What every body is saying

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I took my time reading this book because it was really boring. However I have found this book effective in manipulating my own body language. Here are 10 things I learned from this book:

  • Pointing your nose up is a high confidence display.
  • Covering of the eyes is a clear indicator of disagreement and disbelief.
  • Touching of oneself on the top quarter of the body is done to self soothe.
  • Where a persons feet are pointed is where a person wants to go.
  • Head tilting is a high comfort display.
  • Interlaced hands behind the head is a dominance display.
  • Hands on a table while in a standing position is another dominance display.
  • Be wary of those that squint in your presence, they probably don’t like you.
  • Leg crossing while standing is a high comfort display.
  • Hands on the knees while in a seated position means a person wants to leave.

Upon reflection I believe the author could have cut the size of this book in half. The most powerful aspect of this book is identifying your own body language habits and correcting them to non-verbally communicate messages you want to communicate; and/or using your body language to intimidate.

Purchase Recommendation: (*)

(*) Kindle: $11.99 (You don’t need a physical kindle to buy this book. Download the free app on your laptop or tablet and read.)

Amazon: $18.30


The Way Of Men

The Way of Men didn’t change or challenge a lot of my perspectives, instead it reinforced most of my ideologies and core values. Needless to say it was a pleasant and easy read, that I’ve put it on the back burner for too long. Below I’ve listed some of my favorite quotes from the book, and my overall analysis/ conclusion.

  • “Aren’t most men today spoiled mamma’s boys without father figures, without hunting or fighting or brother-bonds, whose only masculine outlet is promiscuous sex?”
  • “A man who is more concerned with being a good man than being good at being a man makes a very well-behaved slave.”
  • “Men are dropping out and disengaging from our slick, easy, safe world. For what may be the first time in history, the average guy can afford to be careless. Nothing he does really matters, and—what’s worse—there is a shrinking hope of any future where what he does will matter.”
  • “One of the great tragedies of modernity is the lack of opportunity for men to become what they are, to do what they were bred to do, what their bodies want to do.”

Jack Donovan’s truest convictions:

  • Men desire conflict, risk, and challenges.
  • Competition is inherent in what it means to be a man.
  • Men with high testosterone take more risks and seek thrills more often than their low testosterone counterparts.
  • Men enjoy competing for status. When they win something, a dopamine high is triggered. This dopamine high jacks up testosterone levels in men.
  • Men with high testosterone have a tendency to be overly concerned with the world. They’re driven to find out about the world, explore the world, and sometimes conquer the world.
  • There is a difference between being a good man and being good at being a man.
  • We’re all born slaves, but good men rarely escape what they were born into.
  • Being a good man requires obedience.
  • Men that are good at being men exert their authority, question and challenge others.
  • Being good at being a man requires a craving for risk, sex, conflict and danger.


Being located in the East for over a year now, I can truthfully say that there’s been too much modern progress in the west. I see that this hyper modern progress isn’t in favor of masculinity in any way, shape or form. In fact it’s a strong attempt to completely eliminate the meaning of what means to be a man. Some would argue it’s a war on masculinity as a whole (i.e) some students (girls) are getting higher GPA’s than others of equal GPAS’s if not higher on paper (boys), based solely on their behavior.

Teacher bias

“First of all, it suggests that school systems give greater rewards to girls rather than boys, even when pupils are of similar ability.

Teachers are more likely to “mark up” girls’ work, says the study. It suggests that this leniency in marking is an unacknowledged reward for girls being more school-friendly.

Girls are more likely to be better behaved, more likely to get homework finished, less negative about going to school. And even when boys’ work is just as good, the higher grade is more likely to go to a girl.”

Study below:


When women start complaining about men not being men and/or teaching men how to be men is when men have stopped being men; Read that again, and tell me whether you agree with that statement.

This book will put some hair on your chest, and kick you in the nuts if your a male feminist or a complacent slave. You’re being muzzled for the interests of others and it’s on you to take action now.

Purchase Recommendation: (*)

(*) Kindle: $6.50 (You don’t need a physical kindle to buy this book. Download the free app on your laptop or tablet and read.)

Amazon: $18.50

Top Quotes From The Manipulated Man – Esther Vilar


“For man, who was brought up to be proud and honorable, every working day is merely an endless series of humiliations. He shows enthusiasm for products he finds useless, he laughs at jokes he finds tasteless, he expresses opinions which are not his own. Not for a moment is he allowed to forget that the merest oversight may mean demotion, that one slip of the tongue may spell the end of his career.”

“Women’s proven lack of imagination makes clear that they have no a priori need for new inventions. If they did, they would invent things more often themselves.”

“Theoretically it is possible for a beautiful woman to have less intelligence than a chimpanzee and still be considered an acceptable member of society.”

“Could it be that strength, intelligence, and imagination are not prerequisites for power but merely qualifications for slavery? Could it be that the world is not being ruled by experts but by beings who are not fit for anything else—by women?”

Purchase Recommendation: (*)

Indigo: $14.81 (Buy online if you want a hard copy; Finding this book in store, is like finding a thimble in a hay stack)

Amazon: $14.81 + shipping (paperback)

* Kindle: $6.99



The 50’th Law- 50 Cent and Robert Greene


Being that this is the sequel to The 48 laws of Power, and uses 50 Cent’s life story as a backdrop on the premise of fear; I was very excited to crack this book open. The 50’th Law is written in a very similar style to Robert Greene’s 48 laws of power, where historic and current examples are used to present the relevance of his theories. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I slowly soaked up wisdom and imparted a good portion of the theories into my life. Here is a list of the top 12 points this book covers:

(-) Theory

(*) Commentary

– You are only free when others are unable to disappoint you.

* Obtain, maintain, and grow more options and opportunities for yourself.

– Don’t try to please others.

* Development of the “fuck em” attitude

– Expose yourself to everything you fear.

* The exhilaration obtained from practicing this theory is addictive.

– If you depend on others for too long, you lose the ability to take care of yourself.

* Independence is a virtue.

– Talent and good intentions are never enough.

* They really aren’t; be fearless and strategic.

– Embrace death.

* Allow death to be a driving force in your life; motivation.

– Soft environments make you soft.

* Consistently push yourself out of your comfort zone.

– Constantly adopt to your circumstances.

* Fluidity; be prepared to adjust to the constant flow of life, like water.

– Resist the temptation to want to depend on others.

* Scrap the idea of belonging to a group etc. You were born alone, and will die alone.

– There is no such thing as the “perfect opportunity” to strike.

* Every opportunity is the perfect opportunity to strike; aggression.

– You should be even more vigilant when things are going well.

* If you’re not working harder than you previously were, you’re likely not going anywhere.

– Always be ready and willing to walk away.

* Self explanatory; Although, this readiness and willingness is portrayed in your behavior (the most powerful tool in your toolbox).

If you envision a lifestyle of only having to answer to yourself, than I congratulate you! Re-read the above list; you’ve located the blue print for independence.

This book gave me a new found respect for 50 cent. I have irreplaceable memories as a teenager, standing in front of the bathroom mirror shirtless and imitating gun shots with my fingers while blaring his Get Rich or Die Trying album. Nonetheless I’ve always assumed 50 cent to be a one dimensional silly rapper, but to my surprise he’s one of the sharpest men that has come from the hood. He is a classic American success story, and makes Drake look like a member of the curling team.

50 cent’s rough back story had me buzzing every time I picked this book up, it made me want to make shit happen. In retrospect, The 50’th Law is very motivational and highly recommended.

Memorable quotes:

“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

“Your sense of who you are will determine your actions and what you end up getting in life. If you see your reach as limited, that you are mostly helpless in the face of so many difficulties, that it is best to keep your ambitions low, then you will receive the little that you expect. Knowing this dynamic, you must train yourself for the opposite- ask for more, aim high, and believe that you are destined for something great. Your sense of self worth comes from you alone- never the opinion of others. With a rising confidence in your abilities, you will take risks that will increase your chances of success. People follow those who know where they are going, so cultivate an air of certainty and boldness.” – Robert Greene

“The hustler’s every waking hour is lived with both the practical and the subconscious knowledge that if he ever relaxes, if he ever slows down, the other hungry, restless foxes, ferrets, wolves, and vultures out there with him wont hesitate to make him their prey.” – Malcolm X

Purchase Recommendation:

Amazon: $16.92 + shipping (hardcover)

* Indigo: $16.92 (hardcover)

Kindle App: $13.99


The 48 laws of power- Robert Greene

The fact that this book has a long history of being criticized as “manipulative” is a big hint to the power that it contains. Enjoy!

– Selected key notes are indicated by (*).

– My top three favorite laws will not have a note key.

– Every law has a Reversal application; buy the book if you want the reversals!

Law 1: 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.

*If you are more intelligent than your master, seem the opposite. Make him appear more intelligent than you. Act naive.

Law 2: 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.

*Never let the presence of enemies upset or distress you- you are far better off with a declared opponent or two than not knowing where your real enemies lie. The man of power welcomes conflict, using enemies to enhance his reputation as a surefooted fighter who can be relied upon in times of uncertainty.

Law 3: 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 defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.

*Seem to want something in which you are actually not at all interested and your enemies will be thrown off the scent, making all kinds of errors in their calculations.

Law 4: 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 sphinx-like. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.

*By saying less than necessary you create the appearance of meaning and power.

Law 5: 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 you slip, 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.

*In the social realm, appearances are the barometer of almost all of our judgments, and you must never be led into believing otherwise.

Law 6: 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 colorful, more mysterious, than the bland and timid masses.

*By simply holding back, keeping silent, occasionally uttering ambiguous phrases, deliberately appearing inconsistent, and acting odd in the subtlest of ways, you will emanate an aura of mystery. The people around you will then magnify that aura by constantly trying to interpret you.

Law 7: 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.

*Learn to use the knowledge of the past and you will look like a genius, even when you are just a clever borrower.

Law 8: 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.

*When you make your opponent come to you, you create the illusion that he is controlling the situation.

Law 9: Win through your Actions, Never through Argument

Any momentary triumph you think 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.

*The power of demonstrating your idea is that your opponents do not get defensive, and are therefore more open to persuasion. Making them literally and physically feel your meaning is infinitely more powerful than argument.

Law 10: Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky

You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as disease. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only 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.

*Never associate with those who share your defects- they will reinforce everything that holds you back.

Law 11: 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.

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

Law 12: 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 armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A timely gift – a Trojan horse – will serve the same purpose.

*Few people can resist a gift, even from the most hardened enemy, which is why it is often the perfect way to disarm people.

Law 13: When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest, Never to their Mercy or Gratitude

If you need to turn to an ally 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 emphasize it out of all proportion. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.

*Self interest is the lever that will move people. Once you make them see how you can in some way meet their needs or advance their cause, their resistance to your requests for requests will magically fall away.

Law 14: 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 weaknesses and intentions. There is no occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying.

*By tempting people into certain acts, you learn about their loyalty, their honesty; and so on. And this kind of knowledge is often the most valuable of all: Armed with it, you can predict their actions in the future.

Law 15: 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.

*Have no mercy. Crush your enemies as totally as they would crush you.

Law 16: Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor

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.


Law 17: 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. Behavior 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.

*If you find yourself outnumbered or cornered, throw in a series of unpredictable moves. Your enemies will be so confused that they will pull back or make a tactical blunder.

Law 18: 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.

*Never imagine yourself so elevated that you can afford to cut yourself off from even the lowest echelons.

Law 19: Know Who You’re Dealing with – Do Not Offend the Wrong Person

There are many different kinds 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.

*Study people’s weaknesses, the chinks in their armor, their ideas of both pride and insecurity. Know their ins and outs before you even decide whether or not to deal with them.

Law 20: Do Not Commit to Anyone

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


Law 21: Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber than your Mark

No one likes feeling stupider than the next persons. The trick, is to make your victims feel smart – and not just smart, but smarter than you are. Once convinced of this, they will never suspect that you may have ulterior motives.


Law 22: Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power

When you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender instead. Surrender gives you time to recover, time to torment and irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane. Do not give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you – surrender first. By turning the other check you infuriate and unsettle him. Make surrender a tool of power.

*If you find yourself temporarily weakened, the surrender tactic is perfect for raising yourself up again- it disguises your ambition; it teaches you patience and self-control, key skills in the game; and it puts you in the best possible position for taking advantage of your oppressor’s sudden slide.

Law 23: Concentrate Your Forces

Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their strongest point. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another – intensity defeats extensity every time. When looking for sources of power to elevate you, find the one key patron, the fat cow who will give you milk for a long time to come.

*The fool flits from one person to another, believing that he will survive by spreading himself out.

Law 24: Play the Perfect Courtier

The perfect courtier thrives in a world where everything revolves around power and political dexterity. He has mastered the art of indirection; he flatters, yields to superiors, and asserts power over others in the mot oblique and graceful manner. Learn and apply the laws of courtiership and there will be no limit to how far you can rise in the court.

*Pay attention to your physical appearance, and find a way to create a distinctive- a subtly distinctive- style and image.

Law 25: Re-Create Yourself

Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.

*Adopt the plasticity of the actor, who can mold his/her face to the emotion required.

Law 26: Keep Your Hands Clean

You must seem a paragon of civility and efficiency: Your hands are never soiled by mistakes and nasty deeds. Maintain such a spotless appearance by using others as scapegoats and cat’s-paws to disguise your involvement.

*The truly powerful, seem to never be in a hurry or overburdened. While others work their fingers to the bone, they take their leisure.

Law 27: Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following

People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something. Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow. Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking. Give your new disciples rituals to perform, ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf. In the absence of organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring you untold power.

*Amuse the bored, and ward off the cynics.

Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness

If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.

*We admire the bold, and prefer to be around them, because their self-confidence infects us and draws outside our own realm of inwardness and reflection.

Law 29: Plan All the Way to the End

The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others. By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead.

*When you see several steps ahead, and plan your moves all the way to the end, you will no longer be tempted by emotion.

Law 30: Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless

Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease. All the toil and practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be concealed. When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more. Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work – it only raises questions. Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you.

*The more mystery surrounds your actions, the more awesome your power seems.

Law 31: Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards you Deal

The best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a choice: Your victims feel they are in control, but are actually your puppets. Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose. Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils, both of which serve your purpose. Put them on the horns of a dilemma: They are gored wherever they turn.

*Always allow your victims their choice of poison, and cloak your involvement in providing it to them as far as possible.

Law 32: Play to People’s Fantasies

The truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant. Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes for disenchantment. Life is so harsh and distressing that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the desert: Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses.

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

Law 33: Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew

Everyone has a weakness, a gap in the castle wall. That weakness is usual y an insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need; it can also be a small secret pleasure. Either way, once found, it is a thumbscrew you can turn to your advantage.

*Knowing about a childhood need gives you a powerful key to a person’s weakness.

Law 34: Be Royal in your Own Fashion: Act like a King to be treated like one

The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated; In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you. For a king respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others. By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown.

*Even those who turn you down respect you for your confidence, and that respect will pay off in ways you cannot imagine.

Law 35: Master the Art of Timing

Never seem to be in a hurry – hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time. Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually. Become a detective of the right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power. Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.

*Sometimes not acting in the face of danger is your best move- you wait, you deliberately slow down.

Law 36: Disdain Things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best Revenge

By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone. If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt for it. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem.

*If choosing to ignore enhances your power, it follows that the opposite approach- commitment and engagement- often weakens you.

Law 37: Create Compelling Spectacles

Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone responds to them. Stage spectacles for those around you, then full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence. Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing.

*The best way to use images and symbols is to organize them into a grand spectacle that awes people and distracts them from unpleasant realities.

Law 38: Think as you like but Behave like others

If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior. It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness.

*When you go into society, leave behind your own ideas and values, and put on the mask that is most appropriate for the group in which you find yourself.

Law 39: Stir up Waters to Catch Fish

Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive. You must always stay calm and objective. But if you can make your enemies angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage. Put your enemies off-balance: Find the chink in their vanity through which you can rattle them and you hold the strings.

*Look at the emotional outburst as a disguised power move, an attempt to control or punish you cloaked in the form of hurt feelings or anger.

Law 40: Despise the Free Lunch

What is offered for free is dangerous – it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation. What has worth is worth paying for. By paying your own way you stay clear of gratitude, guilt, and deceit. It is also often wise to pay the full price – there is no cutting corners with excellence. Be lavish with your money and keep it circulating, for generosity is a sign and a magnet for power.

*The powerful learn early to protect their most valuable resources: independence and room to maneuver.

Law 41: Avoid Stepping into a Great Man’s Shoes

What happens first always appears better and more original than what comes after. If you succeed a great man or have a famous parent, you will have to accomplish double their achievements to outshine them. Do not get lost in their shadow, or stuck in a past not of your own making: Establish your own name and identity by changing course. Slay the overbearing father, disparage his legacy, and gain power by shining in your own way.

*The superstitious belief that if the person before you succeeded by doing A,B, and C, you can re-create their success by doing the same thing. This cookie-cutter approach will seduce the uncreative, for it is easy, and appeals to their timidity and their laziness.

Law 42:

Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter

Trouble can often be traced to a single strong individual – the stirrer, the arrogant underling, the poisoned of goodwill. If you allow such people room to operate, others will succumb to their influence. Do not wait for the troubles they cause to multiply, do not try to negotiate with them – they are irredeemable. Neutralize their influence by isolating or banishing them. Strike at the source of the trouble and the sheep will scatter.

*Con artists often look for ways to isolate their marks from their social milieux, steering them into new environments in which they are no longer comfortable.

Law 43: Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others

Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you. You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction. A person you have seduced becomes your loyal pawn. And the way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses. Soften up the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold dear and what they fear. Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will grow to hate you.

*Symbolic gestures are often enough to win sympathy and good will.

Law 44: Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect

The mirror reflects reality, but it is also the perfect tool for deception: When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy. The Mirror Effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact. By holding up a mirror to their psyches, you seduce them with the illusion that you share their values; by holding up a mirror to their actions, you teach them a lesson. Few can resist the power of Mirror Effect.

*In using mirror effects we symbolically re-create this disturbing power by mirroring the actions of other people, mimicking their movements to unsettle and infuriate them.

Law 45: Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform too much at Once

Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit. Too much innovation is traumatic, and will lead to revolt. If you are new to a position of power, or an outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the old way of doing things. If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement on the past.

*The fact that the past is dead and buried gives you the freedom to reinterpret it.

Law 46: Never appear too Perfect

Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.

*Understand that as you gain power, those below you will feel envious of you.

Law 47: Do not go Past the Mark you Aimed for; In Victory, Learn when to Stop

The moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril. In the heat of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you had aimed for, and by going too far, you make more enemies than you defeat. Do not allow success to go to your head. There is no substitute for strategy and careful planning. Set a goal, and when you reach it, stop.

*Good luck is more dangerous than bad luck.

Law 48: Assume Formlessness

By taking a shape, by having a visible plan, you open yourself to attack. Instead of taking a form for your enemy to grasp, keep yourself adaptable and on the move. Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed. The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid and formless as water; never bet on stability or lasting order. Everything changes.

*The powerful are constantly creating form, and their power comes from the rapidity with which they can change. Their formlessness is in the eye of the enemy who cannot see what they are up to and so has nothing solid to attack.

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