Summary of Forty-eight Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Why you should read Forty-eight Laws of Power?

The thing I liked about the book was the laws given by the author. He mentioned it upfront and described all the rules.

Human life is a gift of nature, but man learns from society. One must always keep in mind not to take any posit for granted and never allow the favours one receives to make one proud. 

Friends are essential, but enemies are even more critical. We have more to fear from friends than enemies. Trusting a friend may put you in danger more often. The author may sound strange when he says that he could make an enemy if one does not have an enemy. 

The author opines and suggests concealing one’s intentions. One can hide emotions by talking about one’s desires and goals endlessly but hide the real choices. This way, one can appear friendly, open, and trusting but concealing his true intentions. In such a way, one can achieve what he intends to do. 

Persons who cannot control their words show they cannot control themselves, and such persons are not worthy of respect. Thus the author opines that the power cannot remain with those who waste their words. Hence one must follow the age-old dictum ‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’ 

One must always work seriously to defend one’s reputation. Also, attack those who want to destroy one’s reputation. We can use doubt as a powerful weapon to harm an opponent because doubt comes from rumours and creates a dilemma. 

One must try to work to attach one’s name and reputation to a quality, an image. Linking ourselves to quality will set us apart from others. Connecting ourselves is an exercise to create a mystery around oneself. People in their surroundings would constantly try to interpret and enhance their aura of mystery. 

One must invite the other person in his territory or territory of one’s choice for any negotiations. One must win the other person through actions and not through arguments; he must avoid an infectious person whose presence may harm. 

One must always try to create a situation where the others depend on you. The easiest way to disarm one’s opponent is to use selective honestly and generosity. The author sounds strange when he suggests posing as a friend and work as a spy. Allow no chance to crush one’s enemy and crush him completely. The author opines to make one’s presence limited, and if part of a group, one must learn to leave, creating value through scarcity. The law of unpredictability can terrify people, but the author warns to use this power judiciously. 

To conclude, we must keep in mind that no law is eternal. The best way to protect oneself is to be as fluid and formless as water. Hence betting on stability needs care because everything changes.

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Dave P
Dave P
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