I have collected below 10 quotes from Robert Greene's book, 48 Laws of Power.
Emphasis mine. I have collected these quotes, and will provide commentary on these quotes in the coming posts.
"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 sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish." - Robert Greene.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we will continue discussing some of the things that Robert Greene mentions in his book, 48 Laws of Power. Here Greene discusses something that affects most of us. Many amongst us probably have the habit of talking a lot, jumping into conversations, going on and on with tangents and topics that no one is interested in anymore.
Greene rightly says that the more a person speaks, the more his actual level of intellect and talents come forth. When a person is vague and does not speak much, people are left guessing as to whether he is a highly talented and intellectual individual or not. I have noticed that most people default towards the good in this case, so staying vague and by speaking less a person can come across as intelligent and interesting.
Of course, it helps if the few things that you say actually are intelligent and interesting, but nevertheless this is a good rule of thumb to live by.
"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." - Robert Greene.
Don't we all have moments where we think that we're unstoppable? The best in world. Badass. Awesome. A genius.
The world should be thankful for having us.
That's nice. But keep those thoughts in your head. People don't like hearing things like that, even if they happen to be true. ;)
Most, in fact I would argue that almost all, people don't like being told that they are not as good as others. So when you go on and on talking about your successes and achievements, remember not to make them envious. Like Greene says, envy creates silent enemies.
Machiavelli has been a great influence in my life. I first came across him when I read the 48 Laws of Power, authored by Robert Greene. Greene has a very unique and distinctive style of writing, and it captivated me and has kept me interested since. Machiavelli and others in the book were not presented as evil, power-hungry figures as is the general convention, rather they were presented as clever, calculating individuals who understood human psychology and used it to their advantage.
Reading that book taught me the importance of studying and understanding human psychology. I have since focused on social psychology, which is a broader, more general understanding of masses of people. To date I have not begun exploring human psychology on an individual level, and this blog will be a collection of my thoughts with regards to that. I will also discuss politics and political philosophy in general. Also, military theory, military history, and history in general. As you can see, Greene introduced me to a world that I have since embraced fully.
This introductory post is a mere stepping stone to the other posts that I will begin writing on a weekly basis. I'll experiment with posting schedules and frequency, and settle on one that is comfortable for me.
"When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity... you cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others." - Robert Greene.
This is the first of several quotes from Greene's 48 Laws of Power that I will be providing commentary on. While the quote talks about showing one's natural talents without worrying about the petty feelings of others, I feel that we need to step back and look into how these natural talents can be nurtured, refined, and improved over time.
The thing that Greene is trying to convey here is that if we show our talents to the world, there will be people who will be resentful. They will feel envious and show signs of insecurity. But we can not and should not spend any time worrying about their feelings. Their resentment is theirs. Their envy is theirs. It is not for you to worry about.
Greene says that an individual should focus on his own feelings, even if that may come across as a "selfish" thing to do. But this is important because if we start considering the feelings and resentment of others, it will lead to us slowly not showing our talent to the world so as to not "offend" others. This will do no good to anyone. You will be deprived of the potential that you can reach. The world will be deprived of the benefits it could have received. The others would be deprived of the opportunity to improve, if they were to turn their resentment to inspiration. Lose-lose-lose.
You cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others.
"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." - Robert Greene.
Continuing our discussion on some of the quotes from Greene's book, this one talks about timidity and boldness. The first part of the quote advices us to be sure of ourselves and our decisions and choices before we implement them. Many times we see people carrying out decisions with a bit of hesitation. Not only does this affect their performance, it affects the trust that people have in that person successfully carrying out a task.
Imagine a CEO of a company introducing a radical change in his annual speech. There will obviously be a difference in the reception and acceptance of that speech if the CEO gives a strong and powerful speech as opposed to a meek and timid one. When one of Elon Musk's rockets failed to successfully launch, he did not come and give excuses. There is a video and several accounts of him giving a powerful speech and promising his employees that they will continue moving forward.
This quote not only applies to CEOs, it applies to all aspects of our life. With our colleagues, friends, spouses, etc. It s important that we be bold, because everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.
Another part in our series of posts discussing quotes from Robert Greene in his book, the 48 Laws of Power. This blog isn't run by his PR agency, if he even has one. I only make these posts because of the impact he has had on my life with his books. Read my first post for more information.
"Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life's artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist." - Robert Greene.
This quote from Greene focusing on the importance of an individual's reputation. He mentions that it is one of the most important asset that a person has, and that asset should be protected like no other. To me personally, I am extremely careful about preserving my reputation. And while this may seem to some as being superficial and being a people-pleaser, it is important to note that all our interactions and relationships are influenced by our reputation.
Whenever anyone speaks of us, they are influencing our reputation. This is why it is extremely important to constantly consider how your actions are influencing other aspects of your life. For example, if it is known that a certain area or establishment in town is frequented by people of ill-repute, it is advisable to not go there. Even if you are doing nothing wrong, anyone who sees you there will assume that you are. That person will then go tell others about it, and just like that your reputation will be destroyed.
Not only is it important to preserve our reputation, it is also important to build it. Do things of good character with a good intention, and your reputation will build.
"Keep your friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent." - Robert Greene.
Another post in our series examining quotes from the 48 Laws of Power.
Greene here mentions that friendship and work are two different things. They can have overlap, but it is important to maintain the distinction. Just because you are friends for a mediocre web developer, for example, does not mean that you should give him your website project. Instead, give it to the developer who is extremely skilled at her work and can deliver a much better output.
It is easy to think that because we are friends with someone, we have to do business with them. This is not the case at all. In fact, at times it is good to mix personal and professional. That is not to say that professional is to be impersonal, but that the two should not be the same.
Always strive to have to the most skilled and competent people to work with.
I have been posting new posts every Monday and Thursday for the past month now, and thought of taking a break from the quotes series to make a round-up post so that those who want to read previous posts can use this as a reference guide.
Those are all the posts on this blog to-date. I will continue the final few parts of the quotes series from Monday. I have other posts planned, but if any of you have any suggestions for the kind of posts I should write, I'll be happy to oblige.
During a call with Sebastian Marshall, we discussed negotiation skills and other similar issues. I came up with a basic one-page document with the 101 about negotiation. Find it below:
Negotiation is a method by which people settle differences. It is a process by which compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding an argument. In any disagreement, individuals understandably aim to achieve the best possible outcome for their position (or perhaps for the organization or team they represent.) However, the principles of fairness, seeking mutual benefit, and maintaining a relationship are the keys to a successful outcome.