Gospel According To Robert Greene; The Laws
I believe everyone has ever come across ‘The 48 Laws of Power’. Be it one law or the whole book. I bet we all have had to skim through what Robert Greene thinks are laws of power. The 48 Laws of Power is a non fiction, semi-inspirational self help book that aids one ponder about stuff that we some times ignore. The book as the title suggests, has Forty Eight laws written by Robert Greene, laws which are like mottoes or ground rules. The laws are like principles which the author believes can guide man and probably give him a different perspective of life as a whole.The book also talks about human behavior, ethics and values and gives historical examples on why the author descended on the said laws.
Writing the first law, Robert Greene gives an example of a French Finance Minister in the 17th century, Nicolas Fouquet who worked under King Louis XIV in his first year of his reign. After the death of the prime minister Jules Mazarin in 1661, Nicolas Fouquet expected that he would be named the successor but instead, King Louis XIV abolished the position. Seeing this, Nicolas was unhappy. He then decided to hold a grand party. The party’s apparent purpose was to commemorate the completion of Nicolas’ Chateau, though it’s real function was to pay tribute to the king. People were treated to all manner of delicacies and enjoyed different drinks from world over. Both the king and the finance minister were fond of a lavish lifestyle and all manner of glamour. A day after the party, the king ordered for the arrest of Fouquet. He was tried months later for stealing from the treasury (Note that he had been stealing with the king’s knowledge all this time). King Louis XIV was full of pride and wanted everything to revolve around him. He couldn’t stand being out done by his Finance Minister. He wasn’t too pleased with Fouquet’s grandiose party. Never outshine your master, People!
Under all the 48 laws, the author gives a Judgement (which is like a summary), Transgression of The Law, Observance of The Law, Keys To Power and Reversal. Not all laws written are practical, there are things if I read through, will find as a challenge to apply in real life. What I like about the book is that it gives historical tales and narratives to support every single principle the author has put down. Greene discusses every single law deeply, leaving one with the satisfaction that they have comprehend all that’s written in the book.
I concur with almost everything Robert Greene has stated, however there are some laws which are a bit contradicting and confusing.
I read through all the 48 laws and came up with a list of my Top 5 Most Favorite and 5 Least Favorite. Here is a summary of the Laws plus My Own Interpretation and Views.
Most Favorite laws
I agree 99% with these laws
Law 1. Never outshine your master
This however doesn’t mean that you kiss your boss’ or superiors’ ass. You’ll carry a lot of shit with you if you do that. (Pun intended.)
Law 18. Do not build Fortresses to Protect Yourself- Isolation is Dangerous.
I love solitude, but sometimes shutting everyone out of your circle could be toxic to you as an individual.
Law19. Know who you’re dealing with- Do not offend the wrong person
You don’t want to joke around with anyone who threatens to kill and actually kills. To paraphrase the law, ‘You should Know People.’
Law 34. Be Royal in your own friendship: Act like a king to be treated like a king
Plain simple; Act like garbage and everyone will dispose you at the pit.
Law 40. Despise Free Lunch
In this life, everything has a price. Free drinks have a price, free ride has a price. Just know who you’ll call to fix your bulb and they won’t black mail you in future.
Law6. Court attention at all costs..
This is what hoes and bimbos are good at. You don’t wanna be like them, do you?
Law 7. Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit…
Really? That’s like stealing. That’s akin to what politicians do, having others do the dirty work then posing for the camera when the end product is delivered.
Law 11. Learn to keep people dependent on you
I politely disagree with this. As humans, one of the things we do to others is helping them. If I see you falling, I should help you rise up and ensure you’re firm on your feet. Making you dependent on me is not helping at all. It’s like giving a man a fish instead of teaching them how to fish.
Law 46. Never appear too perfect.
Every morning when I wake up, I hope to be better than yesterday. If yesterday I was perfect, then today I should be more perfect. What does Greene mean? That we should just be 80% of our best and not 100%?
Law 47. Do not go past the work you aimed for- In Victory, learn when to stop.
Why? Aren’t we always aiming higher than the sky? I say, in victory, there is no stopping.