The 48 Laws of Power
by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers
Abbreviated Version By Me...
Abbreviated Version By Me...
Law 1 - Never Outshine the Master
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior.
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.
Law 3 - Conceal your Intentions
Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. I
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.
Law 5 - So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with your Life
Reputation is the cornerstone of power.
Law 6 - Court Attention at all Cost
Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing.
Law 7 - Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit
Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause.
Law 8 - Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary
When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control.
Law 9 - Win through your Actions, Never through Argument
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 infectious as disease.
Law 11 - Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted.
Law 12 - Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm your Victim
One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones.
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.
Law 14 - Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy
Knowing about your rival is critical.
Law 15 - Crush your Enemy Totally
All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely.
Law 16 - Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
Too much circulation makes the price go down:
Law 17 - Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions.
Law 18 - Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous
The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere – everyone has to protect themselves.
Law 19 - Know Who You’re Dealing with – Do Not Offend the Wrong Person
There are many different kinds of people in the world, and you can never assume that everyone will react to your strategies in the same way.
Law 20 - Do Not Commit to Anyone
It is the fool who always rushes to take sides.
Law 21 - Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber than your Mark
No one likes feeling stupider than the next persons. The trick, is to make your victims feel smart – and not just smart, but smarter than you are.
Law 22 - Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power
When you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender instead.
Law 23 - Concentrate Your Forces
Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their strongest point.
Law 24 - Play the Perfect Courtier
The perfect courtier thrives in a world where everything revolves around power and political dexterity.
Law 25 - Re-Create Yourself
Do not accept the roles that society foists on you.
Law 26 - Keep Your Hands Clean
You must seem a paragon of civility and efficiency: Your hands are never soiled by mistakes and nasty deeds.
Law 27 - Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following
People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something.
Law 28 - Enter Action with Boldness
If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution.
Law 29 - Plan All the Way to the End
The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others.
Law 30 - Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless
Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease.
Law 31 - Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards you Deal
Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose.
Law 32 - Play to People’s Fantasies
The truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant. Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes for disenchantment.
Law 33 - Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew
Everyone has a weakness, a gap in the castle wall.
Law 34 - Be Royal in your Own Fashion: Act like a King to be treated like one
The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated.
Law 35 - Master the Art of Timing
Never seem to be in a hurry – hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time.
Law 36 - Disdain Things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best Revenge
By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility.
Law 37 - Create Compelling Spectacles
Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone responds to them.
Law 38 - Think as you like but Behave like others
If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them.
Law 39 - Stir up Waters to Catch Fish
Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive. You must always stay calm and objective. But if you can make your enemies angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage.
Law 40 - Despise the Free Lunch
What is offered for free is dangerous – it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation.
Law 41 - Avoid Stepping into a Great Man’s Shoes
What happens first always appears better and more original than what comes after.
Law 42 - Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter
Trouble can often be traced to a single strong individual – the stirrer, the arrogant underling, the poisoned of goodwill.
Law 43 - Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others
Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you. You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction.
Law 44 - Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect
The mirror reflects reality, but it is also the perfect tool for deception: When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy.
Law 45 - Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform too much at Once
Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit.
Law 46 - Never appear too Perfect
Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies.
Law 47 - Do not go Past the Mark you Aimed for; In Victory, Learn when to Stop
The moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril. In the heat of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you had aimed for, and by going too far, you make more enemies than you defeat. Do not allow success to go to your head. There is no substitute for strategy and careful planning. Set a goal, and when you reach it, stop.
Law 48 - Assume Formlessness
Instead of taking a form for your enemy to grasp, keep yourself adaptable and on the move. Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed. The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid and formless as water; never bet on stability or lasting order. Everything changes.