The 48 laws of power (part 4)

Fourth and final entry in the 4-part micro-series where we present a summary of Robert Greene’s magnificent book. In this fourth part of “The 48 Laws of Power,” we’ll explore the last block with another 12 laws.

WARNING: Some of the laws might seem too aggressive or even dangerous. Do not take them literally. My advice is to extract a lesson, whether you agree with them or not.

Law 37: Create compelling spectacles

Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you’re really doing.

Law 38: Think as you like, but behave like others

If you pretend to go against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox habits, people will think you’re just seeking attention and that you disdain them.

Law 39: Stir up the waters to catch fish

Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive. You should always maintain calmness and objectivity. If you can make your enemies angry while remaining calm, you’ll gain a decisive advantage.

Law 40: Despise the free lunch

What’s offered for free is dangerous: it usually implies a trick or a hidden obligation. What’s valuable is worth paying for. Be generous with your money and keep it circulating because generosity is a sign and a magnet of power.

Law 41: Avoid standing in the shadow of a great man

Establish your own name and identity by changing course.

Law 42: Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter

Don’t waste time attacking in all directions against what appears to be an enemy with many heads. Find the head that matters: the person with willpower, intelligence, or most importantly, charisma. At all costs, remove this person, as once they’re gone, their powers will lose their effect.

Las 48 leyes del poder
The 48 laws of power (part 4)

Law 43: Work on the hearts and minds of others

The way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses. Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will come to hate you.

Law 44: Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect

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

People are creatures of habit. Too much innovation is traumatic and will lead to revolt. Show respect for the old way of doing things. If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement over the past.

Law 46: Never appear too perfect

The most dangerous thing is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. It is smart to occasionally show defects and admit harmless vices to deflect envy and appear more human and accessible.

Law 47: Do not cross the line you have drawn: In victory, learn when to stop

At the heart of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you beyond the goal you set. And, by going too far, you make more enemies than you defeat. Don’t let success go to your head. Set a goal and, when you reach it, stop.

Law 48: Assume formlessness

By taking a form, by having a visible plan, you open yourself up to attack. Instead of adopting a form your enemy can grasp, stay adaptable and in motion. Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed. The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid as water. Never bet on stability or lasting order. Everything changes.

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