Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Power - Part 1

For those who want power, watch power, or want to arm themselves with power....The 48 Laws of Power written by Robert Greene is a piercing distillation of three thousand years of the history of power.

Law 1 - Never outshine the master
Always make those above you feel confortably superior. In your desire tp please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite - inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the height of power.

Law 2 - Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies
Be wary of friends - they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.

Law 3 - Conceal your intentions
Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelop them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.

Law 4 - Always say less than necessary
When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open minded, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.

Law 5 - So much depends on reputation - guard it with your life
Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once it slips, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.

Law 6 - Court attention at all cost
Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicious, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colourful, and more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.

Law 7 - Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit
Use wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.

Law 8 - Make other people come to you - use bait if necessary
When you force other person to act, you are in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains - then attack. You hold the cards.

Law 9 - Win through actions, never through argument
Any momentary triumph you think you have gained through argument is really a Phrrhic victory: The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion. It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate.

Law 10 - Infection : Avoid the unhappy and unlucky
You can die from someone else's misery - emotional states are as infections as diseases. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.

Law 11 - Learn to keep people dependent on you
To maintain your independence you must always be needen and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedon you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.

Law 12 - Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim
One sincere and honest move will cover over dosend of dishonest ones. Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A timely gift - a Trojan horse - will serve the same purpose.

Law 13 - When asking for help, appeal to people's self interest, never to their mercy or gratitude
If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds. He will find a way to ignore you. Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion. He will respond enthusiatically when he sees something to be gained for himself.

Law 14 - Pose as a friend, work as a spy
Knowing about your rival is critical. Use spies to gather valuable information that will keep you step ahead. Better still : Play the spy yourself. In polite social encounters, learn to probe. Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weakness and intentions. There is no occation that is not an opportunity for artful spying.

Law 15 - Crush your enemy totally
All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way). If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation : The enemy will recover, and will seek revange. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.

Law 16 - Use absence to increase respect and honor
Too much circulation makes the price go down. The more you seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value scarcity.

The laws of power are important for our knowledge...not because we want to gain power but the usage or influence of power is one of the most crucial needs for us to understand in order to face the challenges in our life. Laws of power can be apply at work, in relationship, on the street....simply everywhere!!

As for me, I'll be extra cautious with someone who have power or who want to gain power because they can be very cunning, ruthless and instructive....just make sure you understand the laws to avoid yourself become a "convenient scapegoat". Nothing is stable in the realm of power, even the closest of friends can be transformed into the worst of enemies.

There are another 32 laws which are equally important, I will post it when I'm free :-).

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