So, today we won’t be discussing all of the 48 laws of power but will be highlighting the ones we find most interesting.
Law #1: Never outshine the master
If you know more about the job than your boss, even if your boss has 15 years of experience in the field, the only thing you can accomplish by teaching your boos how to work is to get yourself fired. To manipulate the situation, you have to make your boss feel like you’re learning a lot from his experience.
Law #2: Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies
Don’t count on your friends – they’ll betray you to a much greater extent than your enemies. Working with enemies, on the other side, will make them work harder to improve themselves.
Law #3: Conceal your intentions
In order to obtain what you want, you have to conceal your true intentions. Take politicians, for example, if they promise free undergraduate studies, most likely it’s not going to happen. The politician is hiding his real motivation for running for office, a high salary and prestige.
Law #4: Always say less than necessary
If you’re trying to impress someone, the more you talk the more ordinary you seem. Powerful people say less and appear more impressive.
Law #8: Make other people come to you, use bait if necessary
When you make others do things, you’re in control. That control enables you to profit from the situation.
Law #10: Infection: Avoid the unhappy and unlucky
Problems are somewhat like an infectious disease – you can get sick from other people’s problems. The unlucky people draw their misfortunes upon themselves, as well as upon those who surround them. It is always best to keep the company of people who are happy and satisfied in life – the people who will motivate you and help you grow.
There is a saying that says: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Law #13: Appeal to peoples self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude
People usually ask for help from people that are more powerful than they are. But, the best way to get what we want is to offer the other side something in exchange.
Law #16: Use absence to increase respect and honor
If you establish that you’re standing in a group – leave it, in order to reduce your availability, which enables you to increase your value to the group. When someone is available at all hours of the day, every day, potential partners are less interested. In general, people are more interested in obtaining something they think they can’t have.
Law #19: Know who you are dealing with – do not offend the wrong person
Don’t offend anyone, because some people might hold the grudge for years after.
Law #20: Don’t commit to anyone
Or, better said: don’t commit to anyone else but yourself. That way, each side involved will try to convince you to support them. The moment you choose sides, you turn weaker, because no one will be trying to persuade you to give them your support anymore.
Law #23: Concentrate your forces
Concentrate on one thing you want at a time, instead of trying to focus on many different things that are difficult to achieve together.
Law #30: Make your accomplishments seem effortless
Give others the feeling that everything comes easily to you, don’t let them know how hard you work, or the tricks you choose to achieve your goals.
Law #40: Despise the free lunch
Things that are given for free are dangerous – there’s always a hidden ulterior motive or a commitment.
Law #45: Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once
Everyone wants change, but a large change is hard to accomplish. Therefore, changes should be made of small steps.
Law #46: Never appear too perfect
It’s dangerous to appear better than others. Sometimes you have to show your faults in order not to appear too perfect, this makes you seem human and not so different than everybody else.