48 Laws of Power: Law #31 Control The Opinions: Get Others to Play With The Cards You Deal

Law 31: Control the opinions: get others to play with the cards you deal

  •      The best deceptions seem to give the other person a choice
  •      Give options so no matter their choice, you win

From the book!

Once upon a time there was a king of Armenia, who, being of a curious turn of mind and in need of some new diversion, sent his heralds throughout the land to make the following proclamation: “Hear this! Whatever man among you can prove himself the most outrageous liar in Armenia shall receive an apple made of pure gold from the hands of His Majesty the King!” People began to swarm to the palace from every town and hamlet in the country, people of all ranks and conditions, princes, merchants, farmers, priests, rich and poor, tall and short, fat and thin. There was no lack of liars in the land, and each one told his tale to the king. A ruler, however, has heard practically every sort of lie, and none of those now told him convinced the king that he had listened to the best of them. The king was beginning to grow tired of his new sport and was thinking of calling the whole contest off without declaring a winner, when there appeared before him a poor, ragged man, carrying a large earthenware pitcher under his arm. “What can I do for you?” asked His Majesty. “Sire!” said the poor man, slightly bewildered “Surely you remember? You owe me a pot of gold, and I have come to collect it.” “You are a pet feet liar, sir!’ exclaimed the king ”I owe you no money’” ”A perfect liar, am I?” said the poor man. ”Then give me the golden apple!” The king, realizing that the man was Irving to trick him. started to hedge. ”No. no! You are not a liar!” ”Then give me the pot of gold you owe me. sire.” said the man. The king saw the dilemma, He handed over the golden apple.

SUR

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48 Laws of Power: Law #30 Make Your Accomplishments Seem Effortless

Law 30: Make your accomplishments seem effortless

  •      Conceal the clever tricks
  •      Make your success seem natural
  •      Do not reveal how hard you work
  •      Teach no one your tricks

I know people who post 5 “gym status updates” a week but they are fat and unattractive. They want people to know they are going to the gym because it’s all about the validation. By contrast I run and lift a few times a week but I never ever tell anyone about it. Women want to believe they are with a naturally strong, masculine man. They don’t want to know that you used to be a skinny-fat social retard. They want the finished product. The more “natural” it seems the higher value you have as a result. They don’t care about your struggle and even admitting that you struggled is a sign that you are less fit. Staying tight lipped about your efforts is the best way to appear effortless.

I think the same thing applies to women. She should remain fit, attractive, dress in a cute style, and wear an appropriate level of makeup that accentuates her feminine features. If she does these things but complains that it took her an hour to get ready and it’s really hard for her to stick to her yoga routine and diet because she prefers watching TV and eating cake I am getting a big red flag that her femininity isn’t natural, isn’t effortless, and therefore it may one day go away. Women don’t want a “temporary” alpha any more than men want a “temporary” feminine woman. Stay quiet about your efforts to improve and make yourself attractive and successful.

SUR

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48 Laws of Power: Law #29 Plan All The Way To The End

Law 29: Plan all the way to the end

  •      The ending is everything
  •      Take into account the scenario
  •      If you plan, you won’t be overwhelmed
  •      Guide fortune by thinking far ahead

Good derivative of this law is to establish a 1,5, 10, 20 year plan. Every new years eve, I gather with my inner circle and we discuss this plan in detail (This is before the new years festivities, we are all sober at this point). We talk about what ideas have worked/failed towards attaining our specific goals and discuss what changes we are going to make. Its great motivational tool throughout the year because we hold each other accountable.

SUR

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48 Laws of Power: Law #28 Enter Action With Boldness

Law 28: Enter action with boldness

  •      If you’re unsure then don’t do it
  •      Timidity is dangerous
  •      Any mistakes your commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity
  •      Everyone admires boldness, no one honors the timid

Lions Circle the Hesitant Prey. People have a sixth sense for the weaknesses of others. If, in a first encounter, you demonstrate your willingness to compromise, back down, and retreat, you bring out the lion even in people who are not necessarily bloodthirsty. Everything depends on perception, and once you are seen as the kind of person who quickly goes on the defensive, who is willing to negotiate and be amenable, you will be pushed around without mercy.

Boldness Strikes Fear; Fear Creates Authority. The bold move makes you seem larger and more powerful than you are. If it comes suddenly, with the stealth and swiftness of a snake, it inspires that much more fear. By intimidating with a bold move, you establish a precedent: in every subsequent encounter, people will be on the defensive, in terror of your next strike.

Reluctance and indecision make you seem passive, boldness makes you seem assertive and dominant. Do not be recklessly bold, you may weaken your position, be calculated in your boldness. If you’re caught by surprise, suppress the sensation of distress, think quickly and clearly and react with emphatic precision.

It is better not to move at all than it is to make your move with reticence. The whole “go hard or go home” motto touches upon this.

SUR

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48 Laws of Power: Law #27 Play On People’s Need To Believe To Create A Cultlike Following

Law 27: Play on people’s need to believe to create a cultlike following

  •      People want to believe in something
  •      Become the focal point of this and offer them a cause, a new faith
  •      Keep your words vague but full of promise
  •      Emphasize enthusiasm over rationality
  •      Give your new disciples rituals to perform and ask them to make sacrifices

Not sure if this “law” applies to individual interactions as much, but for business/entrepreneurship it’s very powerful.

I think the best examples of those above are how someone rebranded age-old things and made billions based on people’s vanity and wish to be a part of a group:

  • Exercise. You can do it alone. You can do it outside. It’s an ancient activity. Yet Crossfit makes you pay $250 a month for someone to tell you how to workout and you can’t do your own workout. You wear knee high socks, a headband, only drink from an Herbal Life water bottle, and do kipping pullups. Crossfit doesn’t sell exercise; they sell peer approval.
  • Coffee. Back in the day, only old people drank coffee. The only time you saw coffee was in one of these types of machines. There was normal and decaf only. There was no such thing as ice coffee. Starbucks took something old and rebranded it. They aren’t selling coffee; they’re selling an experience (associating with other economically able people in a leisure activity).
  • Instagram. Long ago, you shared photos with the people in your life. Instagram allowed people to create their own mini cultlike following by letting people share photos with others who don’t know them. What they are selling is “envy”.

SUR

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48 Laws of Power: Law #26 Keep Your Hands Clean

Law 26: Keep your hands clean

  •      Never appear soiled by mistakes
  •      Use others as scapegoats to disguise your involvement

The goal of this law is to prioritize your image. Be cognizant of your actions because every step you take affects your personal brand. Impulsive personalities usually have a terrible image. Meticulous individuals are usually deemed to have a spotless appearance by others.

This is why one of my career goals is to have a personal assistant in some capacity. Besides making your life easier and doing the mindless work, you are essentially paying them to be your cat’s paw, to reject requests/hurt feelings on your behalf and thus displace negative emotions away from you.

SUR

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48 Laws of Power: Law #25 Re-create Yourself

Law 25: Re-create yourself

  •      Create an identity that commands attention and never bores
  •      Be the master of your own image
  •      Use large gestures and actions-your character will seem huge and you’ll gain power

A lot of people focus on physically relocating to a place where no one knows you or has preconceptions about you. And that might work for a little bit. But if you’re unable to maintain a strong frame, you’ll fail even after physically relocating

I believe this law is better paired up with the law #17 that says “Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability”

You want to do this everywhere. Even in the place you grew up and people think of you as mama’s boy. Surprise them. Shock them. And then keep a poker face. If they want you to verbalize your reasons, say something to the tune of “I felt like it, so I did it”

The key to Law 25 is in thinking about what your end goal is, and then building an image that works for that agenda. Cultivate a persona that complements your personal and career goals, and use it to dazzle your audience, confuse your opponents, and seduce your allies.

SUR

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