48 Laws of Power Quotes and Lessons and Review (by Robert Greene)

48 laws of power quotes
The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene 

48 Laws of Power Review

This book has caused some controversy, but the majority of it is due to reviewers who think that unicorns serve vegan low fat cappuccinos with cream and that everyone is good on the inside. This book made me aware of the general lack of kindness in people. It doesn’t promote being evil, self-centered, or a heretic. It teaches you how to stand up for yourself and how to stay away from unneeded responsibilities, unfair treatment, and manipulation by dishonest people. 

Growing up, a lot of us are instructed to act in a way that reflects the utopian nature of the world. The adages “treat others how you would like to be treated,” “turn the other cheek,” “everything happens for a reason and works out in the end,” and “paradise awaits us after we die” were all taught to us as children.

In “The 48 Laws of Power,” Robert Greene‘s primary goal is to increase your awareness of the state of the world. Not the way we would like it to be, but the way it is. He goes over 48 “laws,” which are really just methods or actions that people use to gain power, protect themselves, or further their own interests. Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the law before going on to explain it in more detail using related stories and justification.

I believe the author has produced a true masterpiece overall. He writes with enticing, clear, funny, and intelligent prose. In my case, I found it difficult to put the book down once I really got into it. I noticed people frequently abusing the law (whether they are aware of it is another matter), and I  found myself thinking back on my own experiences, those of those close to me, and society at large. The variety and extent to which they were applicable to so many different facets of daily life also surprised me, but in a good way.

Check out some of Greene’s other works, especially “The 33 Stratgies of War” and “The 50th Law” (co-written with 50 Cent). To be fully prepared for effective offense and defense, your personal technique arsenal must include these.

Lessons From 48 Laws of Power

  • “Concentrate on a single goal, a single task, and beat it into submission.”
  • The primary driver of human behavior is self-interest, making humans no more than advanced animals.
  • No one wants less power—they all want more.
  • Don’t be a sucker, and above all, be true to yourself.
  • The better you play the game of power, the better your life will be.
  • One of the most crucial abilities to develop is the capacity to see circumstances rather than good or evil because power is fundamentally immoral.
  • It must alternate between being cunning and formless in order to win.
  • “Never pick a fight with someone you’re not sure you can defeat.”
  • “Impatience, on the other hand, only makes you look weak. It is a principal impediment to power

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48 Laws of Power Quotes

Robert Greene quotes
  1. “Keep your friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent”

2. “Many a serious thinker has been produced in prisons, where we have nothing to do but think.”

3. “Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others—that is too high a price to pay.”

4. “Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.”

5. “Never be distracted by people’s glamorous portraits of themselves and their lives; search and dig for what really imprisons them.”

6. “To succeed in the game of power, you have to master your emotions. But even if you succeed in gaining such self-control, you can never control the temperamental dispositions of those around you. And this presents a great danger.”

7. “An emotional response to a situation is the single greatest barrier to power, a mistake that will cost you a lot more than any temporary satisfaction you might gain by expressing your feelings.”

8. “Hesitation creates gaps. Boldness obliterates them.”

9. “Power is a game, and in games you do not judge your opponents by their intentions but by the effects of their actions.”

10. “Never take your position for granted and never let any favors you receive go to your head.”

11. “Learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.”

12. “You cannot repress anger or love, or avoid feeling them, and you should not try.”

13. “You cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others.”

14. “You destroy an enemy when you make a friend of him.”

15. “Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.”

16. “Money must circulate to bring power.”

17. “Making a show of one’s weakness is actually a very effective strategy, subtle and deceptive, in the game of power.”

18. “The character you seem to have been born with is not necessarily who you are; beyond the characteristics you have inherited, your parents, your friends, and your peers have helped to shape your personality”

19. “Better to have others depend on you out of fear of the consequences of losing you than out of love of your company.”

20. “Make people depend on you. More is to be gained from such dependence than courtesy. He who has slaked his thirst, immediately turns his back on the well, no longer needing it. When dependence disappears, so does civility and decency, and then respect.”

21. “You often do not know your friends as well as you imagine. Friends often agree on things in order to avoid an argument. They cover up their unpleasant qualities so as not offend each other. They laugh extra hard at each others jokes. Since honesty rarely strengthens friendship, you may never know how a friend truly feels. Friends will say they love your poetry, adore your music, envy your taste in clothes – maybe they mean, often they do not.”

48 laws of power summarized

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

  1. Never outshine the master.
  2. Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies.
  3. Conceal Your Intentions.
  4. Always say less than necessary.
  5. So much depends on reputation, guard it with your life.
  6. Court attention at all costs.
  7. Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit.
  8. Make other people come to you, use bait if necessary.
  9. Win through your actions, never through argument.
  10. Infection: Avoid the unhappy or the unlucky.
  11. Learn to keep people dependent on you.
  12. Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim.
  13. When asking for help, appeal to people’s self interest, never their mercy or gratitude.
  14. Pose as a friend, work as a spy.
  15. Crush your enemy totally.
  16. Use absence to increase strength and honor.
  17. Keep others in suspended terror, cultivate an air of unpredictability.
  18. Do not build a fortress to protect yourself, isolation is dangerous.
  19. Know who you’re dealing with, do not offend the wrong person.
  20. Do not commit to anyone.
  21. Play a sucker to catch a sucker, seem dumber than your mark.
  22. Use the surrender tactic: transform weakness into power.
  23. Concentrate your forces.
  24. Play the perfect courtier.
  25. Re-Create Yourself.
  26. Keep your hands clean.
  27. Play on people’s need to believe .to create a cult like following.
  28. Enter action with boldness.
  29. Plan all the way to the end.
  30. Make your accomplishments seem effortless.
  31. Control the options, get others to play with the cards you deal.
  32. Play to people’s fantasies.
  33. Discover each man’s thumbscrew.
  34. Be royal in your own fashion. Act like a king to be treated like one.
  35. Master the art of timing.
  36. Disdain things you cannot have, ignoring them is the best revenge.
  37. Create compelling spectacles.
  38. Think as you like but behave like others.
  39. Stir up waters to catch fish.
  40. Despise the free lunch.
  41. Avoid stepping into a great man’s shoes.
  42. Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.
  43. Work on the hearts and minds of others.
  44. Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect.
  45. Preach the need to change, but never reform too much at once.
  46. Never appear too perfect.
  47. Do not go past the mark you aimed for. In victory, know when to stop.
  48. Assume formlessness.

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