The 48 Laws of Power PDF
Download The 48 Laws of Power PDF Book here. Below this article, we have provided a download link to Download PDF Free of cost. The 48 Laws of Power is a non-fiction book by American author Robert Greene. The book is a bestseller, selling over 1.2 million copies in the United States, and is popular with prison inmates and celebrities.
|The 48 Laws of Power
The 48 Laws of Power Summary
Law #1: Never Outshine the MasterNicolas Fouquet made the mistake of appearing larger than his King, Louis XIV, and spent his remaining days incarcerated. Avoid victories over superiors. It will cost you more than it is worth.
Law #2: Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn How to Use Enemies Michael III of the Byzantine Empire was saved from death by Basilius, who Michael in turn favored with gifts and prestige. Basilius, lusting for more power, murdered Michael out of greed. Instead of showing gratitude. He was insatiable. Trust from a distance. People are selfish and pursue their own interests. Former opponents make more loyal and stronger friends.
Law #3: Conceal Your IntentionsThe Marquis de Sevigne wanted to seduce a young countess. Instead of being indirect and subtle, he exposed his true feelings for her and she lost all interest as he blurted out that he loved her. Add a sense of inexplicable mystery to your character.
Law #4:Always Say Less than necessary due to his unpredictability Louis XIV would have his courtiers tremble in fear when delivering bad news. He would say “I shall see”, have them leave the room, and either take action or decide to do nothing about the issue, but always with an intimidating silence. Only speak when you have something meaningful to say. Actions speak louder than words.
Law #5: So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard It With Your life during the Second World War Erwin Rommel was known for his superior skill in cunning and deceptive strategy. All of the opposition were demoralized and doubting their chances of success facing him. Your reputation precedes you. Build and protect it carefully.
The 48 Laws of Power
Law #6: Court Attention at all CostPablo Picasso would not allow himself to fade into the background. He would rather paint something out of the ordinary and ugly than be forgotten. All publicity is good publicity. Don’t let yourself become one of many.
Law #7: Get Others to Do the Work for YouThomas Edison wasn’t much of a scientist, but a businessman. He would capitalize on Nikola Tesla’s genius and garner all the credit. Hire talents capable of doing what you can’t.
Law #8: Make Other People Come To You – UseBait if Necessary “When I have laid the bait for deer, I don’t shoot at the first doe that comes to sniff, but wait until the whole herd has gathered round.” – Otto von Bismarck Force your opponent to react to your moves.
Law #9: Win Through Your Actions – Not ThroughArgument Mucianus needed strong ships. Without guarding his tongue his engineer argued that a different type than the one Mucianus preferred would be much better for conquest. Despite being right the engineer was sentenced to death. Don’t argue with authorities. Agree and suggest an alternative, then demonstrate.
Law #10: Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and unlucky Lola Montez brought down the King of Bavaria and his whole kingdom by seducing him. Her lust for destruction and chaos was insatiable. Countless lives perished, because of her nature. Cut off the firestarters. Try to help them instead and you too will burn alongside them.
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Law #11: Learn To Keep People Dependent on you Otto von Bismarck led the King’s hand in uniting mighty Prussia. None other than Bismarck was able to do so. He proved himself to be an indispensable asset and had his strong position secured. Be the only one who can do what you do or see yourself replaced in fear sooner or later.
Law #12: Use Selective Honesty to Disarm YourVictim Count Victor Lustig was going to double AlCapone’s 50’000$. Instead of running with the money, he gave it all back to Capone who thought he was being played by a con artist. Capone gave Lustig the 5’000$ simply to help the “honest” man. Tell the truth to gain your opponent’s trust. Be honest when expected to be dishonest to throw your opponent off guard.
Law #13: Asking for Help Appeal to People’sSelf Interest In 433 B.C., the Athenians found themselves in a favorable position. The Corcyrans & the Corinthians were preparing for war. Both parties wanted to secure the help of the Athenians. The Corinthians chose to remind them of existing debt. The Corcyrans on the other hand spoke only of mutual interests, the combined force of their navy directed at Sparta. The Athenians allied with the Corcyrans. In sales of any kind, pragmatic arguments will always trump emotional appeals. The past does not matter. Don’t count on loyalty. Aim for win-win deals.
Law #14: Pose as a Friend, Work as a SpyCharles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, French politician and mastermind behind Napoleon Bonaparte’sdefeat would hold himself back in conversation and get others to talk endlessly of themselves to the point of betraying their own thought, intent, and strategy. An interrogation disguised as a friendly chat, so subtle that the victim did not notice. Learn to judge a person’s character by what they reveal of themselves so that you can recognize a threat before it arises. Test people’s honesty before you consider trusting them.
Law #15: Crush Your Enemy TotallyA priest asked the dying Spanish statesman and general Ramon Maria Narvaez (1800-1868), “Does your Excellency forgive all your enemies?” “I do not have to forgive my enemies,” answeredNarvaez, “I have had them all shot.” The last resort, when words are no longer heard and the enemy cannot possibly be reasoned with, the chances for peace at their lowest, the only option is total destruction. Merely wound the enemy, he will recover and show no mercy in turn.
The 48 Laws of Power
Law #16: Use Absence to Increase Respect and honor A man said to a Dervish: “Why do I not see you more often?” The Dervish replied, “Because the words ‘Why have you not been to see me?’ are sweeter to my ear than the words ‘Why have you come again?'” – Mulla Jami, quoted in Idries Sha’s Caravan of Dreams, 1968 Give people time to miss you by robbing them of your presence. It’s when we lose something, that we discover how valuable it had been to us. On your return, you will be appreciated all the more.
Law #17: Cultivate an Air of UnpredictabilityOnce Pablo Picasso had become a recognized artist, others would assume that whatever action he took must have been calculated. The art dealer Paul Rosenberg was confused when one day Picasso told him they would no longer work together. Rosenberg couldn’t find out why and offered him a much better deal. The unpredictable is terrifying. When you don’t know what to expect you can not prepare properly, you can’t devise a clever plan, because you’re in the dark. Put others in such a position when negotiating.
Law #18: Isolation is DangerousThe more you are isolated, the easier it is to deceive you. You lose touch with reality. When someone is urging you to cut friends and family out of your life realize that they want to control and influence you all by themselves. Whether they do this consciously or unconsciously is malicious. Be careful in cutting yourself off from others for too long. Introverted or not you may cause yourself great harm psychologically by pushing others away from you.
Law #19: Do Not Offend the Wrong PersonMuhammad, the shah of Khwarezm, and Inalchik had beheaded Ghengis Khan’s messengers who had come in peace with great gifts and offerings. The Khan declared war, seized the enemy capital, and had Inalchik killed quote “by having molten silver poured into his eyes and ears.” Later Ghengis Khan seized Samarkand, bringing his brutal conquest of Muhammad’s vast empire to an end.
What would’ve become of Adolf Hitler had he been given the chance of becoming an artist? Perhaps history would be very different. Avoid insulting others, you do not know who you’re dealing with… even though we live in a time where everyone is offended and the level of political correctness borders on absolute madness.
Law #20: Do Not Commit to AnyoneAlcibiades, a greek soldier & statesman found himself courted by the Athenians and the Spartans, because he had an influence on the Persians and was honored by the Persians, because he had influence over the Greek city-states. Instead of committing to one side, he played all of them in his favor. Committing is like handing yourself over to someone else. It means more obligations and less control.
Law #21: Play a Sucker to Catch a SuckerSocrates said “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” He didn’t actually believe himself that he did not know anything. It was his way of disarming people. Sometimes you have to play dumb so that the other lets his guard down. Being openly smart is foolish. Being openly foolish is smart.
Law #22: Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power The Melians were prompted to surrender but declined the Athenians’ offer. Despite their alliance, the Spartans did not come to their rescue. Melos was conquered and their population was slaughtered& sold into slavery. To quote Cardinal de Retz “Weak people never give way when they ought to.” Avoid weakness, but when you find yourself in a weak spot, choose to fight another day. You will lose the current battle, but the war is not over.
Law #23: Concentrate Your ForcesThe greater an Empire’s territories the more vulnerability. Great lands need strong borders. Else they may be overrun by another barbarian tribe as seen with the collapse of Rome. Your armies are strongest when forged together. Divide them and they may not be able to protect the empire from an invasion. Dedicate your complete focus to one front, using every resource at your disposal and all of your energy to master your craft through total immersion.
Law #24: Play the Perfect CourtierOne cannot spell courtiers without Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Perigord, the man who brought down Napoleon Bonaparte, master of the battlefield, with extreme subtlety. You are a courtier, or courtier [French], whether you like it or not. You must play the game of power so you might as well choose to be good at it.
The perfect courtier obeys his masters but shines in his own light. He is not powerless, doesn’t trust, but appears trustful, doesn’t talk much, but finds the right words and the right timing when he does. Everyone likes him. He is charming, witty, and helpful and appears to be neutral, a paragon of honesty and fairness. He always has a genuine smile on his face and we don’t doubt his intentions for one second. Although he is a great talent, we are not threatened by him.
We seek him as an ally. This way, the perfect courtier holds more power than the king himself, without the dangers of that position. As we target the highest authorities, he’s in the shadows observing the current state of the chessboard. Pieces may fall and be sacrificed on both ends, but he is winning regardless. Learn the art of courtship.
Law #25: Recreate YourselfOthers will call you what they think you are or what they think they see in you. It’s all superficial. Every now and again you’ll receive a genuine compliment, but your parents, friends, society, even your government expects you to be someone or something else. It’s important that you choose to be whatever you want to be and that you feel free to change whenever you like. You have the freedom to dismiss the opinions of others, even to put on a good show like Gaius Julius Caesar.
The world is your stage. It’s up to you what role you want to play. Think of life as a book and you’re writing. You’re the main character, so act like it.
Law #26: Keep Your Hands CleanAs written in Niccolo Machiavelli’s letter to the prince, Cesare Borgia was using Remirrodi Orco as a tool to take gruesome action against all of his enemies. In the end, he used him as a scapegoat, but the full blame on di Orco and threw lavish banquets for the common folk, presenting not only his clean slate but positive change. It is the ultimate act of betrayal. To have someone’s back only to find out they’ve been using you this whole time. Avoid falling into the trap of being someone scans-paw or scapegoat.
Law #27: Play on People’s Need to Believe”There are two different types of people in the world, those who want to know, and those who want to believe.” – Friedrich NietzscheWe strive to find meaning in a world full of formless chaos. Hence most of us resort to the comfort of believing in unproven divine entities. Your quest for answers and your need to belong used against you, whether for your recruitment as a mindless disciple or your loyal customers hi for a particular brand. Christopher Hitchens wrote: “Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself.” End quote.
If someone claims to have all the answers, they are full of shit. Fall prey to them and all you are doing is giving more power to those who don’t have your best interest at heart. You cannot let others think for you. If something doesn’t make sense to you, perhaps like right now, feel free to dismiss it, but consider doing so on your own behalf.
Law #28: Enter Action with BoldnessIf you’re confident enough to play the role of Monsieur Lustig, one of the greatest con artists in history, selling the Eiffeltower to greedy scrap metal business owners looking to make a fortune overnight for millions of dollars, not once, but twice – one thing is crystal clear. You’re not playing around. You don’t hesitate and your moves have a high rate of success, be that in seduction, strategy, or power games.
There’s that one split second before a boxing fight, where Mike Tyson’s opponent will flinch and break eye contact. He already knows he’s beaten. There’s that scene where Marco Polo & KublaiKhan stare down a wolf. It’s hesitation versus boldness. In order to be fearless, you need courage. Be bold.
Law #29: Plan all the Way to the EndExcerpt from the book: “The Gods on Mount Olympus. Looking down on human actions from the clouds, they see in advance the endings of all great dreams that lead to disaster and tragedy. Download The 48 Laws of Power. And they laugh at our inability to see beyond the moment, and at how we delude ourselves.” Before you take action consider the possible outcomes and consequences, calculate the risk, then execute, if it’s worth doing. However, as time goes on things reform and it would be foolish to stick to a plan that ignores the change.
Law #30: Make Your Accomplishments Seem EffortlessHarry Houdini made his stunt performances look like they were a walk in the park, a piece of cake, as easy as stealing a child’s lollipop. No one saw just how much work, preparation, and practice went into every piece of the puzzle. This illusion we call magic. Make it look like it was improvised, made up on the spot and it will seem genuine. Boast how much work went into something and its natural allure, the magic, is gone.
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Law #31: Get others to Play with the Cards you Deal Ivan the Terrible let Russia choose between him as their czar or total destruction from its enemies, the Boyars. He made them see that they could only possibly be protected by him. It wasn’t really a choice and the Russians probably had other options that they were unaware of. They begged him to come back to the capitol and lead them. This was what he wanted all along. People like to think they have a choice. Present them options that will work for you either way. This is the norm in elections and anything of real importance. Just like Houdini’s performance, it is an illusion.
Law #32: Play to People’s FantasiesPeople’s need to believe, people’s fantasies – there isn’t a big difference. Il Brigadino was an Alchemist. People believed he could turn objects like wood into gold. Ironically the only gold he ever made was given to him by the people who wanted him to multiply it. And others started to learn and practice alchemy. The 48 Laws of Power. Stop clicking on How to Make a Million DollarsOvernight type clickbait, stop buying 6-min ab workout programs and stop going to the7 Steps On How to Pull Hot Chicks Within Hours event and get real. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Law #33: Discover Each Man’s ThumbscrewCardinal Richelieu would find out the weaknesses of everyone around him, then worked on it by being useful to them until they were of no use to him. One by one he worked his way up to the king, who at the time was a mere child. Know the weak spots of your opponents, the crack in their defense and you will know what to work with when you need it. In reverse do not betray your own weaknesses.
Law #34: Be Royal in Your Own Fashion – act like King Christopher Columbus did not accept his low standing in the world he was born. He recreated his family tree, married into nobility, and peddled with kings. Now, unless he was mad, people thought, there must be valid reasons behind his bold requests. He must be legitimate. Ask for less, receive less. Download The 48 Laws of Power. What you tolerate is what you end up with. Do not think lowly of yourself. You’re a king in your own right. You’re a queen in your own right. Princes & princesses are no good today.
Law #35: Master the Art of TimingJoseph Fouché was switching sides whenever he sensed danger. His biography is riddled with nigh impossible escapes from death. He did not deem it necessary to be loyal to disloyal men. Say what you want of his attitude, but certainly knew when to act and when to lay low. With time comes change. It is important to not only know how to adapt but at what exact moment for maximum effect. Too fast and you’re a traitor. Too late and you’re imitating the others. In any case, learn to use the time to your advantage. The 48 Laws of Power PDF.
Law #36: Disdain Things You Cannot HaveKing Henry VIII of England ignored his wife Cathrine of Aragon for denying him a son. With Thomas Cromwell on his side, he devised a clever plan to marry Anne Boelyn. When you ignore someone they cannot argue with you. They cannot influence you. You’re out of reach and they can’t do anything about it. If there is something you cannot and will never have, it is best to push it aside with discontent.
Law #37: Create Compelling SpectaclesDr. Weisleder healed his patients with the mere energy of moonlight. Why was this obvious scam so successful? Well, people didn’t have the internet back then, but they also believed it was too spectacular to be a fraud. The grandiosity, the associated status, rich and famous personalities were waiting in line to be healed and healed again.
Using symbols as powerful as the moon and the very absence of explanation let people fill in the logical gaps all by themselves. If everyone believes it, it must be true. Mark Twain wrote, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
Law #38: Think As You Like, But Behave LikeOthers 478 B.C the fearless and experienced warriorPausinias and his Greek troops captured part of the Persian empire. Being the overseer of these lands went to his head and he began acting rather strangely, even for Pausanias. He spoke ill of his own people. Feeling and showing superiority breeds hate. His god-complex and constant need to stand out had him killed in the end. You want to fit in, whether you share common beliefs or not.
Being better or different in any way just causes trouble through other people’s envy and disdain. They’ll ostracise you from the group and slander your reputation. How much money do you make? About 70% of whatever they make.
Law #39: Stir Up Waters to Catch FishThis is the good old lay a trap with bait and wait. Monkey see monkey do. The spiderweb. Mice desire cheese so much, they won’t even see the obvious construction around it. When you know your enemies and their weaknesses you know what they react to and you use this knowledge against them. Create a false alarm. They’ll make a run to save what they hold so dearly and weaken themselves by exposing their flank.
That’s where you hit them. That’s certainly where they will hit you if you fall for it. Keep yourself from being reactive. All that rage, blinding emotions, fear, desire. It makes you predictable and it makes you weak. Don’t be impulsive.
Law #40: Despise the Free LunchLouis XIV had an eagle eye for the strategic power of money. He would gift paintings of great value to people who didn’t like him very much, until then. This way he got nobility, the keys to power, on his side. At the same time, he increased operational costs for the aristocrats who wanted him gone. It’s ingenious. He took money from his enemies and gave it to his new friends. Two birds with one stone.
This is one of my favorite laws because it states that cheap misers miss out on opportunities. It pays to be generous and it pays not to accept “free” gifts. What is the Return of Investment (ROI) on paying for someone’s coffee? You sit down at Starbucks with an influential, connected, and experienced entrepreneur. You get to talk to him for 10 minutes, ask his advice, learn from his mistakes. I don’t care if the coffee costs 50$, I’m paying because there is a lot of upsides.
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Law #41: Avoid Stepping into a Great Man’sShoes Alexander the Great’s father had set the standard of achievement very high. Alexander wasn’t going to be content in his father’s shadow. He wasn’t going to rest on his father’s and later on his own laurels. “When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.” Now imagine if Alexander the Great had had a son who wanted to be a conqueror.
That he would pale in comparison is an understatement. Not a soul would’ve attributed his success to him for he’d achieve everything on the shoulders of his father. Don’t make it your life’s task to be better at being someone else. Instead, go your own way. Unapologetically be your best self.
Law #42: Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter “When the tree falls, the monkeys scatter.” “Cut the snake at the head.” What is an army without its generals, without leadership? Whole empires have been secured off of conscientious leaders with iron willpower and vision. Take them away and much like Alexander’s empire after his death, they break apart and crumble, turning on each other, defecting and deserting. Often the glue that sticks everything together consists of a few key people at the top in any kind of organization, any kind of social group, or hierarchy. Do with this information what you will.
Law #43: Work on the Heart and Mind of OthersOctober of 1793, the French Revolution declared the end of the monarchy. Marie-Antoinette knelt at the guillotine for she never cared about the people’s opinion of her as their queen. She thought herself above the common folk. Pampered and disgustingly narcissistic she paid the price, never learning from her mistakes. You should influence people and win friends as Dale Carnegie suggests.
It is more than beneficial to be recognized for your kindness and helpful demeanor. Be agreeable or face the consequences of being indifferent. Be humble or be humbled.
Law #44: Disarm and Infuriate With the MirrorEffect Alcibiades charmed the Athenians, got accused of profaning sacred statues and fled, then charmed the Spartans, impregnated the king’s wife and fled, then charmed the Persians and helped Athens win their war against Sparta. They welcomed him back with open arms. “Wherever Alcibiades went, whoever he had to deal with, he would leave behind his own values and appear to share the values of his victims.
No one could resist a man who not only concurred with them but also admired their ways of living, seeming to be one of their own.” You like people, who like you, who are like you. Match people’s energy, speak their language, eat their food, find common ground and even envious people will drop their preconceived notions about you.
Law #45: Preach Change But Never Reform QuicklyChange is imperative, but human beings love the comforting familiarity provides. The unknown, disorder, and chaos are very disruptive and undesirable to us, even when it is for the better. Hence, we need small, incremental changes that build over a long period of time allowing everyone to adjust at a comfortable pace. You are moving things in the right direction while avoiding stirring up too much anxiety and dissent. Change things gradually, one step at a time, dragging the voluntary rest of us with you. The 48 Laws of Power PDF.
Law #46 Never Appear Too Perfect” It takes great talent and skill to conceal one’s talent and skill.” – La RochefoucauldIf you have been paying attention, you will have noticed that a lot of these power plays revolve around the master and the student or slave, domination and submission, superiority or authority and inferiority, ego, pride, arrogance and envy, jealousy, hatred.
It’s a very vicious and ultimately destructive cycle. Everyone wants to be the king, no one wants to be the pawn. Me, I don’t want to be a pawn, but I don want to be the king either. I don’t want to envy nor be envied and want to be the faceless man behind the throne. I don’t want to be on the chessboard & don’t want to be a visible target, but I still want to win at the game of power no matter what side loses.
Law #47: In Victory Learn When To StopIn 1751 Madame de Pompadour found herself unable to satisfy Louis XV’s lust. To hold onto her privileged position she arrange for younger, prettier women to keep the king happy. This was a loss for she had to swallow her pride and share Louis with others. They, however, could not compete with her charm, talents, taste, and flawless sense of fashion. “Her reign as mistress had lasted an unprecedented twenty years.” Don’t push too far or you risk losing it all. Know when to take a loss and move on.
Law #48: Assume FormlessnessThe Spartans, the most powerful infantry the world had ever seen at the time, lost the war with Athens, for they were outnumbered and unwilling to change their views. They did not adapt to circumstances, not build walls. They did not want to conquer new lands, nor engage in trade for gold gave rise to corruption. Meanwhile, Athens was thriving through constant reform. Sparta fell behind and collapsed.
Don’t fight change. When you catch yourself in the futile attempt to resist a new order, remind yourself that you not only missed the opportunity to predict it but to adapt to it in time. You have to be antifragile. As Bruce Lee said, and this is the closing statement, “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water into a cup, it becomes the cup, When you pour water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
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