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48 Laws of Power
The mind is a complex piece of our very complicated nature and is a root to many
discoveries and untold issues. With the advancement of society in terms of culture and
technology it can be said people have the potential to be geniuses, but this does give way to an
overwhelming sense of laziness. This laziness gives way to possible imagination, mental illness,
theory, and etc. In the book, 48 Laws of Power, many qualities of the mind were discussed, and
this was compared to real world issues and ideas (Robert Greene). Though a bit harsh and direct
in some entries it does serve to being a quality source of information for those that seek for
mental development. The acquisition of power is the center of this book and has the content
necessary for making a person more aware of their actions. Mental stability though difficult to
completely grasp, is important to a person’s function and can be expressed in a variety of ways.
To begin it is important to understand the ideologies Robert Greene used to craft these
entries. He is an author and has a qualification in classical studies. His journey in being an author
drifted into many different paths as he began to show interest in psychology and philosophy
which would lead to him writing many captivating books but none matching the New York
Times bestseller “48 Laws of Power”. Psychology is very abstract and can be seen from many
perspectives and this book references many past events and relates it to how to get higher in
terms of the expression of power. Each laws description gets more complicated in context as the
book progresses yet the laws themselves are as simple as they can be. This can be assumed to
touch on how difficult it is to acquire power not over people but over oneself and the level of
composure and critical thinking needed to understand the book and convey what is being said.
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This would also show how direct laws are in the beginning in comparison to later laws.
Understanding the social aspect in terms of certain ways to express power and how these actions
make an impact serve as a brace for a reader progressing through the piece. Each law is stated in
list form to with individual summaries in the prelude of the book. Greene emphasizes through
most of the laws the importance of being almost a shadow to whoever it is that you are trying to
express power to, “Appearing better than others is always dangerous…” (Greene) which was
mentioned in law 46. Despite almost all the laws holding a certain level of indirectness the book
is centered around the importance of understanding the actions of a leader and never seeming to
challenge authority. Every law has some form of reference to either the attention or outlandish
behavior of authority which is important to note if its an aspiration for the reader to be in a place
of power.
Kings and queens were the primary source of power used in almost all the literature
presented for each law. One very important point to be made is that events discussed occurred in
the time period before the 21st century. Political figures told in the stories were used to explain
these laws held much authority over the people they governed and were able to express a sense
of control no matter the situation. Law 2 in the book states “ Never Put Too Much Trust In
Friends, Learn How To Use Enemies”. A story told in support of this law portrays how Secretary
of State Henry Kissinger made a policy benefiting those against him. Antiwar activists plotted to
kidnap and kill him and to change their minds he shared his plans for resolving any foreign
conflict (Greene). Through this he was able to gain the rebels trust and resolve any potential
threats. With the uprising of the people the General could have easily sparked a civil war falling
through with the emotions expressed by his citizens. With his mental stability and experience he
was able to control to outcome of the situation to prevent violence.
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48 Laws of Power is what can be regarded as a guide to the development of a person’s
mind and understanding how to control and express his or herself in any given situation. In law 9
of the book it is stated to “ Win Through your Actions – Never Through Your Words”. In a one
of the stories presented in this section of the law a painter known as Michelangelo faced much
criticism from his instructor on his painting. Michael spent what was quoted as “weeks” working
on this piece just to be ridiculed on how unpresentable it was. Instead of defending himself with
words he made one small edit to the nose in front of the instructor, and this pleased him. The
instructor showed delight almost instantly saying “ I like it better, you’ve made it come alive.”
This portrays how self-control can get one out of the most treacherous situations. Arguing is
sometimes a one-way route to extra issues and could save a person from what could be an
avoided altercation or missed opportunity. Self-control is an important quality this book tries to
engrain in the readers mind and being able to understand it and execute is an effective way to
establish mental clarity and stability.
Though execution is important to almost all things a person wants to achieve it is
important to have moments of little to no pressure to maintain firmness. In the article Building
Better Mental Health it emphasizes the importance of having coping mechanisms (Smith).
Having aids when in tough makes for a more resilient character and introduce the feel to step
outside the box. Solutions to many issues become easier to solve when mental health is tended
to. Additionally in the article The Science of Developing Mental Toughness in Your Health,
Work, and Life it mentions that mental strength comes not from a person talent but “consistency
and commitment to ones goals”. Through understanding how important it is to commit to
something you cherish many achievements can be made and much knowledge is gained in
regards to what used to be challenging scenarios. The article breaks down the importance of
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patience and how establishing it can lead to influencing others and therefore spreading very
reliable information. Both articles initiated various points that tie back to the book 48 Laws of
Power and overall show how important some factors are to being mentally solidified.
All in all 48 Laws of Power is more than just a book but a work of art that has been long
standing in domain of personal development since its release. The book held many perspectives
using the laws because of how important it is to see from another person’s point of view; and
application of these laws in daily life is the main goal of this piece.
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Greene, Robert, “The 48 laws of power”, Penguin Publishing Group,2000, pp104-110, pp209211.
Smith, Melinda.” Building Better Mental Health, American Journal of Psychiatry,2021.
Clear, James.” Toughness in Your Health, Work, and Life, Liquid Web, 2021.