48 Laws of Power
get the book here
great summary by www.theantimba.com
Law 1: Never outshine the master
Make those above you feel superior. Do not show your talents too much, it’ll make them insecure.
Make the master appear more brilliant than they are.
Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends, learn to use enemies
Friends will quickly betray you.
Hire former enemies, they’ll be loyal.
Law 3: Conceal your intentions
Keep people off-balance. They cannot prepare if they don’t know. Guide them down the wrong path.
Law 4: Always say less than necessary
When trying to impress, the more you say the more common you look and less in control.
Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less.
Law 5: So much depends on reputation – guard it with your life
Reputation is the cornerstone of power.
Reputation alone will make you win.
Destroy enemies by attacking their reputation. Then stand aside and let the public hang them.
Law 6: Court attention at all cost
Everything is judged by appearance, what is unseen counts for nothing.
Never get lost in a crowd.
Be mysterious, appear more colorful than the masses.
Law 7: Let others to do the work for you, but always take credit
Use the skills of others to do the work for you, never do yourself what others can do for you.
Your efficiency will appear god-like.
Law 8: Make other people come to you – use bait if necessary
When you force others to act, you’re in control.
Make opponents come to you.
Lure with gains, then attack.
Law 9: Win through your actions, never through argument
You never win through argument.
The resentment last long.
It’s more powerful to agree with actions.
Demonstrate, do not explain.
Law 10: Infection: Avoid the unhappy and the unlucky
You’ll die from others misery – emotional states are as infectious as diseases.
The unfortunate draw misfortune on themselves and will draw it on you.
Associate with the happy and fortunate.
Law 11: Learn to keep people dependent on you
To maintain independence you must be needed and wanted.
The more you’re relied on, the more freedom you have.
Make people depend on you for happiness.
Never teach them enough so they can do without you.
Law 12: Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim
One sincere move will cover over a dozen dishonest ones.
Honesty can bring down the guard of suspicious people.
Open their shield with honesty, then deceive.
Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to their mercy
Do not remind people of past deeds.
Find something that will benefit them and emphasize it out of proportion.
Law 14: Pose as a friend, work as a spy
Learn to probe and find valuable information.
Ask indirect questions.
Every occasion is a chance to spy.
Law 15: Crush your enemy totally
More is lost through stopping halfway.
Crush your enemy in body and spirit.
Law 16: Use absence to increase respect and honor
Too much circulation makes the price go down.
If you’re already established in a group, temporarily withdraw to make people talk.
Create value through scarcity.
Law 17: Keep others in suspended terror: cultivate an air of unpredictability
Being predictable gives control to others.
Behavior that isn’t consistent will wear people out, and they’ll stop trying to explain things.
When used to the extreme, you’ll intimidate and terrorize.
Law 18: Do not build fortresses to protect yourself – isolation is dangerous
Isolation cuts you off from valuable information.
Its better to mingle.
You are shielded from your enemy in a crowd.
Law 19: Know who you’re dealing with – do not offend the wrong person
Never assume everyone will react the same way.
Choose your victims carefully.
Never offend the wrong person.
Law 20: Do not commit to anyone
Fools rush to pick a side.
Do not commit to a cause but yourself
Make people chase you and play people against one another
Law 21: Play a sucker to catch a sucker- seem dumber than your mark
Don’t be stupid, but make your mark appear smarter than you
Making them appear smarter hides your motives
Law 22: Use the surrender tactic: transformer weakness into power
When you’re weaker, never fight just for honor but surrender
Do not give them the satisfaction to win, surrender
Turn the other cheek to infuriate them
Law 23: Concentrate your forces
Intensity defeats extensity every time
Find a fat cow that’ll give you milk for a long time
Law 24: Play the perfect courtier
Master the art of indirection
Assert power gracefully
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
Law 26: Keep your hands clean
Never appear soiled by mistakes
Use others as scapegoats to disguise your involvement
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
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
Law 29: Plan all the way to the end
The ending is everything
Take into account of scenario
If you plan, you won’t be overwhelmed
Guide fortune by thinking far ahead
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
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
Law 32: Play to people’s fantasies
The truth is unpleasant, avoid it
People that manufacture romance are like oases in the desert
There’s great power in tapping into people’s fantasies
Law 33: Discover each man’s thumbscrew
Find others weaknesses
Its usually insecurity, uncontrollable emotions, secret pressures
Law 34: Be royal in your own fashion: act like a king to be treated like one
The way you carry yourself determines how you’re treated
Appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you
Kings respect themselves and inspire the same in others
By acting confident you make yourself destined to wear a crown
Law 35: Master the art of timing
Never seem in a hurry, always seem patient
Sniff out the spirit of the times, find the trends that’ll give you power
Learn to stand back when not ready, and then strike
Law 36: Disdain things you cannot have: ignoring them if the best revenge
Acknowledging petty problems gives them existence
When you acknowledge an enemy you make them stronger
The more you a mistake visible, the worse it gets
If you want something but can’t have it, disdain it
The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem
Law 37: Create compelling spectacles
Striking imagery and symbolic gestures create the auro of power and people respond
Stage spectacles for those around you and heighten your presence
Dazzle by appearance
Law 38: Think as you like but behave like others
By flaunting your unconventional ways people will only think you want attention
They’ll punish you for making them feel inferior
Law 39: Stir up waters to catch fish
Anger and emotion is counterproductive
Stay calm and objective
Make enemies emotional while you stay calm
Rattle your enemies
Law 40: Despise the free lunch
What’s offered for free in dangerous
Pay your own way to avoid guilt and gratitude
No cutting corners with excellence
Be lavish with your money, keep it circulating
Generosity is a sign and magnet for power
Example: Gypsies and Gifts (add link)
Law 41: Avoid stepping into a great man’s shoes
What happens first always appears better and more original than what’s next
Following great people means you must double their power
Gain power by shining in your own way
Law 42: Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter
Trouble can be traced to a single individual
These people will influence others
Do not negotiate but banish them
Strike at the source of the trouble
Law 43: Work on the hearts and minds of others
Coercion will work against you
Seduce others into wanting to move in your direction
Seduce others by operating on their individual psychologies and weaknesses
Soften them by working their emotions and what they fear
Ignore the hearts and minds and they will grow to hate you
Law 44: Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect
When you mirror exactly what your enemies do, they cannot figure out your strategy
The mirror effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact
Hold a mirror to their psyches and you’ll seduce them and they’ll think they share your values
Mirror their actions and they learn lessons
Law 45: Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once
Everyone wants change but too much is traumatic
When new to power show you respect old ways
Make change feel like a gentle improvement on the past
Law 46: Never appear too perfect
Its dangerous to appear like you have no thoughts
Its ok to admit to small defects
Law 47: Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory know when to stop
When going to far in victory, you make more enemies
Set a goal, achieve it, then stop
Law 48: Assume formlessness
By having a visible plan you open yourself to attack.
Stay adaptable and on the move
Accept that nothing is certain and now law fixed
Everything changes and never bet on it
get the book here