These are the playbooks to my Family’s war. And the world they have created. You all need to print these out and study them. Memorize them so you can know thy enemy. The only reason I was able to start this revolution was because I know thy enemy. You need to be able to see them when they surround you.
Take all these laws and rules and find examples of them in the world we live in. There are over 4 decades of examples to choose from. You need to be able to practically apply these laws and rules. This is the most important homework assignment you will ever do.
To the leaders of the world, you all need to make your people study these. It is rare that we ever get to see the blueprints on what our enemy has built his empire. But today you get to see these blueprints and you get to know your enemy better than ever before or imaginable. Do not take this opportunity foregranted for this is the biggest gift my family has ever given any of us. To get to see into their mind is the biggest mistake they have ever made. This is why they put a chip in my head. This is us having a view of what their inner world looks like. This is the most valuable information you will ever get. You need to pass this on to your children because the people my family created will pass this information on to their children. This war is bigger than we want to admit. So we must study as if our lives depend on it. We must know thy enemy!
The Art Of War
Chapter 1: Laying Plans
Sun-Tzu explains the importance of being prepared.
He points out five essential elements of war: moral influence, weather, terrain, command, and doctrine.
Chapter 2: Waging War
This chapter includes highly specific details, including how many horses and troops are required for battle.
The author emphasizes the utmost importance of advanced preparation so a soldier can act quickly when the time comes.
Chapter 3: Attack by Stratagem
Sun-Tzu focuses on preventative measures such as subduing the enemy without a fight.
Five situations are given as predictions for victory:
The leader has full awareness of themself, troops, and the opposition.
The leader knows how to use small or large forces. #The leader knows how to unify the ranks with a common purpose.
The leader knows how to be patient while the opposition is impatient.
The leader’s authority does not cloud judgment.
Chapter 4: Tactical Dispositions
Victory should never be assumed or taken for granted.
The elements of war are presented and include measurement of space, estimation of quantities, calculations, comparisons, and chances of victory.
Chapter 5: Energy
When dealing with troops, a group of people should be unified into a single force.
The troops should be well-organized according to a chain of command.
Chapter 6: Weak Points and Strong
Look like an easy target to make enemies assume an easy victory.
Use mixed tactics to keep the enemy guessing and vulnerable.
Chapter 7: Maneuvering
Strike a balance between confusing the enemy and teaching troops to obey seemingly futile commands.
Arrive on the battlefield early and organized.
Actions should be clear and coordinated.
Chapter 8: Variation in Tactics
Specific tactics apply to specific situations. For example, not every city needs to be attacked.
A general can fail in several ways, including being careless, acting in haste or afraid, being easily provoked, and worrying excessively about troops rather than victory.
Chapter 9: The Army on the March
Marches and alignment of troops are of utmost importance in defeating the enemy.
Weather conditions and geographic features of the land should be taken into consideration and used to the troop’s advantage.
Chapter 10: Terrain
Physical terrain and psychological terrain are equally important.
Poor leadership cannot make up for well-trained troops; well-trained troops cannot make up for poor leadership.
Chapter 11: The Nine Situations
Certain grounds should not be involved in the conflict:
dispersive ground – ground within one’s land
frontier ground – just inside enemy lines
key ground – ground that is advantageous to both sides.
Skilled troops should fight on the following lands:
communicating ground – fortified land
focal ground – land surrounded by three other states or potential allies.
far inside enemy territory.
Lands to avoid include:
difficult grounds – rough terrain or swift rivers #encircled ground – being pushed into difficult terrain by the enemy
death ground – desperate situations.
Chapter 12: The Attack by Fire
Fire is one of the most powerful weapons of war.
With proper timing and conditions, fire can be used to destroy supplies and wreak havoc on the enemy.
Chapter 13: The Use of Spies
Different types of spies can be useful in providing information about the enemy and evading unnecessary wars.
Deceitful spies must be put to death.
The 48 Laws Of Power Summary
Law 1. Never Outshine the Master
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. Hide the extent of your own talents, as your masters may otherwise feel insecure. The better you make your master appear, the greater the level of power you will attain. Those above you want to feel secure and superior in their positions. This may involve making a few harmless mistakes so that you can ask your master for help.
If, however, you are more naturally charming than your master, it would be best to avoid working for them entirely.
Law 2. Never Put Too Much Trust in Friends, Learn How to Use Enemies
Friends are more likely to betray you in haste as they are more prone to envy. However, if you hire a former enemy, they will prove themselves more trustworthy, as they have more to prove. Consequently, you have more to fear from friends than your enemies.
Often, you think you know your friends better than you do. This is because honesty rarely strengthens bonds, so friends frequently hide their true feelings about each other. As people want to feel they deserved their good fortune in hiring a friend, they can feel undeserving and, ultimately, resentful. Instead, it’s better to hire an enemy, as your motives are up front and are not clouded with personal feeling.
Law 3. Conceal Your Intentions
Always keep your intentions obscured. This way, your opponents cannot defend themselves. Lead them astray, and by the time they realize your plans, it will be too late. Use humankind’s tendency to trust appearances to your advantage. By dangling a decoy set of intentions in front of your opponents, they will fail to see what you’re really plotting.
By cloaking your intentions, people will believe you to be friendly and honest. This will lead them further down the wrong path. Additionally, by being bland and inconspicuous, people are even less likely to doubt your intentions, as they trust the familiar.
Law 4. Always Say Less Than Necessary
Powerful people know how to impress others by saying less. The more you say, the more likely it is that you will end up saying something foolish. As people are constantly trying to work out what others appear to be thinking, silence makes them feel uncomfortable. By controlling what you reveal, you can wield great power. After all, they are likely to fill in the silences you leave, revealing more information about their own intentions and weaknesses.
Law 5. So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard It With Your Life
Your reputation is the cornerstone of your power. You can use it to intimidate and win, but if it becomes tarnished, you open yourself up to being vulnerable to attack. Make your reputation impenetrable, and predict attacks before they occur. Aid yourself in this endeavor by destroying your enemies by exploiting holes in their reputations and letting the public destroy them.
A solid reputation can double your strength and distract potential opponents from discovering what you’re really like. It increases your presence and your strengths without having to expend much energy.
Law 6. Court Attention at All Costs
As everything is judged by appearance, you must stand out. Make yourself appear larger, more interesting, and more mysterious than the masses. One way to do this is to surround your name with sensation and scandal. Bear in mind that notoriety of any sort brings power. It’s preferable to be slandered than to be ignored.
A solid counterbalance to this approach is to create an air of mystery around yourself. Keep your cards close to your chest. People are drawn to those who seem enigmatic. An air of mystery increases your presence and creates anticipation – everyone will be glued to your next move.
Law 7. Get Others to Do the Work for You, but Always Take the Credit
Never do for yourself what the efforts of others can do for you. Use their wisdom and knowledge to further your own cause. In doing so, you will appear intimidatingly efficient and knowledgeable. Ultimately, those who worked for you will be forgotten, and you will be remembered.
If you think it’s important that you do all the work yourself, you won’t get far. Consequently, find those with the skills you lack, and find a way to either take their work as your own, or hire them and put your name on their efforts. However, to do this effectively, your position must be secure, as otherwise people will call you out for deception.
Law 8. Make Other People Come to You – Use Bait if Necessary
It’s always preferable to make your opponent come to you, as they will have to abandon their plans and strategies in the process. Lure them in, and then attack. This prevents you from ever reacting to your opponents; instead, they have to react to you. This means playing the long-game, sitting back, and staying calm as others get stuck in the traps you’ve carefully planned out for them.
However, your traps are only as good as the perceived attractiveness of your bait. If your bait is sweet enough, your opponent will become blinded to reality by their emotions, allowing you to gain the upper hand.
Law 9. Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument
Any triumph you gain through argument will be short lived. Resentment will fester in your opponents instead of a genuine change of opinion. Instead, let your actions speak for you. If people agree with you through your actions instead of your words, you are more likely to sway lasting opinions. Words are a dime a dozen, and people will say anything to prove a point. Action is where you demonstrate your beliefs.
Law 10. Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and the Unlucky
Emotional states can be as infectious as diseases. Occasionally, some unfortunate individuals bring their own misfortune upon themselves and can bring you down too if you get too close. Therefore, make sure to associate with the happy and the fortunate.
The incurably unhappy tend to portray themselves as victims, and before you realize they are the cause of their own misfortune, they have infected you with their misery. Who you decide to associate with is critical. Through associating with the miserable, you waste your valuable time and drain your potential power.
Law 11. Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
To maintain independence, you must make others need and want you. The more people rely on you, the more freedom you have. Yet, be wary to never teach those surrounding you with enough information that they can start doing things for themselves. This method is the best way to get people to do what you want without forcing them or inflicting pain on them. Once you have dependents, they are reliant on you, and you can subtly do with them as you wish.
Law 12. Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm Your Victim
A single honest gesture can help cover the traces of dozens of dishonest acts. By being generous, you can disarm even the most suspicious people. Once they are disarmed, you can manipulate them at will. The key to successful deception is distraction. An act of generosity distracts those you wish to deceive while turning them into docile children, delighted by the affectionate gesture.
Learning to give before you take is a skilled way of getting what you want. Selective honesty also functions as a means to disarm your opponents. However, regaling a single truth will not be enough. You’ll have to construct a facade of honesty built upon a series of acts to gain trust, but these acts can be quite inconsequential.
Law 13. When Asking for Help, Appeal to the Self-interests of Others, Never to Their Mercy or Gratitude
If you must ask for help, make sure your request includes a benefit for your ally that you can exaggerate beyond proportion. When your ally sees that there is something in it for them, they are more likely to respond with enthusiasm. Self-interest is the greatest motivator for people. Once you master the art of working out what others want and using it to further your own plans, there will be no limits on what you can accomplish.
Law 14. Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy
Knowledge about your rival is essential. By posing as a friend, you can ask indirect questions and gradually get your opponents to reveal their weaknesses and their intentions. Once you know this information, you can better predict how they are going to move next.
If you don’t want to pose as a friend, get others to spy for you. However, while you gather information, you open yourself up to vulnerabilities by letting other people do your work for you. It’s always better to spy and pose as a friend yourself.
Law 15. Crush Your Enemy Totally
To crush your enemy partially means that they will eventually recover and seek revenge. Ultimately, you can only gain peace and serenity if your enemies cease to exist. If you manage to remove all of your opponent’s options, then they will have no choice but to bend to your will. By giving them nothing to negotiate with and no room to maneuver, you will have crushed them.
Law 16. Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
The more present you are, the more common you appear. Create an air of scarcity around yourself to increase your perceived value. If you currently exist within an established group, intermittently withdraw so that others talk about you and admire you more.
To do this effectively, you must learn when is the right time to withdraw. In doing so, you force their respect by inadvertently threatening your absence for good. Once you return from your absence, it will appear as if you have been resurrected, and people will be relieved to see you again.
Law 17. Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
Humans are creatures of habit who look for familiar patterns in the behaviors of others. By acting unpredictably, your opponents will tire themselves out by trying to predict and analyze your moves. This means occasionally striking without warning. When you act predictably, you give others power over you. If you act surprisingly, they will feel that they don’t understand you and will be intimidated.
Similarly, if you find yourself the underdog, using a strategy of unpredictable moves can confuse your enemies into making a tactical blunder.
Law 18. Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous
If you decide to isolate yourself from your enemies and the world at large, you cut yourself off from valuable information. This makes you vulnerable to attack. It’s always better to mingle amongst people, as you are better protected in a crowd. Because humans are social creatures, power comes with social interaction.
Therefore, to become powerful, you must place yourself at the center of things. Activity should revolve around you. Resist the urge to retreat when things feel uncertain. Instead of turning inward, focus on seeking out old allies and forcing yourself into new social circles.
Law 19. Know Who You’re Dealing With – Don’t Offend the Wrong Person
Choose your opponents wisely. There are some people that once defeated, will spend the rest of their lives seeking revenge. Consequently, it pays to not offend the wrong person. The skill of correctly measuring people is the most important with regard to getting and maintaining power. Be sure to know everything about a person before you work with them.
However, don’t rely on your instincts to get an understanding of a person, and never trust appearances. Watch your target over a long period of time to get a truer picture of their nature.
Law 20. Don’t Commit to Anyone
Make sure the only cause you commit to is yourself. Maintain your independence at all costs. This allows you to play people off against each other. When you hold back from joining a cause, you create a sense of respect because you appear untouchable. You gain a reputation for independence.
Further, do not commit to anyone. Stay out of petty fights and squabbles. Feign interest, but let others do the fighting while you watch and wait. Often, it can be a good tactic to stir up quarrels between two parties and then gain power by acting as the go-between.
Law 21. Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Appear Dumber Than Your Mark
No one enjoys feeling stupid. Consequently, a great trick is to make your opponents feel smarter than you. Once they believe themselves to be more intelligent, they will never suspect that you have any ulterior motives.
Law 22. Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness Into Power
Surrender before you are about to be defeated. This buys you more time to plot your revenge, and to torment your conqueror. By surrendering, you deny them the satisfaction of destroying you. In doing so, you make the act of surrender a tool of power.
By yielding, you gain the upper hand because you lull your opponent into believing they have defeated you, even as you plot their downfall. This confuses your opponents and means they are unlikely to act aggressively against you.
Law 23. Concentrate Your Forces
Conserve your energies by focusing them all into a single source of power. When looking for such a source, identify a single spring that will sustain you for a long time to come. You gain more power by finding a singular rich source than by flitting between many more shallow sources of power.
Power exists in concentrated form. In any organization, power will emanate from a small group of people who are holding all the strings. Consequently, power is like oil, you only need to strike it once to assure yourself a lifetime of wealth and power.
Law 24. Play the Perfect Courtier
The courtier wields power through discrete avenues. By flattering and yielding to their superiors and only enforcing their power through charm and grace, they gradually accumulate an ever-increasing amount of power. There are several steps one can take to become the perfect courtier, and they involve the following:
– Practicing nonchalance
– Being frugal with flattery
– Adapting your style and language according to your audience
– Avoiding being the bearer of bad news
– Never criticizing your superiors
– Being self-observant
– Mastering your emotions
– Being a source of pleasure
- Recreate Yourself
Do not accept the role that society has given you. Forge your own identity, one that commands attention. Master your image rather than letting others dictate it for you. Remake yourself into a figure of power as if molding yourself from clay.
To do this, you must first be self-aware, and you must learn to master your emotions. Then, you must create a memorable character. From here, you can learn to play many roles to adapt to what any given situation requires of you. However, remember that overacting can be counterproductive.
- Keep Your Hands Clean
You must maintain a spotless appearance. You should never be associated with nasty deeds. To do this, employ the use of scapegoats to disguise your involvement. Your reputation depends more on what you conceal than what you reveal. You should always have a convenient scapegoat on hand for when needing to conceal your more dubious activities.
In addition to a scapegoat, you will also need a cat’s-paw. This is someone who does your dirty work for you while obscuring your involvement. This means letting someone else be the bearer of bad news while you choose to associate yourself exclusively with the good.
- Create a Cult-like Following by Playing on People’s Need to Believe
People want to believe in something. By inventing yourself as this cult-like entity, they will follow you and give you untold amounts of power. To become such a figure, you need to follow these steps:
– Keep your words vague and simple but full of promise
– Emphasize enthusiasm rather than the intellectual and the rational
– Structure your group in accordance to the forms of organized religion
– Disguise your sources of income
– Create an us-versus-them dynamic
- Enter Action With Boldness
Everyone admires the bold. The timid are frowned upon. Consequently, you shouldn’t choose a course of action half-heartedly. Your doubts will become apparent and will tarnish your reputation. It’s always better to act boldly. Any mistakes made are easily compensated by acting even more audaciously.
Few are born bold. It’s a habit that needs to be cultivated. It must be practiced. Likewise, timidity is also a learned trait. If you find yourself acting timidly, you must root this out and replace it with acts of boldness instead.
- Plan All the Way to the End
Always plan until the end. This means thinking through every possibility that could prevent you from reaching your end goal. Thus, you will be able to accommodate for any surprises along the way and secure your future.
Most people are too trapped by their emotions in the moment to see ahead, so this will give you the upper hand. Plan in detail before you act, and don’t succumb to making any vague plans. Your end goal must always be crystal clear.
- Make Your Accomplishments Seem Effortless
Make your success seem easy. Conceal all the toil and tricks you used to attain it, as it otherwise arouses too much curiosity in others. Never reveal how you reached your position of power to anyone, or they may use it against you. There are great advantages to remaining silent. The more mysterious your actions appear, the greater your power appears to be. It will make it seem as if you have an exclusive gift that no one can replicate and that knows no limits.
- Control the Options: Get Others to Play With the Cards You Deal
By giving your opponents a choice, they will feel that they’re controlling their destiny. What they won’t realize is that you’re using them as a puppet to choose between two scenarios, both of which serve you.
When given a choice between two possibilities, people rarely consider all the other potential options that could be on the table. Instead, they blindly choose to believe they have autonomy in their decision-making; too much freedom creates anxiety. By setting up a narrow range of choices, you can guide your opponent to play right into your hands.
- Play Into People’s Fantasies
As the truth is often ugly, if you appeal to it, you risk being bombarded with the anger of disenchantment. Instead, by tapping into the fantasies of the masses, people will flock to you as you offer an alternative to the disillusionment of reality. By observing which aspects of everyday life are most abhorred, you can conjure up fantasies that promise the opposite of peoples’ current realities and thus wield a phenomenal power.
- Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew
Find your opponent’s weakness. This is often an insecurity, an untamed emotion or desire, or sometimes a secret pleasure. To do so, look for the following:
– Instances when they behave like a child, which indicates some unresolved trauma in childhood
– Contrasts, as an overt trait often conceals it opposite (i.e., arrogance is often hiding insecurity)
– The weak link, which is often someone behind the scenes controlling their behavior
– Ways to fill the void of their insecurity or unhappiness to wield significant power
– How to encourage their uncontrollable emotion, as they won’t be able to control themselves, and you can do the controlling for them
- Be Royal in Your Own Fashion: Act Like a King to Be Treated Like One
How you present yourself to the world will reflect how others see and treat you. Carry yourself with self respect, confidence, and dignity to make it seem like you were destined for power. We must make ourselves demand and expect as much as a young child. Believe you are destined for greatness, and this belief will radiate outwards and others will believe it, too. Ask for less, and that is exactly what you’ll get.
- Master the Art of Timing
Never seem to be in a rush – patience is a virtue. Learn to bide your time, and only strike when the timing is right. As time is a perception, by mastering your emotions, you can make time seem to move more slowly and lengthen your perception of the future. This allows you to become more patient and to see the bigger picture.
- Disdain Things You Cannot Have: Ignoring Them is the Best Revenge
The less interest you take in things that irritate you, the more superior you seem. By acknowledging your enemy, you give their existence credibility and, therefore, power. Paradoxically, the more you want something, the more it eludes you as your interest is too strong, which makes others feel uncomfortable and fearful. Occasionally, it’s best just to leave things alone. By turning your back on what you want, you will drive your opponents crazy.
- Create Compelling Spectacles
By generating grand, spectacular gestures, you will heighten your presence and your power. People will be too dazzled by appearances to uncover what you’re really up to. As opposed to using words, visual gestures contain an emotive power and immediacy that leave no room for doubt. Where words divide, images unite. Use this to your advantage.
- Think as You Like, but Behave Like Others
By consistently going against the grain in public, people will begin to resent you for making them feel inferior. Practice blending in and hiding your true feelings to nurture the common touch. By doing so, you will be left alone to express your true beliefs in a targeted manner. Once a base of power is established, you can then begin to disseminate your beliefs gradually, and they are more likely to be adopted.
- Stir Up Waters to Catch Fish
If you can stay calm while infuriating your opponents, you can gain an advantage. By finding their weaknesses, you can disturb them and play with them at will. The more angry they become, the more ridiculous they will appear. This will reduce their power.
- Despise the Free Lunch
Never trust anything that comes for free. Anything of worth is worth paying for. Most things that come for free come with a burdensome psychological price task. By paying, you avoid falling into the trap of having to be grateful, guilty, or deceitful. Further, being lavish with your money is a sign of power. Generosity softens up your opponents into being deceived.
- Avoid Stepping Into a Great Man’s Shoes
What came first always seems more original than what follows. Don’t get lost in the shadows of those that came before you. You must establish your own name and identity by not following the same course of your predecessors.
- Strike the Shepherd, and the Sheep Will Scatter
All trouble can usually be traced back to one individual. By rooting out this individual and preventing them from operating, you will stop their influence. Don’t waste time, or their influence will multiply. In every group, power is concentrated around one or two people. Consequently, understanding who controls the group is critical. This is made more challenging, as troublemakers prefer to disguise their actions. Isolate their power, however, and they become redundant.
- Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others
If people feel coerced into acting in a specific way, they will resent you. Instead, you must seduce others so that they act how you want without you having to ask them. By understanding their psychology and their weaknesses, you can play with their emotions and conquer their hearts and minds so that they are loyal to you. By softening them up, you can slowly bend people towards your will without them realizing.
- Disarm and Infuriate With the Mirror Effect
By mirroring your opponents and doing exactly as they do, you humiliate them and cause them to overreact. By making them believe you share their values, they find it challenging to work out your strategy, as they are blinded by your mirror. You are also able to teach your opponents a lesson by giving them a taste of their own medicine.
- Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform Too Much at Once
If you have recently entered a position of power or are an outsider trying to make a claim for it, respect the way people have been living up until this point. Too much change will engender a revolt. To introduce change, make it seem like a gradual and gentle improvement on the past.
- Never Appear Too Perfect
While appearing superior to others is dangerous, to appear faultless and without weakness is even more perilous. By displaying harmless vices, you prevent envy from developing, and you make yourself appear more approachable. By letting envy fester, it can manifest in a host of problematic ways that will ultimately try to rob you of your power. Stop it in its tracks by making yourself seem powerful but not faultless.
- Don’t Go Past the Mark You Aimed For: In Victory, Learn When to Stop
Don’t let success go to your head. The moment you achieve victory is often when you’re at your most vulnerable. Don’t get ahead of yourself with your overconfidence and push beyond your initial target. This could create more enemies than you are capable of defeating. There can be no substitute for meticulous strategic planning. Once you reach your goal, stop.
- Assume Formlessness
By being tangible, you open yourself up to attack. To be malleable, adaptable, and on the move makes you ungraspable. Accept that everything, everywhere changes, and embody this truth. By being as fluid as water, you protect yourself from the ever-shifting nature of reality. By refusing to adapt and to change, you fail to evolve and your power will be usurped. The powerful are constantly adapting, and their power comes from the speed at which they can change.
33 Laws Of War
1: Declare war on your enemies: Polarity
You cannot fight effectively unless you can identify them. Learn to smoke them out, then inwardly declare war. Your enemies can fill you with purpose and direction.
2: Do not fight the last war: Guerilla-war-of-the-mind
Wage war on the past and ruthlessly force yourself to react to the present. Make everything fluid and mobile.
3: Amidst the turmoil of events, do not lose your presence of mind: Counterbalance
Keep your presence of mind whatever the circumstances. Make your mind tougher by exposing it to adversity. Learn to detach youself from the chaos of the battlefied.
4: Create a sense of urgency and desperation: Death-ground
Place yourself where your back is against the wall and you have to fight like hell to get out alive.
5: Avoid the snares of groupthink: Command-and-control
Create a chain of command where people do not feel constrained by your influence yet follow your lead. Create a sense of participation, but do not fall into groupthink.
6: Segment your forces: Controlled-chaos
The critical elements in war are speed and adaptability–the ability to move and make decisions faster than the enemy. Break your forces into independent groups that can operate on their own. Give them the spirit of the campaign, a mission to accomplish, and room to run.
7: Transform your war into a crusade: Morale
Get them to think less about themselves and more about the group. Involve them in a cause, a crusade against a hated enemy. Make them see their survival is tied to the success of the army as a whole.
8: Pick your battles carefully: Perfect-economy
Consider the hidden costs of war: time, political goodwill, an embittered enemy bent on revenge. Sometimes it is better to undermine your enemies covertly.
9: Turn the tables: Counterattack
Let the other side move first. If aggressive, bait them into a rash attack that leaves them in a weak position.
10: Create a threatening presence: Deterrence
Build a reputation for being a little crazy. Fighting you is not worth it. Uncertainty can be better than an explicit threat. If your opponents aren’t sure what attacking you will cost, they will not want to find out.
11: Trade space for time: Nonengagement
Retreat is a sign of strength. Resisting the temptation to respond buys valuable time. Sometimes you accomplish most by doing nothing.
12: Lose battles, but win the war: Grand strategy
Grand strategy is the art of looking beyond the present battle and calculating ahead. Focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it.
13: Know your enemy: Intelligence
The target of your strategies is not the army you face, but the mind who runs it. Learn to read people.
14: Overwhelm resistance with speed and suddenness: Blitzkrieg
Speed is power. Striking first, before enemies have time to think or prepare will make them emotional, unbalanced, and prone to error.
15: Control the dynamic: Forcing
Instead of trying to dominate the other side’s every move, work to define the nature of the relationship itself. Control your opponent’s mind, pushing emotional buttons and compelling them to make mistakes.
16: Hit them where it hurts: Center-of-gravity
Find the source of your enemy’s power. Find out what he cherishes and protects and strike.
17: Defeat them in detail: Divide and conquer
Separate the parts and sow dissension and division. Turn a large problem into small, eminently defeatable parts.
18: Expose and attack your opponent’s soft flank: Turning
Frontal assaults stiffen resistance. Instead, distract your enemy’s attention to the front, then attack from the side when they expose their weakness.
19: Envelop the enemy: Annihilation
Create relentless pressure from all sides and close off their access to the outside world. When you sense weakening resolve, tighten the noose and crush their willpower.
20: Maneuver them into weakness: Ripening for the sickle
Before the battle begins, put your opponent in a position of such weakness that victory is easy and quick. Create dilemmas where all potential choices are bad.
21: Negotiate while advancing: Diplomatic war
Before and during negotiations, keep advancing, creating relentless pressure and compelling the other side to settle on your terms. The more you take, the more you can give back in meaningless concessions. Create a reputation for being tough and uncompromising so that people are giving ground even before they meet you.
22: Know how to end things: Exit strategy
You are judged by how well things conclude. Know when to stop. Avoid all conflicts and entanglements from which there are no realistic exits.
23: Weave a seamless blend of fact and fiction: Misperception
Make it hard for your enemies to know what is going on around them. Feed their expectations, manufacture a reality to match their desires, and they will fool themselves. Control people’s perceptions of reality and you control them.
24: Take the line of least expectation: Ordinary-Extraordinary
Upset expectations. First do something ordinary and conventional, then hit them with the extraordinary. Sometimes the ordinary is extraordinary because it is unexpected.
25: Occupy the moral high ground: Righteousness
The cause you are fighting for must seem more just than the enemy’s. Questioning their motives and making enemies appear evil can narrow their base of support and room to maneuver. When you come under moral attack from a clever enemy, don’t whine or get angry–fight fire with fire.
26: Deny them targets: The Void
The feeling of emptiness is intolerable for most people. Give enemies no target to attach. Be dangerous and elusive, and let them chase you into the void. Deliver irritating but damaging side attacks and pinpricks.
27: Seem to work for the interests of others while furthering your own: Alliance
Get others to compensate for your deficiencies, do your dirty work, fight your wars. Sow dissension in the alliances of others, weakening opponents by isolating them.
28: Give your rivals enough rope to hang themselves: One-upmanship
Instill doubts and insecurities in rivals, getting them to think too much and act defensive. Make them hang themselves through their own self-destructive tendencies, leaving you blameless and clean.
29: Take small bites: Fait Accompli
Take small bites to play on people’s short attention span. Before they notice, you may acquire an empire.
30: Penetrate their minds: Communication
Infiltrate your ideas behind enemy lines, sending messages through little details. Lure people into coming to the conclusions you desire and into thinking they’ve gotten there by themselves.
31: Destroy from within: The Inner Front
To take something you want, don’t fight those who have it, but join them. Then either slowly make it your own or wait for the right moment to stage a coup.
32: Dominate while seeming to submit: Passive-Aggression
Seem to go along, offering no resistance, but actually dominate the situation. Disguise your aggression so you can deny that it exists.
33: Sow uncertainty and panic through acts of terror: Chain Reaction
Terror can paralyze a people’s will to resist and destroy their ability to plan a strategic response. The goal is to cause maximum chaos and provoke a desperate overreaction. To counter terror, stay balanced and rational.
50th Law Of Power
Fantastic, one of Robert Greene’s best. The idea of fearlessness is essential for individual success outside of a traditional path, and even within it. If you can master fearlessness and take control of your own destiny, there is no limit on what you can accomplish.
“…your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.”
“We became anxious for our livelihoods, the future of our families and children, our personal health, and the aging process. Instead of a simple, intense fear of something powerful and real, we developed a kind of generalized anxiety. It was as if the thousands of years of feeling fear in the face of nature could not go away— we had to find something at which to direct our anxiety, no matter how small or improbable.”
“Understand: we are all too afraid— of offending people, of stirring up conflict, of standing out from the crowd, of taking bold action. For thousands of years our relationship to this emotion has evolved— from a primitive fear of nature, to generalized anxiety about the future, to the fearful attitude that now dominates us. As rational, productive adults we are called upon to finally overcome this downward trend and to evolve beyond our fears.”
“There are no Alps and no obstacles that can stand in the way of a person without fears.”
“And the people who practice the 50th Law in their lives all share certain qualities— supreme boldness, unconventionality, fluidity, and a sense of urgency— that give them this unique ability to shape circumstance.”
“IN MY VIEW… IT IS BETTER TO BE IMPETUOUS THAN CAUTIOUS, BECAUSE FORTUNE IS A WOMAN, AND IF YOU WISH TO DOMINATE HER YOU MUST BEAT HER AND BATTER HER. IT IS CLEAR THAT SHE WILL LET HERSELF BE WON BY MEN WHO ARE IMPETUOUS RATHER THAN BY THOSE WHO STEP CAUTIOUSLY. —Niccolò Machiabelli”
“YOU MUST FEARLESSLY ACCEPT THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, EVEN EMBRACE THEM. BY FOCUSING YOUR ATTENTION ON WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND YOU, YOU WILL GAIN A SHARP APPRECIATION FOR WHAT MAKES SOME PEOPLE ADVANCE AND OTHER FALL BEHIND.”
“…the greatest danger you face is your mind growing soft and your eye getting dull.”
“People can be full of book knowledge and crammed with information but have no real sense of what’s going on around them. It is in fact a function of character and fearlessness.”
“What you see determines what you think and how you act. The moment you believe in some cherished idea that you will hold on to no matter what your eyes and ears reveal to you, you are no longer a realist.”
Exercises in realism:
Take opportunities to be more curious and open, explore the truth. Imagine you don’t know anything.
Expand yourself so you know the complete terrain. Expose yourself to different ideas, go outside of your comfort zone.
Dig deeper, get to the roots. “When you do not get to the root of a problem, you cannot solve it in any meaningful manner. People like to look at the surfaces, get all emotional and react, doing things that make them feel better in the short term but do nothing for them in the long term.”
Look ahead, beyond the present, get a better perspective. “It is a law of power, however, that the further and deeper we contemplate the future, the greater our capacity to shape it according to our desires… If you have a long-term goal for yourself, one that you have imagined in detail, then you are better able to make the proper decisions in the present. You know which battles or positions to avoid because they don’t advance you towards your goal.
Judge people by their actions, not words.
Assess yourself realistically.
Self Reliance, Make Everything You Own
“WHEN YOU WORK FOR OTHERS, YOU ARE AT THEIR MERCY. THEY OWN YOUR WORK; THEY OWN YOU. YOUR CREATIVE SPIRIT IS SQUASHED. WHAT KEEPS YOU IN SUCH POSITIONS IS A FEAR OF HAVING TO SINK OR SWIM ON YOUR OWN. INSTEAD YOU SHOULD HAVE A GREATER FEAR OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU REMAIN DEPENDENT ON OTHERS FOR POWER. YOUR GOAL IN EVERY MANEUVER IN LIFE MUST BE OWNERSHIP, WORKING THE CORNER FOR YOURSELF. WHEN IT IS YOURS TO LOSE-YOU ARE MORE MOTIVATED, MORE CREATIVE, MORE ALIVE. THE ULTIMATE POWER IN LIFE IS TO BE COMPLETELY SELF-RELIANT, COMPLETELY YOURSELF.”
“We will often package this as the opposite— that by working for others, being dutiful, fitting in, or subsuming our personality to the group, we are being a good person. But that is our fear speaking and deluding us. If we give in to this fear, then we will spend our lives looking outward for salvation and never find it. We will merely move from one dependency to another.”
The Blueprint of Self Reliance:
- Reclaim your dead time.
“Remember: your bosses prefer to keep you in dependent positions. It is in their interest that you do not become self-reliant, and so they will tend to hoard information. You must secretly work against this and seize this information for yourself.”
- Create little empires
“Keep in mind the following: what you really value in life is ownership, not money. If ever there is a choice— more money or more responsibility— you must always opt for the latter. A lower-paying position that offers more room to make decisions and carve out little empires is infinitely preferable to something that pays well but constricts your movements.”
- Move higher up the food chain
Your goal in life must be to always move higher and higher up the food chain, where you alone control the direction of your enterprise and depend on no one. Since this goal is a future ideal, in the present you must strive to keep yourself free of unnecessary entanglements and alliances. And if you cannot avoid having partners, make sure that you are clear as to what function they serve for you and how you will free yourself of them at the right moment.
- Make your enterprise reflect your individuality
Understand: you are one of a kind. Your character traits are a kind of chemical mix that will never be repeated in history. There are ideas unique to you, a specific rhythm and perspective that are your strengths, not your weaknesses. You must not be afraid of your uniqueness and you must care less and less what people think of you.
“Finally, do not be taken in by the culture of ease. Self-help books and experts will try to convince you that you can have what you want by following a few simple steps. Things that come easy and fast will leave you just as fast.”
“THERE IS A TIME IN EVERY MAN’S EDUCATION WHEN HE ARRIVES AT THE CONVICTION THAT… IMITATION IS SUICIDE… THAT THOUGH THE WIDE UNIVERSE IS FULL OF GOOD, NO KERNEL OF NOURISHING CORN CAN COME TO HIM BUT THROUGH HIS TOIL BESTOWED ON THAT PLOT OF GROUND WHICH IS GIVEN TO HIM TO TILL. – Ralpha Waldo Emerson”
Optimisim, turn shit into sugar
“In places like the hood or in any kind of materially impoverished environment, the response to hardship is much different. There, bad things happening assume a kind of normality. They are part of daily life. The hustler thinks: “I must make the most of what I have, even the bad stuff, because things are not going to get better on their own.”
“When things are going well, that is precisely when you must be concerned and vigilant. You know it will not last and you will not be caught unprepared. When things are going badly, that is when you are most encouraged and fearless. Finally you have material for a powerful reversal, a chance to prove yourself.”
“We generally believe there are only a few such golden chances in life, and most of us are waiting for them to cross our path. This concept is extremely limited in scope. It makes us dependent on outside forces.”
“Many of us have had the following experience: we find ourselves in an urgent, difficult situation. Perhaps we have to get something done in an impossibly short amount of time, or someone we had counted on for help does not come through, or we are in a foreign land and must suddenly fend for ourselves. In these situations, necessity crowds in on us. We have to get work done and figure out problems quickly or we suffer immediate consequences. What usually happens is that our minds snap to attention. We find the necessary energy because we have to. We pay attention to details that normally elude us, because they might spell the difference between success and failure, life and death. We are surprised at how inventive we become. It is at such moments that we get a glimpse of that potential mental power within us that generally lies untapped. If only we could have such a spirit and attitude in everyday life.”
“If we look for more— information, outside people to help us— it won’t necessarily lead to anything better; in fact the waiting and the dependence makes us less creative. When we go to work with what is there, we find new ways to employ this material. We solve problems, develop skills we can use again and again, and build up our confidence. If we become wealthy and dependent on money and technology, our minds atrophy and that wealth will not last.”
“Most people wait too long to go into action, generally out of fear. They want more money or better circumstances. You must go the opposite direction and move before you think you are ready. It is as if you are making it a little more difficult for yourself, deliberately creating obstacles in your path. But it is a law of power that your energy will always rise to the appropriate level.”
Make the most of what you have
Turn all obstacles into openings, into opportunities
Look for turning points
Move before you are ready
Keep Moving: Calculated Momentum
“DON’T GIVE OTHERS THE CHANCE TO PIN YOU DOWN; KEEP MOVING AND CHANGING YOUR APPEARANCES TO FIT THE ENVIRONMENT. IF YOU ENCOUNTER WALLS OR BOUNDARIES, SLIP AROUND THEM. DO NOT LET ANYTHING DISRUPT YOUR FLOW.”
“Life has a particular pace and rhythm, an endless stream of changes that can move slowly or quickly. When you try to stop this flow mentally or physically by holding on to things or people, you fall behind. Your actions become awkward because they are not in relation to present circumstances. It is like moving against a current as opposed to using it to propel you forward.”
Mental flow, stay curious, don’t let your knowledge be confined to one area or category.
Emotional flow, do not dwell on feelings, you must learn to forget what emotions stand in your way.
Social flow, be able to easily move between different groups, do not stay stuck to a tribe, and trust the people you work with.
Cultural flow, move culture forward, do not be locked into one archaic form of expression.
Aggression, know when to be bad
“As Fifty had learned, talent and good intentions are never enough in this world; you need to be fearless and strategic.”
“If you indicate you’ll do anything to avoid trouble, that’s when you get in trouble.”
Types of situations where you’ll need to be aggressive:
Aggressors. Don’t fight them head on, subvert them, go behind their back, don’t let them know you’re fighting back until it’s too late.
Passive Aggressors. Take bold, uncompromising action against them. Don’t play their games, don’t subvert them, be fearless and direct in your combat with them and you’ll send them running.
Unjust situations. Play the fox, design strategies to win over public support without being blatant about your intentions to upend the situation. You must be willing to do whatever it takes to defeat the enemy.
Static situations. If a situation has become static, ignore the rules and make your own. There is power to be had in instigating a new order.
Impossible dynamics. Terminate the relationship, leave the job, don’t fight a battle that can’t be won.
Authority, lead from the front
“IN ANY GROUP, THE PERSON ON TOP CONSCIOUSLY OR UNCONSCIOUSLY SETS THE TONE. IF LEADERS ARE FEARFUL, HESITANT TO TAKE ANY RISKS, OR OVERLY CONCERNED FOR THEIR EGO AND REPUTATION, THEN THIS INVARIABLY FILTERS ITS WAY THROUGH THE ENTIRE GROUP AND MAKES EFFECTIVE ACTION IMPOSSIBLE.”
“FOR IT IS A GENERAL RULE OF HUMAN NATURE THAT PEOPLE DESPISE THOSE WHO TREAT THEM WELL AND LOOK UP TO THOSE WHO MAKE NO CONCESSIONS. – Thurydides”
Four roles you must perform:
The Visionary: “You must play this visionary role with some dramatic flair, like Edison who was a consummate performer and promoter. He would give dazzling presentations of his ideas, and stage events to get on the front page of newspapers. Like Moses describing the Promised Land, he could paint an alluring picture of the future that his inventions would help create. This drew in money from investors and inspired his researchers to work even harder. Your own level of excitement and self-belief will convince people that you know where you are going and should be followed.”
The Unifier: “A group needs a centripetal force to give it unity and cohesion but it is not enough to have that be you and the force of your personality. Instead it should be a cause that you fearlessly embody… This cause elevates your group above others. It has a quasi-religious aura to it, a kind of cult feeling. Now, to fight or doubt you from within is to stand against this cause and seem selfish. The group, infused with this belief system, will tend to police itself and root out troublemakers.”
The Role Model: “Operating with a mission statement is an effective way of softening your image and disguising the extent of your power. You are seen as more than just a leader; you are a role model, instructing, energizing, and inspiring your lieutenants. In crafting this team, look for people who share your values and are open to learning. Do not be seduced by a glittering résumé. You want them near you, to absorb your spirit and ways of doing things. Once you feel they have the proper training, you must not be afraid to let go of the reins and give them more independence. In the end, this will save you much energy and allow you to continue focusing on the greater strategic picture.”
The Bold Knight: “You keep your group marching and on the offensive. This will excite them and give them a feeling of movement. You are not taking unnecessary risks, but simply adding a dash of aggression to your normally staid group. They become used to seeing you out in front and grow addicted to the excitement you bring with each new campaign.”
Connection, know your environment from the inside out
Crush all distance. You must have access to people at all levels in the organizaton you wish to control.
Open informal channels for criticism and feedback.
Reconnect with your base. “You have a base of power— a group of people, small or large, which identifies with you. This base is also mental— ideas you had when you were younger, which were tied to powerful emotions and inspired you to take a particular path. Time and success tend to diffuse the sense of connection you have to this physical and mental base… Know your base and work to reconnect with it.”
Create the social mirror. “You view your work from inside your mind, encrusted with all kinds of desires and fears. They see it as an object; they see it as it is. Through their criticisms you can get closer to this objective version and gradually improve what you do.”
Mastery, respect the process
“THE FOOLS IN LIFE WANT THINGS FAST AND EASY-MONEY, SUCCESS, ATTENTION. BOREDOM IS THEIR GREAT ENEMY AND FEAR. WHATEVER THEY MANAGE TO GET SLIPS THROUGH THEIR HANDS AS FAST AS IT COMES IN. YOU, ON THE OTHER HAND, WANT TO OUTLAST YOUR RIVALS. YOU ARE BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR SOMETHING THAT CAN CONTINUE TO EXPAND.”
“MOST PEOPLE CAN’T HANDLE BOREDOM. THAT MEANS THEY CAN’T STAY ON ONE THING UNTIL THEY GET GOOD AT IT. AND THEY WONDER WHY THEY’RE UNHAPPY. —50 Cent”
“More often than not our jobs are something that we endure; we live for our time off and dream of the future. We are not engaged in the daily activity of the job with our full mental powers because it is not as exciting as life outside work.”
“When we look at those who stand out in history, we tend to focus on their achievements. From such an angle, it is easy for us to be dazzled and see their success as stemming from genetics and perhaps some social factors. They are gifted. We could never reach their level, or so we think. But we are choosing to ignore that telling period in their lives, when each and every one of them underwent a rather tedious apprenticeship in their field.”
“Understand: the real secret, the real formula for power in this world, lies in accepting the ugly reality that learning requires a process, and this in turn demands patience and the ability to endure drudge work.”
Developing the proper relationship to mastery and the process:
Progress through trial and error.
Master something simple. Develop a pattern of confidence through the parts of your life that you take control over.
Intenralize the rules of the game. “With a deepening knowledge of these rules you can begin to maneuver them for your purpose… Knowing how it works, you can take it apart— for good.”
Attune yourself to the details. “Often when you begin a project of any kind, it is from the wrong end. You tend to think first of what you want to accomplish, imagining the glory and money it will bring you if it succeeds. You then proceed to make this concept come to life. But as you go forward you often lose patience, because the small steps to get there are not nearly as exciting as the ambitious visions in your head.”
Rediscover your natural persistence. “First, you must understand the role that your energy level plays in mastering a process and bringing something to completion. If you take on added goals or new tasks, your focus will be broken up and you will never attain what you wanted in the first place… Second, try breaking things up into smaller blocks of time. You have a large goal, but there are steps along the way, and steps within the steps.”
“Try to look at boredom from the opposite perspective— as a call for you to slow yourself down, to stop searching for endless distractions.”
Self Belief, Push beyond your limits
“PEOPLE FOLLOW THOSE WHO KNOW WHERE THEY ARE GOING, SO CULTIVATE AN AIR OF CERTAINTY AND BOLDNESS.”
“If you are dependent on their judgments for your sense of worth, then your ego will always be weak and fragile.”
“Understand: people will constantly attack you in life. One of their main weapons will be to instill in you doubts about yourself— your worth, your abilities, your potential. They will often disguise this as their objective opinion, but invariably it has a political purpose— they want to keep you down.”
Strategies for pushing past yours and society’s limits:
Defy all categories. Don’t let yourself be shunted into something where people can have expectations.
Constantly reinvent yourself. “Consistency is an illusion anyway— each passing day brings changes within you. You must not be afraid to express these evolutions.”
Subvert your patterns. “What often prevent us from using the mental fluidity and freedom that we naturally possess are the physical routines in our lives. We see the same people and do the same things, and our minds follow these patterns. The solution then is to break this up.”
Create a sense of destiny. “Having supreme confidence makes you fearless and persistent, allowing you to overcome obstacles that stop most people in their tracks. It makes others believe in you as well. And the most intense form of self-belief is to feel a sense of destiny impelling you forward.”
Bet on yourself. “You must always be prepared to place a bet on yourself, on your future, by heading in a direction that others seem to fear.”
The Sublime, confront your mortality
“He realized that the key in life is to always be willing to walk away. He was often surprised that in doing so, or even feeling that way, people would come back to him on his terms, now fearing what they might lose in the process. And if they didn’t return, then good riddance.”
“To accomplish this is remarkably simple. It is a matter of looking inward and seeing death as something that you carry within. It is a part of you that cannot be repressed. It does not mean that you brood about it, but that you have continual awareness of a reality that you come to embrace. You convert the terrified, denial-type relationship to death into something active and positive— finally released from pettiness, useless anxieties, and fearful, timid responses