Key Points from Book: The Concise 48 Laws of Power

Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good-Niccolo Machiavelli

Never outshine the master, always make those above you feel comfortably superior

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.

Conceal your intentions. Keep people off balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions

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

So much depend on reputation, guard it with your life. Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Throuh reputation alone you can intimidate and win, once it slips, however, you are vulnarable, and will be attacked on all sides.

Court attention at all cost. Everything is judged by it’s appeance, what is unseen counts for nothing

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

Make other people come to you, use bait if necessary. When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control

Win through your actions, never through argument. Any momentary triumph you think you have gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory. It is much mire powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word

Infection: avoid the unhappy ajd unlucky. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves, they will also draw it on you

Learn to keep people dependent on you. To maintained your independence you must always be needed and wanted

Use selecrive honesty and fenerosity to disarm your victim. One sincere and honest move will cover dozens of dishonest one

When asking for help, appeal to people’s self interest, never to their mercy or gratitude. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself

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

Crush your enemy totally. All great leaders since moses have known fhat a feared enemy must be crushed completely

Use absence to increase respect and honor. Too much circulation makes the price go down

Keep otherd insuspense, cultivate an air of unpredictability humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other’s people’s action. Your predictability gives them a sense of control

Do not build fortresses to protect yourself, isolation is dangerous. It cuts you off valuable information, it makes you conspicious and an easy target

Know who you are dealing with, do not offend the wrong person.

Do not commit to anyone. It is the fool who always rushes to take sides. Playing people against one another, making them pursue you

Play a sucker to catch a sucker, seem dumber than your mark. The trick , then, is to make your victims feel smart, and not just smart but smarter than you are.

Use the surrender tactic, transform weakness into power. When you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake, choose surrender instead. It gives you time to recover, torment and irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane

Concentrate your forces. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper than by flitting from one shallow mine to another.

Play the perfect courtier. He has mastered the art of indirection, he flatters, yields to superiors, and asserts power over others in the most oblique and graceful manner

Recreate yourself. Do not accept the roles that society foists on you

Keep your hands clean. Maintain such a spotless appearance by using others as unwitting pawns and screens to disguise your involvement

Play on people’s need to believe to create a cultlike following. People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something.

Enter action with boldness. If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it

Plan all the way to the end.

Make your accomplishment seem effortless. Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you

Control the options, get others to play with the cards you deal. Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils, both which serve your purpose

Play to people’s fantasies. The truth is often ugly and unpleasant.

Discover each man’s thumbscrew. Everyone has weakness, that is usually an insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need, it can also be a small secret pleasure

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

Disdain things you cannot have, ignoring them is the best revenge. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem

Creative compelling spectacles. Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power, everyone responds to them

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 thst you only want attentiom and thst you look down upon them

Stir up waters to catch fish. Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductivd. You must always stay calm and objective

Despise the free lunch. There’s always something hidden behind it

Avoid stepping into great man’s shoes. What happens first always appears better and more original than what comes after

Strike the sheperd and the sheep will scatter. Strike at the source of trouble and the sheep will scatter

Work on the hearts and minds of others. You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction

Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect. When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy

Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once. People understand the need for change, but innovation is traumatic and will lead to revolf

Never appear too perfect. Envy creates silent enemies.

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

Assume formlessness. Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed. Be as fluid as water


About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
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