48 Laws of Power
get the book here
great summary by www.theantimba.com
Law 1: Never outshine the master
- Make those above you feel superior. Do not show your talents too much, it’ll make them insecure.
- Make the master appear more brilliant than they are.
Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends, learn to use enemies
- Friends will quickly betray you.
- Hire former enemies, they’ll be loyal.
Law 3: Conceal your intentions
- Keep people off-balance. They cannot prepare if they don’t know. Guide them down the wrong path.
Law 4: Always say less than necessary
- When trying to impress, the more you say the more common you look and less in control.
- Be vague.
- Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less.
Law 5: So much depends on reputation – guard it with your life
- Reputation is the cornerstone of power.
- Reputation alone will make you win.
- Destroy enemies by attacking their reputation. Then stand aside and let the public hang them.
Law 6: Court attention at all cost
- Everything is judged by appearance, what is unseen counts for nothing.
- Never get lost in a crowd.
- Be mysterious, appear more colorful than the masses.
Law 7: Let others to do the work for you, but always take credit
- Use the skills of others to do the work for you, never do yourself what others can do for you.
- Your efficiency will appear god-like.
Law 8: Make other people come to you – use bait if necessary
- When you force others to act, you’re in control.
- Make opponents come to you.
- Lure with gains, then attack.
Law 9: Win through your actions, never through argument
- You never win through argument.
- The resentment last long.
- It’s more powerful to agree with actions.
- Demonstrate, do not explain.
Law 10: Infection: Avoid the unhappy and the unlucky
- You’ll die from others misery – emotional states are as infectious as diseases.
- The unfortunate draw misfortune on themselves and will draw it on you.
- Associate with the happy and fortunate.
Law 11: Learn to keep people dependent on you
- To maintain independence you must be needed and wanted.
- The more you’re relied on, the more freedom you have.
- Make people depend on you for happiness.
- Never teach them enough so they can do without you.
Law 12: Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim
- One sincere move will cover over a dozen dishonest ones.
- Honesty can bring down the guard of suspicious people.
- Open their shield with honesty, then deceive.
Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to their mercy
- Do not remind people of past deeds.
- Find something that will benefit them and emphasize it out of proportion.
Law 14: Pose as a friend, work as a spy
- Learn to probe and find valuable information.
- Ask indirect questions.
- Every occasion is a chance to spy.
Law 15: Crush your enemy totally
- More is lost through stopping halfway.
- Crush your enemy in body and spirit.
Law 16: Use absence to increase respect and honor
- Too much circulation makes the price go down.
- If you’re already established in a group, temporarily withdraw to make people talk.
- Create value through scarcity.
Law 17: Keep others in suspended terror: cultivate an air of unpredictability
- Being predictable gives control to others.
- Behavior that isn’t consistent will wear people out, and they’ll stop trying to explain things.
- When used to the extreme, you’ll intimidate and terrorize.
Law 18: Do not build fortresses to protect yourself – isolation is dangerous
- Isolation cuts you off from valuable information.
- Its better to mingle.
- You are shielded from your enemy in a crowd.
Law 19: Know who you’re dealing with – do not offend the wrong person
- Never assume everyone will react the same way.
- Choose your victims carefully.
- Never offend the wrong person.
Law 20: Do not commit to anyone
- Fools rush to pick a side.
- Do not commit to a cause but yourself
- Maintain independence
- Make people chase you and play people against one another
Law 21: Play a sucker to catch a sucker- seem dumber than your mark
- Don’t be stupid, but make your mark appear smarter than you
- Making them appear smarter hides your motives
Law 22: Use the surrender tactic: transformer weakness into power
- When you’re weaker, never fight just for honor but surrender
- Do not give them the satisfaction to win, surrender
- Turn the other cheek to infuriate them
Law 23: Concentrate your forces
- Intensity defeats extensity every time
- Find a fat cow that’ll give you milk for a long time
Law 24: Play the perfect courtier
- Master the art of indirection
- Assert power gracefully
Law 25: Re-create yourself
- Create an identity that commands attention and never bores
- Be the master of your own image
- Use large gestures and actions-your character will seem huge and you’ll gain power
Law 26: Keep your hands clean
- Never appear soiled by mistakes
- Use others as scapegoats to disguise your involvement
Law 27: Play on people’s need to believe to create a cultlike following
- People want to believe in something
- Become the focal point of this and offer them a cause, a new faith
- Keep your words vague but full of promise
- Emphasize enthusiasm over rationality
- Give your new disciples rituals to perform and ask them to make sacrifices
Law 28: Enter action with boldness
- If you’re unsure then don’t do it
- Timidity is dangerous
- Any mistakes your commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity
- Everyone admires boldness, no one honors the timid
Law 29: Plan all the way to the end
- The ending is everything
- Take into account of scenario
- If you plan, you won’t be overwhelmed
- Guide fortune by thinking far ahead
Law 30: Make your accomplishments seem effortless
- Conceal the clever tricks
- Make your success seem natural
- Do not reveal how hard you work
- Teach no one your tricks
Law 31: Control the opinions: get others to play with the cards you deal
- The best deceptions seem to give the other person a choice
- Give options so no matter their choice, you win
Law 32: Play to people’s fantasies
- The truth is unpleasant, avoid it
- People that manufacture romance are like oases in the desert
- There’s great power in tapping into people’s fantasies
Law 33: Discover each man’s thumbscrew
- Find others weaknesses
- Its usually insecurity, uncontrollable emotions, secret pressures
Law 34: Be royal in your own fashion: act like a king to be treated like one
- The way you carry yourself determines how you’re treated
- Appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you
- Kings respect themselves and inspire the same in others
- By acting confident you make yourself destined to wear a crown
Law 35: Master the art of timing
- Never seem in a hurry, always seem patient
- Sniff out the spirit of the times, find the trends that’ll give you power
- Learn to stand back when not ready, and then strike
Law 36: Disdain things you cannot have: ignoring them if the best revenge
- Acknowledging petty problems gives them existence
- When you acknowledge an enemy you make them stronger
- The more you a mistake visible, the worse it gets
- If you want something but can’t have it, disdain it
- The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem
Law 37: Create compelling spectacles
- Striking imagery and symbolic gestures create the auro of power and people respond
- Stage spectacles for those around you and heighten your presence
- Dazzle by appearance
Law 38: Think as you like but behave like others
- By flaunting your unconventional ways people will only think you want attention
- They’ll punish you for making them feel inferior
- Blend in
Law 39: Stir up waters to catch fish
- Anger and emotion is counterproductive
- Stay calm and objective
- Make enemies emotional while you stay calm
- Rattle your enemies
Law 40: Despise the free lunch
- What’s offered for free in dangerous
- Pay your own way to avoid guilt and gratitude
- No cutting corners with excellence
- Be lavish with your money, keep it circulating
- Generosity is a sign and magnet for power
- Example: Gypsies and Gifts (add link)
Law 41: Avoid stepping into a great man’s shoes
- What happens first always appears better and more original than what’s next
- Following great people means you must double their power
- Gain power by shining in your own way
Law 42: Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter
- Trouble can be traced to a single individual
- These people will influence others
- Do not negotiate but banish them
- Strike at the source of the trouble
Law 43: Work on the hearts and minds of others
- Coercion will work against you
- Seduce others into wanting to move in your direction
- Seduce others by operating on their individual psychologies and weaknesses
- Soften them by working their emotions and what they fear
- Ignore the hearts and minds and they will grow to hate you
Law 44: Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect
- When you mirror exactly what your enemies do, they cannot figure out your strategy
- The mirror effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact
- Hold a mirror to their psyches and you’ll seduce them and they’ll think they share your values
- Mirror their actions and they learn lessons
Law 45: Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once
- Everyone wants change but too much is traumatic
- When new to power show you respect old ways
- Make change feel like a gentle improvement on the past
Law 46: Never appear too perfect
- Its dangerous to appear like you have no thoughts
- Its ok to admit to small defects
Law 47: Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory know when to stop
- When going to far in victory, you make more enemies
- Set a goal, achieve it, then stop
Law 48: Assume formlessness
- By having a visible plan you open yourself to attack.
- Stay adaptable and on the move
- Accept that nothing is certain and now law fixed
- Everything changes and never bet on it
get the book here
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