48 More Tips On Becoming Powerful

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A few months ago we wrote about what it takes to become powerful.We recently came across another excellent book on the topic, “The 48 Laws Of Power,” by bestselling author Robert Greene.

His laws are based on centuries of historical evidence. Greene also offers the psychology behind why the strategies are so effective.

These laws are dangerous, however; most go against basic laws of morality.

Greene gave us permission to re-publish these 48 laws from his book.

Never outshine the master

'Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite -- inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

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. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Conceal your intentions

'Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defence. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelop them in enough smoke, and by the time they realise your intentions, it will be too late.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

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. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

So much depends on reputation — guard it with your life

'Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once it slips, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Court attention at all cost

'Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colourful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

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. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Make other people come to you — use bait if necessary

'When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains -- then attack. You hold the cards.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Win through your actions, never through argument

'Any momentary triumph you think you have gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory. The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion. It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Infection: avoid the unhappy and unlucky

'You can die from someone else's misery -- emotional states are as infectious as diseases. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Learn to keep people dependent on you

'To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim

'One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armour, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A timely gift -- a Trojan horse -- will serve the same purpose.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

When asking for help, appeal to people's self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude

'If you need to turn to an alley for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds. He will find a way to ignore you. Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasise it out of all proportion. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Pose as a friend, work as a spy

'Knowing about your rival is critical. Use spies to gather valuable information that will keep you a step ahead. Better still: Play the spy yourself. In polite social encounters, learn to probe. Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weakness and intentions. There is no occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Crush your enemy totally

'All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Use absence to increase respect and honour

'Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

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. Your predictability gives them a sense of control. Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable. behaviour that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Do not build fortresses to protect yourself — isolation is dangerous

'The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere -- everyone has to protect themselves. A fortress seems the safest. But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from -- it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target. Better to circulate among people, find allies, mingle. You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Know who you're dealing with — do not offend the wrong person

'There are many different kids of people in the world, and you can never assume that everyone will react to your strategies in the same way. Deceive or outmaneuver some people and they will spend the rest of their lives seeking revenge. They are wolves in lambs' clothing. Choose your victims and opponents carefully, then -- never offend or deceive the wrong person.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Do not commit to anyone

'It is the fool who always rushes to take sides. Do not commit to any side or cause by yourself. By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others -- playing people against one another, making them pursue you.'

Source: Robert Greene's 'The 48 Laws Of Power.'

Play a sucker to catch a sucker — seem dumber than your mark

Use the surrender tactic: transform weakness into power

Concentrate your forces

Play the perfect courtier

Re-create yourself

Keep your hands clean

Play on people's need to believe to create a cultlike following

Enter action with boldness

Plan all the way to the end

Make your accomplishments seem effortless

Control the options: get others to play with the cards you deal

Play to people's fantasies

Discover each man's thumbscrew

Be royal in your own fashion: act like a king to be treated like one

Master the art of timing

Disdain things you cannot have: ignoring them is the best revenge

Create compelling spectacles

Think as you like but behave like others

Stir up waters to catch fish

Despise the free lunch

Avoid stepping into a great man's shoes

Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter

Work on the hearts and minds of others

Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect

Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once

Never appear too perfect

Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop

Assume formlessness

Now read more about Robert Greene's laws of power

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