6 Laws You Must Understand to Attain Power – The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
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6 Laws You Must Understand to Attain Power – The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Never outshine the master. What do most people
do? They try to impress their master as much as they can. And you want to communicate that
your competent, but you want to know your threshold. If you’re a 20-year-old guy and
you’re working under a 40-year-old guy, you’re much smarter and more competent than he is,
guess what? Do not communicate that. As soon as you communicate that, what is the person
going to do? He is going to get insecure and get rid of you, because you’re going to be
substituting him. This is a mistake that people make all the time. Display your competence
but make sure you know what your threshold is. Never outshine the master. Win through
your actions, never through argument. Michelangelo had just finished a perfect sculpture. Soderini,
an arrogant man, walked in, he looks at the sculpture and he says, “Well, the nose is
a little too big.” Now Michelangelo knew that it was the perspective from which Soderini
was looking at the sculpture that the nose looked too big from, but did he say anything?
Of course not! He said, “Very well.” He picked up a tool and he secretly picked up some of
the dust that had been laying there from previous work. He went to the nose, and he started
hitting the nose. Of course he wasn’t changing anything, but at the same time, he let some
of the dust fall. While Michelangelo was doing this, he said, “Hey, go look at it from there.
See if you like it now.” Soderini went over there, looked at the sculpture and said the
nose looked perfect now. Of course, Michelangelo kept his wages and kept his reputation as
an artist, and didn’t get destroyed by an arrogant man. Again, win through your actions,
never through argument. Law 10: Infection! Avoid the unhappy and unlucky. If your friends
introduce negativity into your life all the time, guess what, cut them out. If they’re
getting arrested all the time, guess what, cut them out. This is the number one principle
probably of power, success, and just creating an extraordinary life in general. Law 13:
When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude. I had a
friend who I’d drive around all the time when he needed it. He would run out of money, and
I would just loan him money and never even get it back. Wouldn’t even ask for it. I remember
one time being stuck in a really bad situation, and I called him and I said, “Hey, can you
please come get me?” He gave me that two seconds of hesitation, and he was about to start an
excuse. And of course, I remembered the law and I said, “Okay, I gotta switch this around,”
and I said, “And actually I have some extra money.” Like, what is extra money? But I said,
“I have some extra money, and, you know, if you come pick me up, we can use it to fill
up your tank. And on the way back, we can stop and eat and I’ll pay for that too.” And
in two seconds he said, “Okay, I’m coming.” Again, Law 13: When asking for help, most
of the time you’ll have to appeal to people’s self-interest instead of their mercy or gratitude.
Law 16: Use absence to increase respect and honor. A lot of young guys come to me and
they say, “Well, my parents don’t respect me at all. They tell me what I’m going to
be, they tell me what my hobbies are going to be, they tell me who my friends are going
to be, they tell me who my girlfriend is going to be.” And again, why is that? It’s because
of a very well-known economic principle of scarcity. You’re spending 24 hours a day with
your parents, they’re the ones feeding you, they’re going to dictate that. Now, what’s
the harder but the better version of it? Become independent. Once you’re independent, and
again, we’re creatures of habit, so what are we going to do? We’re going to resist that.
But if you become independent, guess what? You’re working on a lot of stuff now. You’re
chasing your purpose, whatever that is. You don’t have much time for other things. Well,
a month passes and your mommy starts to miss you. She calls you and says, “Hey, how are
you?” And she’s going to be a lot more understanding now. Again, as soon as she starts to introduce
that negativity, you say, “Well, you know what, I’m sorry. I don’t have time. I gotta
go work on this.” And guess what? Over time, she’s going to be conditioned to it where
when she calls you, she’s not going to be introducing any of that negativity. And if
she does, you’ll be cutting it out. Use the economic principle of scarcity to increase
your respect and honor. Law 38: Think as you like, but behave like others. It’s funny if
you take a look at the United States Congress. 535 people, very powerful, and not a single
one of them an atheist. Now, you don’t have to be a statistical genius to know that that’s
pretty much impossible. But again, why is that? Because they know the power of law 38:
Think as you like but behave like others.

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