Law 1: Never Outshine The Master. - Deepstash
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Law 1: Never Outshine The Master.

Law 1: Never Outshine The Master.

Everyone has insecurities. Those who attain high standing in life want to feel secure in their positions, and superior to those around them.

  • Commit harmless mistakes that will not hurt you in the long run but will give you the chance to ask for his help.
  • Make it clear that your advice is merely an echo of his advice.
  • You cannot worry about upsetting every person you come across but you must be selectively cruel. If he is very weak and ready to fall, let nature takes its course.

Key to Power: Never take your position for granted.

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9.2K reads


Law 8: Make Other People Come To You—Use Bait If Necessary.

  • Master your anger yet play on people’s natural tendency to react angrily when pushed and baited.

Key to Power: Keep the initiative, to get others to react to your moves and keep them on the defensive.


3.57K reads

Law 30: Make Your Accomplishments Seem Effortless.

  • Research and practice endlessly before appearing in public.
  • Conceal the effort behind one’s work. One never sees the source of a god’s power revealed; one only sees its effects.
  • Revealing tricks lets others use them against you.
  • The more mystery surro...


973 reads

Law 23: Concentrate Your Forces

  • Drunk with success and sick with ambition, empires expand to grotesque proportions and meet a ruin that is total.
  • Concentrate on a single goal and beat it into submission.
  • Extent alone never rises above mediocrity, and it is the misfortune of men with wide ge...


1.28K reads

Law 4: Always Say Less Than Necessary.

  • Power is, in many ways, a game of appearance, and when you say less than necessary, you inevitably appear more powerful than you are.
  • Once the words are out, you cannot take them back.
  • Short answers and silences will put people on the defensi...


4.83K reads

Law 18: Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself—Isolation is Dangerous.

  • Maintaining power requires social interaction.
  • An isolated person is an easy target with limited access to information.
  • Choose isolation only as a last resort

Key to Power: When faced with threats, resist th...


1.82K reads

Law 47: Do Not Go Past the Mark You Aimed For; In Victory, Learn When to Stop.

Law 47: Do Not Go Past the Mark You Aimed For; In Victory, Learn When to Stop.

  • You must be guided by reason. To let a momentary thrill or an emotional victory influence or guide your movies will prove fatal.
  • History is littered with ruins of victorious empires and corpses of leaders who could not learn to stop and consolidate t...


720 reads

Law 42: Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep Will Scatter.

Law 42: Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep Will Scatter.

  • In every group, there is a person who controls the power, determining the group's effectiveness. 
  • Find the source and isolate them: physically, politically, or psychologically.
  • Lure him away from their power base at the criti...


665 reads

Law 10: Infection — Avoid The Unhappy And Unlucky.

  • People are highly susceptible to the emotions and pathologies of those they spend time with.
  • The most damaging types of infectors are those who are perpetually dissatisfied and aggrieved.

Key to Power: Choose who you are associated with carefully. 


3.03K reads

Law 40: Despise the Free Lunch.

  • What is offered free often comes with a psychological price tag.
  • Everything must be judged by its cost, and everything has a price.
  • Value the strategic generosity — “give when you are about to take” and put the recipient under obligation.
  • Be flexible ...


757 reads

Law 44: Disarm and Infuriate With the Mirror Effect.

  • The Neutralizing Effect: Do what your enemies do, following their actions as best you can, and they cannot see what you are up to—they are blinded by your mirror.
  • The Narcissus Effect: Reflect their desires, values, and tastes.
  • The Mo...


701 reads

Law 41: Avoid Stepping into A Great Man’s Shoes.

  • Many successors struggle when they have to succeed a great leader parent.
  • The father most often manages to amass his fortune, his kingdom, because he begins with little or nothing.
  • When a man like this has a son, he becomes domineering and oppressive, imposing his lessons on ...


699 reads

Law 26: Keep Your Hands Clean.

Law 26: Keep Your Hands Clean.

Part I: Have a Scapegoat to Take The Blame.

Our good name and reputation depend more on what we conceal than on what we reveal.

  • Shift the guilt and sin to an outside figure—object, animal, or man—which is banished.
  • Set up the


1K reads

Law 20: Do Not Commit To Anyone.

Law 20: Do Not Commit To Anyone.

Part I: Be Courted By All.

Play the Virgin Queen: Give them hope but never satisfaction.

  • Put yourself in the middle between competing powers.
  • Lure one side with the promise of your help; the other side, always wanting to o...


1.45K reads

Law 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.

  • The credit for an invention or creation is as important, if not more important, than the invention itself.
  • Keep your creation quiet until you can be sure there are no vultures circling overhead.
  • Learn to take advantage of other people...


3.23K reads

Law 6: Court Attention At All Cost.

  • Every crowd has a silver lining and they tend to act in conjunction.
  • Attach your name and reputation to a quality, an image, that sets you apart from other people.
  • Attack the most visible, most famous, most powerful p...


3.79K reads

Law 33: Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew.

  • Find the Helpless Child: Most weaknesses begin in childhood before the self builds up compensatory defenses.
  • Find the Weak Link: Win the favor of those behind the scenes and you indirectly influence the king. Find the one person who will bend under p...


860 reads

Law 32: Play to People’s Fantasies.

Law 32: Play to People’s Fantasies.

  • The Reality: Change is slow and gradual. It requires hard work, a bit of luck, a fair number of sacrifices, and a lot of patience.
  • The Fantasy: A sudden transformation will bring a total change in one’s fortunes, bypassing work, luck, self-sacrifice,...


847 reads

Law 25: Re-Create Yourself.

  • Forge a new identity, one of your own making, one that has had no boundaries assigned to it.
  • Develop self-awareness to take control of your appearances and emotions.
  • Create a memorable character that compels attention.


1.23K reads

Law 9: Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument.

  • When you argue with someone, even if they seem to agree with you, you can never be certain how they will react.
  • Demonstrating your point is more effective and powerful. 

Key to Power: Learn to demonstrate the correctness of your ideas...


3.12K reads

Law 14: Pose As A Friend, Work As A Spy.

  • Use spies or be a spy yourself.
  • Pay attention at social gatherings where people's guards are downs.
  • Share a fake confession and someone else will give you a real one.

Key to Power: Suppress oneself in the conversation, to make...


2.2K reads

Law 48: Assume Formlessness.

  • The powerful are not locked into a single system; they are constantly adapting their systems to suit their needs.
  • Learning to adapt to each new circumstance means seeing events through your own eyes and often ignoring the advice that people constantly peddle your way...


833 reads

Law 27: Play On People’s Need to Believe to Create A Cult-Like Following.

  • Keep it Vague; Keep it Simple: Most people want to hear that a simple solution will cure their problems.
  • Emphasize the Visual and the Sensual over the Intellectual: Create a spectacle.
  • Borrow the Forms of Organized Religion: ...


1.01K reads

Law 28: Enter Action With Boldness.

  • The Bolder The Better: Ask for the moon and you’ll be surprised how often you get it. The largeness of scale deceives the human eye.
  • Lions Circle the Hesitant Prey: Everything depends on perception, and once you demonstrate a willingness to compromis...


943 reads

Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally.

  • Chinese history abounds with examples of leaders who left their enemies alive out of mercy but returned to haunt them.
  • Recognize that you will accumulate enemies who you cannot bring over to your side, and that to leave them any escape will mean you are never secure.
  • When we ...


1.9K reads

Law 45: Preach the Need for Change, But Never Reform Too Much At Once.

  • Humans are creatures of habit and change upsets our routines.
  • The man who initiates strong reforms often becomes the scapegoat for any kind of dissatisfaction.
  • Preach change, but maintain the comforting appearance of familiar traditions.
  • ...


751 reads

Law 17: Keep Others in Suspended Terror—Cultivate An Air of Unpredictability.

  • Nothing is more terrifying than the sudden and unpredictable. We do not know when they will strike. After one has occurred, we wait in terror for the next one.
  • Unpredictability draws attention and gets people talking, especially if you are the under...


1.7K reads

Law 37: Create Compelling Spectacles.

  • Words stir up arguments and division; images, which bypass rational thought, create powerful emotional associations.
  • Use symbols to rally, excite, and unify your followers.
  • If you have to explain yourself your power is already in question.


783 reads

Law 21: Play A Sucker to Catch A Sucker — Seem Dumber Than Your Mark

  • Intelligence, taste, and sophistication are all things you can downplay to reassure others they are more advanced than you.
  • The easier they think it is to prey on you, the more easily you can turn the tables.

Key to Power: I...


1.54K reads

Law 43: Work On the Hearts and Minds of Others.

  • The key to persuasion is working on people's emotions and playing on their intellectual weaknesses.
  • Play on Contrasts: Push people to despair, then give them relief. If they expect pain and you give them pleasure, you win their hearts.
  • A grea...


722 reads

Law 13: When Asking For Help, Appeal To People’s Self-Interest, Never To Their Mercy or Gratitude.

  • Achieving power often requires seeking help from those above you.
  • To succeed in getting what you want, you need to understand their motives and tie them in with yours.

Key to Power: Understand the person you are dealing with, and not ...


2.44K reads

Law 22: Use The Surrender Tactic — Transform Weakness into Power

  • When you are weak, there is nothing to be gained by fighting a useless fight. No one comes to help the weak.
  • People trying to make a show of their authority are easily deceived by the surrender tactic: inwardly you stay firm, but outwardly you bend.
  • Your outw...


1.39K reads

Law 2: Never Put Too Much Trust In Friends, Learn To Use Enemies.

  • People forget the favors they have received and imagine they have earned their success on their own merits.
  • While a friend expects more and more favors and seethes with jealousy, these former enemies expect nothing and got everything.


7.37K reads

Law 36: Disdain Things You Cannot Have — Ignoring Them Is The Best Revenge.

  • You choose to let things bother you. Turn your back on what cannot harm you in the long run.
  • If there is something you want but that you realize you cannot have, the worse thing you can do is draw attention to your disappointment by complaining about it.
  • Treat your m...


784 reads

Law 46: Never Appear Too Perfect.

Never Underestimate the Power of Envy:

  • Once success happens, the people to fear the most are those in your own circle, the friends and acquaintances you have left behind.
  • Beware signs of envy: excessive praise, hypercritical people,


770 reads

Law 12: Use Selective Honesty And Generosity to Disarm Your Victim.

  • Give before you take.
  • Selective honesty is best employed on your first encounter with someone.
  • Calculated acts of kindness can turn a Capone into a gullible child.
  • Exceptions: When you have a history of deceit behind ...


2.59K reads

Law 38: Think As You Like But Behave Like Others.

  • Most unconventional people learn to blend in with others and to share their differing views only with like-minded people.
  • Display conventional behavior and mouth conventional ideas without having to believe in them.
  • Once you have established yourself in a position of power, y...


746 reads

Law 31: Control the Options — Get Others To Play With The Cards You Deal.

  • Withdrawal and disappearance are classic ways of controlling the options.
  • Give people a sense of how things will fall apart without you, and you offer them a “choice”: I stay away, and you suffer the consequences, or I return under circumstances that I dictate.
  • Color ...


885 reads

Law 29: Plan All The Way To The End.

  • The ending is everything that determines the glory, the money, the prize.
  • Overcome the natural tendency to react to things as they happen, and instead train oneself to step back.
  • So much of power is not what you do but what ...


937 reads

Law 39: Stir Up Waters to Catch Fish.

Law 39: Stir Up Waters to Catch Fish.

  • When the waters are still, your opponents have the time and space to plot against you. So stir the waters, force the fish to the surface, get them to act before they are ready, and steal the initiative.
  • Play on uncontrollable emotions: pride, vanity...


682 reads

Law 5: So Much Depends On Reputation—Guard It With Your Life.

  • Establish a reputation for one outstanding quality that sets you apart and gets other people to talk about you.
  • A solid reputation increases your presence and exaggerates your strengths without having to spend much energy.
  • It is wise to assoc...


4.24K reads

Law 24: Play the Perfect Courtier

The Laws of Court Politics

  • Avoid Ostentation: modesty is always preferable.
  • Practice Nonchalance: your talent must appear to flow naturally, with ease.
  • Be Frugal with Flattery: flatter indirectly...


1.2K reads

Law 35: Master the Art of Timing.

Law 35: Master the Art of Timing.

  • Power rarely ends up in the hands of those who start a revolution; power sticks to those who bring a conclusion.
  • Long Time: Have remarkable patience, control your emotions, and take advantage of opportunities when they arise.
  • Forced Time: Ups...


780 reads

Law 16: Use Absence to Increase Honor and Respect.

Law 16: Use Absence to Increase Honor and Respect.

  • Preserve and enhance your status by withdrawing at the right moment, just before people start getting tired of you.
  • Make yourself less accessible to increase your value in others' minds.
  • Image: The Sun. It can only be appreciated in its absence. ...


1.86K reads

Law 19: Know Who You’re Dealing With — Do Not Offend the Wrong Person.

The Arrogant and Proud Man: Any perceived slight will lead to a vengeance of overwhelming violence. Flee these people.

The Hopelessly Insecure Man: Attack you in small bites that will take forever to get big enough for you to notice. Do not stay around him....


1.58K reads

Law 34: Be Royal In Your Own Fashion: Act Like A King to Be Treated Like One.

  • It is within your power to set your own price.
  • Ask for less and that is just what you will get. Ask for more, however, and you send a signal that you are worth a king’s ransom.
  • The Strategy of the Crown: If we believe we are destined for grea...


802 reads

Law 11: Learn To Keep People Dependent On You.

Law 11: Learn To Keep People Dependent On You.

  • Do not mistake independence for power; power requires a relationship.
  • Fear you can control; love, never. Better to have others depend on you out of fear of the consequences of losing you than out of love for your company.
  • Make yourself so


2.68K reads

Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions.

Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions.

Part I: Use Red Herrings.

  • Our first instinct is to always trust appearances.
  • Cultivate an air of honesty in one area to disguise dishonesty in other.
  • Kill three birds with one stone: appear friendly, concea...


5.41K reads




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Learn the Game of Power: Master your emotions. Play with appearances. Shift your perspective on the world. Learn from those who came before you.


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