Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rule #8: Make Other People Come to You - Use Bait if Necessary

 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."

Hey everyone, it's been a few days since i've updated this blog since I was busy studying for my final midterm this week.  It's getting pretty late but i'll finish writing this post and finally head to sleep.  Thanks for all the comments on my last few posts, i'll be doing more of my blog reading in the morning, and wish to see more and interesting fresh content on your sites.

I've read some of your feedback, and if you haven't posted something there already, I would really appreciate it if you tell me how I can better write interesting posts.  This particular topic I found to be a bit more boring than the other laws, but do not worry, theres a lot more good stuff to come.  Anyways i'll begin....

Friday, October 29, 2010


Hey everyone, haven't written a post in a few days, but am writing a draft for a new post on the principles of power.  I just wanted to dedicate this post to feedback on the posts I have written already.

If you have a bit of time, please help me answer a few questions:

1.) What do you like about the blog?
2.) What do you dislike about the blog?
3.) What type of posts do you want to see in the future?
4.) What authors/books do you want to hear about?
5.) What other topics on power do you want to hear more about?
6.) Miscellaneous comments - whatever else is on your mind.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rule #7: Get Others to do the Work For You, But Always Take the Credit

  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."

Hey everyone, here to deliver another interesting post about the principles of power.  I just finished writing and submitting a 10,000 word  English paper, and this is probably going to be the last thing I blog about today before I head to sleep.  This is one of the laws of power that I personally feel the most uncomfortable with, but I will discuss it to the best of my ability, borrowing some of Greene's examples and also using some of my own.  Hope you enjoy, make sure to check out my other blogs if you haven't done so already!

G E T  O T H E R S  T O  DO  T H E  W O R K  F O R  Y O U ,  B U T  A L WA Y S  T A K E  T H E  C R E D I T


We live in a world with constant competition over the limited supply of resources on this planet.  In order to survive, you must understand that there are many people around you who are circling in, waiting to steal your ideas and hard work, and call them your own.  Unless you learn how to protect yourself and how to play the game properly, you will end up forgotten by history and someone else will gladly fill in the shoes you should have been fitted with.

Basically, there are hunters and gatherers, the ones who survive in this world by hunting, killing, and gathering resources in order to survive, and there are the ones who live off the hunters and gatherers since they do not have either the mental or physical capacity to do it on their own.

The world is like a massive jungle, filled with lions, hyenas, vultures, and eagles.  The hyenas cannot often catch prey on their own, so they wait for the lion to do the work for them, biding their time, all the while knowing that sooner or later, they will be able to find another animal to do the work for them.  In the real world it is no different, you may be working long and hard one something now, but invariably someone else will come along and benefit from your hard work and creativity.

So what is the key to power in regards to this law?  Essentially it is learning how to get others to do the work for you while taking (or sharing) the credit.  This will give you an aura of god-like strength and efficiency, and others will always gather around you for advice and help.  We all have our strengths and weaknesses, hire those around you who are skilled at this things that you are not.  Work as a team, or incorporate them under your name, and then their creativity and hard work become yours, while you become a genius to those around you.

"Writers who have delved into human nature, ancient masters of strategy, historians of human stupidity and folly, kings and queens who have learned the hard way how to handle the burdens of power - their knowledge is gathering dust, waiting for you to come and stand on their shoulders.  Their wit can be your wit, their skill can be your skill, and they will never come around to tell people how unoriginal you really are.  You can slog through life, making endless mistakes, wasting time and energy trying to do things from your own experience.  Or you can use the armies of the past.  As Bismarck once said, "Fools say that they learn by experience.  I prefer to profit by others' experience."

 Think about the people in power today, and how they are doing it.  Everyone can learn something from someone else, it is up to you whether or not to reach your true potential by putting everything on yourself, or allowing yourself to release some of that burden on others.

Mark Zukenberg and Facebook is a contemporary example of the truth that lies within this law of power.  No one is going to remember the Harvard twins on the rowing team who claimed that they had their idea stolen from them by Mark, the history books have already been written, and you can guess who is left smiling.  Even in the past, great men like Thomas Edison will not be remembered as the thief who stole Tesla's ideas, but instead a brilliant entrepreneur and business man.

"Everyone steals in commerce and industry.  I've stolen a lot myself.  But I know how to steal."
Thomas Edison, 1847-1931 

Last Words of Advice

Remember that there is a reversal to this rule.  Do not be openly trying to steal peoples ideas from their noses or you will likely get burned and shot down, and perhaps never trusted again.  If you don't even have any power base to begin with, it will appear that your are greedy and someone that cannot be trusted.  Make sure to play to your strengths, figure out how those around you can help you with your own weaknesses, and create a team filled with the experiences you've learned from all the failures around you, and it will be hard for you to lose.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Powerful Pictures : Part Two

Hey everyone, not going to write a long post today, since i'll be fairly busy with completing a few assignments that are near their due date, however expect some fresh new content in the near future.  Today i'm going to post some more Powerful Picture, ones that have already or are still changing the world as we see it today.

P O W E R F U L   P I C T U R E S   :   P A R T   T W O

Starting off with a video, *turn up the volume WAY UP*

One small step, I feel that the running race is about to begin

A little girl whose parents were just shot and killed

Taken during the segregation riots in Boston

John Lennon's glasses, after he was shot in the head

I posted this picture before of the student at Tienanmen Square, but this is the more well known angle

Thà ch Quảng Ðức was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon intersection on June 11, 1963. His act of self-immolation, which was repeated by others, was witnessed by David Halberstam, a New York Times reporter, who wrote:
    " I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think.... As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.

Nagasaki [1945]

This is the picture of the "mushroom cloud" showing the enormous quantity of energy. The first atomic bomb was released on August 6 in Hiroshima (Japan) and killed about 80,000 people. On August 9 another bomb was released above Nagasaki. The effects of the second bomb were even more devastating - 150,000 people were killed or injured. But the powerful wind, the extremely high temperature and radiation caused enormous long term damage.

Casualties of war [1991]

Image of a young US sergeant at the moment he learns that the body bag next to him contains the body of his friend, killed by "friendly fire".

The widely published photo became an iconic image of the 1991 Gulf war - a war in which media access was limited by Pentagon restrictions.

How Life Begins [1965]

In 1957 he began taking pictures with an endoscope, an instrument that can see inside a body cavity, but when Lennart Nilsson presented the rewards of his work to LIFE's editors several years later, they demanded that witnesses confirm that they were seeing what they thought they were seeing. Finally convinced, they published a cover story in 1965 that went on for 16 pages, and it created a sensation. Then, and over the intervening years, Nilsson's painstakingly made pictures informed how humanity feels about . . . well, humanity. They also were appropriated for purposes that Nilsson never intended. Nearly as soon as the 1965 portfolio appeared in LIFE, images from it were enlarged by right-to-life activists and pasted to placards.

Friday, October 15, 2010

 Law 6
Court Attention at all Cost

Part 2: Create an Air of Mystery

"In a world growing increasingly banal and familiar, what seems enigmatic instantly draws attention.  Never make it too clear what you are doing or about to do.  Do not show all your cards.  An air of mystery heightens your presence; it also creates anticipation - everyone will be watching you to see what happens next.  Use mystery to beguile, seduce, even frighten. " 



So this is part two of the sixth law of power, creating an air of mystery.  Imagine, in the past, the world was filled with an infinite number of mysteries, from earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and many more.  Whatever we did not understand, became myths, legends, and spirits or gods, but now in our modern society, "We have managed, through science and reason, to illuminate the darkness."

As a result of this newfound light that has spread across nearly every region in the world, we all crave enigmas, mysteries, and people that cannot easily be interpreted or analyzed.  The world has become filled with easily recognizable, stock characters which are becoming dull and boring; the mysterious, however, invite and excite the senses, opening many layers of interpretation and invariably drawing the limelight and attention to it.

To create an air of mystery, you do not need to be "grand or awe-inspiring," but instead weave the mysterious aspects of yourself subtly in your everyday actions.  Remember, most people in today's world are as easy to read as an open book, they take little care in crafting their image and choosing which words escape their mouth.  

"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."

Imagine someone like Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the most famous men who ever existed in this world.  He was a genius in many areas including art, science, sculpture, engineering, and much more.  His mystery, however, heightened his name exponentially, and he knew how to invoke curiosity and wonderment from his peers.  For example, he did some strange things such as writing his notebook entries in mirror script which made his work discernible for many years after his death until people actually figured out what he was up to.

Also, we can see the mysterious layers hidden in his art work, which are still being constantly debated and interpreted today.  The Mona Lisa, for example, has sparked controversy and debate for centuries, as well as The Last Supper and the Vetruvian man.  He enjoyed a unique fame throughout his whole lifetime, and has been forever immortalized through his mysterious actions and subtly layered brilliance in all of his works.

"Authority: if you do not declare yourself immediately, you arouse expectation ... Mix a little mystery with everything, and the very mystery stirs up veneration.  And when you explain, be not too explicit ... In this manner you imitate the Divine way when you cause men to wonder and watch. " (Baltasar Gracian , 1601-1658)

Lastly, I will discuss the reversal of this law, and that is of course to never apply this law to the point where you are repeating the same thing over and over, tiring people out and making them think you are desperate for attention.  There are times when the best course of action is to remain hidden with the crowd, and not to defend or attack the reputation of someone who will destroy yours if given the chance.

"Never appear greedy for attention, then, for it signals insecurity, and insecurity drives power away."  This goes back to the other laws of power I discussed earlier in my blog posts, "Never outshine the master," and in general, be prudent of your actions, and always take time to reflect and consider ways you can improve yourself in other ways.

Thanks for reading, keep tuned for the next post, will be different in some way but you'll have to wait and see ;)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rule #6: Court Attention at all Cost - Part 1

 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."

C O U R T   A T T E N T I O N   A T   A L L   C O S T

Good evening everyone, here to deliver another interesting and informative post on the laws of power.  In the near future i'll probably be mixing it up with posts related to different books and not just Robert Greene's.  This is one of the laws that I personally find to be the most intriguing, significant, and also at same time, quite dangerous if not applied properly.  I appreciate all the great comments and feedback on my other posts, make sure to read some of the other posts in the archives and leave a comment as well!  I'm going to start including "headers" and please let me know if you like it or not.  This post will consist of two parts since I don't want to make it super long.  Now i'll begin...

"Draw attention to yourself by creating an unforgettable, even controversial image.  Court scandal.  Do anything to make yourself seem larger than life and shine more brightly than those around you.  Make no distinction between kinds of attention - notoriety of any sort will bring you power.  Better to be slandered and attacked than ignored."


Attention, there are some of us who are born with the natural grace and talent that seems to mesmerize and  control the ones around us.  On the other hand, there are people who have to work extremely hard to receive any sort of attention, but anyone can do it, given practice, patience, and a little bit of luck.

"Once peoples eyes are on you, you have a special legitimacy," and this attention is one of the most valuable things attainable in your quest for power.  I love to use the Kanye West/Taylor Swift picture above as an example of how smart Kanye was for pulling a stunt like that.  All good actors/actresses, and anyone else in the media business knows that it is of unequivocal importance to stay in the limelight, and to keep everyone's eyes focused on them.  Nowadays the attention span of the average human is extremely limited, there are a tremendous amount of funny, smart, and educated people that have a knack for attracting attention to themselves.

In the beginning, there is no good or bad attention, they all work in your favour.  If a lot of people are attacking your image, they are at least paying attention to you and not ignoring you, this may sound a bit stupid, but there is a method to this madness.  This ties in with an earlier post I wrote about learning how to use your enemies, bringing attention to yourself will inevitably bring you more enemies, whats important is how you learn to use them to increase your power base.

Learning How to Play the Game

Attention is very similar to fire.  You must constantly feed the flames with anything you can find to keep it alive, and to never stop burning.  No one is born with the skills needed to "burn more brightly" than others, you have to learn how to attract the attention to you.  When people try to douse your flame with water in an attempt to put it out, you must learn how to manipulate that water, and instead turn it into gasoline.  There is no obvious way to counter an attack, and use it to increase your power base, but just imagine all of the hundreds of times where scandal and personal attacks have actually benefited someone in the long run.  Of course, I am not telling you to draw attention to yourself by doing something really stupid like burning down your school or drowning innocent puppies, but instead to avoid being a "flash in the pan," and doing things that inspire strong feelings of wonderment, joy, confusion? etc.

Our society, and future generations, will always desire "larger than life figures," those who shine brighter than the rest and illuminate what would otherwise be a grey and dull world.  That is why the entertainment industry has grown consistently and rapidly over the last few centuries, and is evolving with the times, always adapting and anticipating the needs of both the young and the older audiences.  Even professionals of any kind must follow this law of power, since there is always a showmanship part to every job which separates the successful and the mediocre.

According to Robert Greene, if you are in a position of low power and have very little attention paid to you, you should attack the "most visible, most famous, and most powerful person you can find."  Personally, I think this is a strategy that is very dangerous, and I would probably not recommend it unless you have a very clear plan of what you are going to do next, and how you will defend the potential attempts of people who want to take your life afterwards.  Also, doing this may make you appear weaker and desperate, so you must plan ahead and make sure that it is worthwhile before doing something that might damage your reputation beyond repair.

"Once in the limelight you must constantly renew it by adapting and varying your method of courting attention.  If you don't, the public will grow tired, will take you for granted, and will move on to a newer star.  The game requires constant vigilance and creativity.  Pablo Picasso never allowed himself to fade into the background; if his name became too attached to a particular style, he would deliberately upset the public with a new series of paintings that went against all expectations.  Better to create something ugly and disturbing, he believed, than to let viewers grow too familiar with his work.  Understand: People feel superior to the person whose actions they can predict.  If you can show them who is in control by playing against their expectations, you gain their respect and tighten your hold on their fleeting attention"

To be continued....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Powerful Quotes

Hey everyone, been really busy with schoolwork, so going to keep this post a bit shorter than usual, but expect more posts on the laws of power in the coming days.

My goal from the start has been to write interesting posts that are relevant to our society today, and to inject some of my own style and wit into the content, please feel free to leave comments or suggestions!

After writing this i'll be going to read a lot of your blogs and am excited to read more interesting content.  Hope you all have a good weekend, I have an extended one so i'll try and catch up with my blogging further.

P O W E R F U L    Q U O T E S

We all know a few quotes by heart that help us get by when were feeling weak, scared, and alone.  Here are a few that I really like, please share some of your own.

Hope you all enjoyed this, have a great weekend

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rule #5 So Much Depends on Reputation - Guard it With Your Life

 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."

There is nothing more important than building and protecting your reputation.  Some people spend their whole lives carefully crafting their reputation piece by piece only to see it crumble before their eyes.  Nowadays it is even more important to carefully guard your reputation from potential attacks simply because there are so many more opportunities for your enemies to ambush you from all sides, due to the prevalence of social networking technologies, blackberry messenger, and more.  At the same time though, those who can leverage and utilize these new gadgets that have defined the information age are likely to build a powerful network that will help at building a solid reputation.

R E P U T A T I O N   I S   E V E R Y T H I N G  -  G U A R D   I T   W I T H   Y O U R   L I F E

"For as Cicero says, even those who argue against fame still want the books they write against it to bear their name in the title and hope to become famous for despising.  Everything else is subject to barter: we will let our friends have our goods and our lives if need be; but a case of sharing our fame and making someone else the gift of our reputation is hardly to be found."

Montaigne, 1553-1592     

To a degree, everyone around us is like a mystery that can never be solved or understood fully.  No matter what sort of appearances someone presents, there is always a part of it that is simply an act, and it is nearly impossible to penetrate and probe the hidden layers of the mind.  That is why most people choose to rely on appearances to make their judgement on an individual instead of carefully investigating their actions and true motives.

The reason why reputation is so crucial to building and maintaining a power base is because "it gives you a degree of control over how the world judges you," meaning that you essentially have a force field that can repel attacks for you without even having to do anything.  Beware though, kinks in this protection generated from your reputation can be pierced and shattered if pressed against a weakness that you have left unguarded.

For example, professional athletes are always under pressure to perform to bring victory to their team, even after wining a championship, there are doubts raised about using performance increasing drugs, the whole reputation and victory can turn into disaster.

The key to building power is to focus on one particular aspect of your reputation that is your greatest strength,  whether it be in charm, grace, civility, leadership, seductiveness, or more.  Continue to focus on this one aspect and once it grows larger, and begins to become better known, watch as it spreads like wildfire.

Never take your reputation for granted, there is no reversal to this law, and ruining your reputation is very likely to deal blows to you to the point where recovery will be a long and painful process.  If this does happen though, and your reputation takes a nasty hit from an enemy attack, you could try joining forces with someone with a greater image, if they will allow you to recover from beneath the shadowy protection of their own reputation.

Thanks for all the great comments on the last few posts, i'm going to put up a poll pretty soon to gauge what you guys are liking about these posts, and how they can be improved.  I'm still fairly busy with school, but i'll try to find the time to update this blog as often as I can, as I know there are some readers out there who really enjoy reading these posts.  Make sure to check out my other blogs, their are links above.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Rule #4: Always Say Less than Necessary

 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 sphinxlike.  Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less.  The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish."

Hope everyones having a great weekend, thanks for your comments on my earlier post, will get back to responding to every soon after i'm done writing this.  I'll keep this post a little bit shorter than the other ones (hence following the rule myself?) But as usual, i'll keep it interesting and informative.

I'm still trying to figure out a name for my new domain, but I did find somewhere to host and should be up and running fairly soon.  Thanks for the continued support of my blogs, please share with your friends or whoever else might be interested, I always appreciate more readers and feedback on my writing!

A L W A Y S     S A Y     L E S S    T H A N    N E C E S S A R Y

Many of us have run into trouble in our lives because we have said too much, revealed something unintentionally that we have come later to regret.  Every word that escapes your mouth is recorded deep in the etches of your mind, and also to those around you who hear the words you speak.  It creates a lasting impression over time, even if the words don't seem like they mean much, or are insignificant.  Whenever you make a sarcastic remark, or talk endlessly about your plans and goals, you run the threat of hurting your own power base.  Always say less than necessary:

"Power is in many ways a game of appearances, and when you say less than necessary, you inevitably appear greater and more powerful thank you are.  Your silence will make other people uncomfortable.  Humans are machines of interpretation and explanation; they have to know what you are thinking.  When you carefully control what you reveal, they cannot pierce your intentions of meaning."

Personally, I have felt the effect of this law's significance many times in my life, and this is why I am writing about these laws in the first place, to help remind me of its existence and on its possible applications.  There is a reversal to this law, and if you are too shut in, never talk to anyone, and are secretive to an extreme, you will also lose in your quest for power, remember to never believe any advice unless you truly believe it and feel that it may provide answers at the "truth."

Robert Greene tells an interesting story of a man who cheated death at the gallows after the rope snapped, saving his life.  When the Czar of Russia, Nicholas I heard the news, he was amazed, and believed that this was a sign from God himself that the man was innocent and deserved to be pardoned.  Right before he signed the pardon that would have saved the man's life, he asked if the prisoner had said anything after the miraculous turn of events.

"Sire," The messenger replied, "he said in Russia they don't even know how to make rope."

You can wager a guess at what happened next.  The Czar promptly ripped the pardon and declared, "In that case, let's prove the contrary."

This is the fate of the man who does not know when to speak, and when to keep his mouth shut.  Every outburst we make, and careless remark, could come back to haunt us in the future.  That is why wise men and women know that the less they say, the more they can observe, listen, and reserve their words for when the time is more proper, instead of throwing them around carelessly.

Like I said earlier, i'm going to keep this post shorter, and then after maybe it would be a good idea to reflect upon some times in your life where you overstepped your bounds, maybe said something that you wish you didn't, and next time, you'll be wiser for it, and not hurt yourself or the ones you love.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Powerful Pictures

Hey everyone, its Friday, and i'm sure you don't want to do a lot of reading, so i'm going to go a bit off-topic and post some powerful pictures from different times in history.  Thanks for all your great comments and for supporting my blogs.  I will try and keep it fresh, interesting, and relevant to your interests, always.

"A picture is worth a thousand words," but I think its much more than that.  A picture can define an era, it can destroy one.  It can raise fear, hope, spread unity, or discord.  It can make one famous, or ruin someone elses life.  Why do we take pictures of everything around us?  The answer again, although sometimes deep rooted, is power.

Many great and powerful families have fully documented their lives with pictures and have professional scribes to recount their lives since they were small.  Imagine people like the Rockerfellers, old families who have established power bases so huge, it is almost incomprehensible to some.

Even the famous Japanese cannibal, Issei Sagawa, knew to document and keep pictures of the horrific acts he commited after murdering an innocent and beautiful Dutch university student in Paris more than twenty years ago.  Pictures establish power if used correctly, and can inspire hope to those who need it most.  Propoganda?  Perhaps, but it is undeniable that the future will contain more pictures, some which have yet to be taken, but have the potential to change the world.

P O W E R F U L     P I C T U R E S

A satellite view of Hurricane Katrina