The 48 Laws of Power Book Summary by Robert Greene

The 48 Laws of Power Book Summary awakens you with new powerful thoughts. 

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt helpless and miserable?

You must have faced this helpless situation. We all must feel miserable at times. You know why this situation occur in life, it is mainly because of the lack of power and authority.

How powerlessness affects you

Without power and authority, we lose control over ourselves and others. With power, our hopes are attached. It makes us and its absence breaks us.

By acquiring them you can gain mastery in your life and your world. We all can gain mastery in our respective fields and live a wishful life. 

The author Robert Greene says if you look fair, decent, democratic and civilized, you will be crushed by others in this world. 

He advised us to be gentle yet shrewd, friendly yet tricky, mannered yet alluring. These are the rules of power.  

Why this Book- The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Why this Book- The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

The 48 Laws of Power Book by Robert Greene teaches us the rules to acquire power and control. 

The rules of power are defined by Robert Greene in the image

Whatever we do and at whatever positions we are, we all are always engaged with people. 

Either they listen to us or we listen to them. It depends on who has power over the other. It depends on who uses the power of the mind in an effective way.

This book is about the various ways of gaining power, authority and control. 

With the examples of the past 3000 years of history, Robert Greene has demonstrated the strength of his 48 power rules. 

The 48 Laws of Power Book Summary 

“Anyone who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good.”

                                                              Niccolo Machiavelli 

Robert Greene the 48 laws of power summary is a must-read for all of us irrespective of our environment.

Law 1- Never Outshine the Master

What does it mean- It means always make your masters feel superior. Don’t let them feel you are smarter than them. They may feel inferior and insecure.

Always make them feel brilliant than they actually are and in return, you will gain their trust. This way you will become more powerful. 

Law 2– Never Put Too Much Trust in Friends, Learn How to Use Enemies

What does it mean- It means that your friends are always close to you and your moves. They are the first to realize your strength and power. They can easily arouse envy and jealousy. They can destroy you easily. Don’t discuss your every action and trust them blindly. 

Make your former enemy your friend. In order to prove loyalty they will do more good for you. If you don’t have an enemy, make a way to find them. Fear more from friends than from enemies.  

Law 3– Conceal Your Intentions

What does it mean- Confuse others by not showing your feelings and actions. Keep others off-balance and in the dark to maintain your authority.

When they have no clue about your intentions, they can’t prepare their defense. They are always muddled.  

Law 4– Always Say Less Than Necessary

What does it mean- When you try to impress someone by speaking more, the more you speak the more common you appear. This habit costs you heavily in maintaining your power and control over yourself and others. 

Powerful people impress others by speaking less. When you speak more, chances are you may speak something foolish.  

Law 5– So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard It with Your Life

What does it mean- Reputation is the foundation of power. It elevates and guards your honour and credibility. You can win over others by strengthening your reputation. Never allow anyone to play with it. Guard your reputation with full might.  

You can also destroy others by making holes in their reputation. This way you will remain powerful and have control over them.

Law 6– Court Attention at all Cost

What does it mean- The power and authority only go to those who are more remarkable. Stand out from the crowd by your appearance and lead the group.

 If you remain unseen, this world will count on you for nothing. Be conspicuous. Never shade your glare or else you will be lost in the crowd.

Law 7– Get Others to Do the Work for You, but Always Take the Credit

What does it mean- The gaining of power and authority requires doing important things effectively. Make a point to use others to further your cause. It will not only save you precious time and energy but also give you remarkable speed and accuracy.

People will forget helpers soon but your tremendous and quality work will be recognized all the time. Never do something which you can make others do for you. 

Law 8– Make other People come to you – Use Bait if Necessary

What does it mean- If you want to gain control and authority over others, make them listen to you and act for you. The person who is in control always dictates things their way. 

Lure your friends and enemies alike that they come to you abandoning their plans. Then you can control them as per your plan.

Law 9– Win through your Actions, Never through Argument

What does it mean- It is far more formidable and powerful to win someone with your actions. They will follow you and give weightage to your advice. When you try to win others with arguments, you evoke resentment and animosity.

Law 10– Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky

What does it mean- Unhappy and unlucky people carry their environment everywhere. When you try to save them, you can embroil yourself into the same mental state.

Thus you lose control and significance. Associate with happy and fortunate instead.

Law 11– Learn to Keep People Dependent on You

What does it mean- It is a good ploy. To maintain your power over others, you must always be needed and wanted by them. The more they rely on you, the more control you have over them. 

Make people dependent on you for their happiness and prosperity. Don’t teach them everything that they don’t require you any more. Make them your dependent. 

Law 12– Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm Your Victim

What does it mean- One example of honesty and generosity at the right time can save you from 10 acts of dishonesty. Make a hole in others’ armours with your selective honesty. 

Once they believe in you, you can manoeuvre your moves and manipulate things to control them. 

Law 13– When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest, Never to their Mercy or Gratitude

What does it mean- When you require someone’s favour, don’t remind them of your good deeds and assistance. They will make ways to avoid you.

Rather, represent your needs in such a way, that it has something beneficial for him. It will appeal to them more and they will respond with positivity.

Law 14– Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy

What does it mean- Know your rivals. Better to spy them yourself in the garb of a friend. Learn to probe them in polite social encounters and ask them indirect questions to judge their plans and movements.

You will get their valuable information and keep yourself ready with a better plan. 

Law 15– Crush Your Enemy Totally

What does it mean- All great leaders and masters know that an enemy must be crushed completely. You know that an ember can ignite a flame.

If you don’t crush your enemy completely, they can recover and seek revenge. Annihilate them not only in body but also in spirit.

Law 16– Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor

What does it mean- When you are too much available, you are less regarded. When you are seen and heard everywhere, you appear common.

Make it a law, whether you are a part of the group or an individual, temporary withdrawal will make you more talked about or even more respected.

You have to know when to leave and come back and surprise. Make yourself more valuable through scarcity.

Law 17– Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability

What does it mean- When you are too predictable, people will judge you easily and rule over you. Too much familiarity brings control. Be intentionally unpredictable. When you are unpredictable, others will try to judge your actions and be off-balance. You will evoke a sense of unpredictability and make others doubtful about your actions.   

Law 18– Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous

What does it mean- The world we live in is full of dangers. When you isolate yourself for protection, you single out yourself and become conspicuous. Thus you are more prone to threats. Isolation cuts you off from valuable information. When you are in the crowd, you are shielded from your enemies by the people. 

Law 19– Know Who You’re Dealing with – Do Not Offend the Wrong Person

What does it mean- People are different. They will react to your plans and moves differently. Always judge people before making any manipulative, deceitful act. There are wolves in lambs’ clothing. Choose your opponents and victims carefully. 

Law 20– Do Not Commit to Anyone

What does it mean- Never take sides. When you take sides, you lose authority and power. By maintaining your independence, you generate the power to talk to both parties with equal authority.

Playing people against one another, making them pursue you. You become powerful.

Law 21– Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber than Your Mark

What does it mean- No one in this world wants to be called a stupid. This is more true for stupid ones. Here is the trick, make feel your victims like smart fellows.

Even more than that, smarter than yourself. They will not doubt your intentions. You will have the chance to control them. Control is power. 

Law 22– Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power

What does it mean- This law warns that if you are weak, don’t fight for honour’s sake, instead go for surrender tactics.

Surrender gives you time to recover and maybe your opponents’ power wanes in that period. Surrender first. Make surrender a tool of power for yourself.

Law 23– Concentrate Your Forces

What does it mean- Conserve your energy to concentrate to use it in a more useful place. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper than by flitting around one shallow mine to another, says Greene.

Law 24– Play the Perfect Courtier

What does it mean- A perfect courtier thrives in an environment where everything revolves around power and political affinity. Master the art of courtship and apply it in every possible situation. You will rise and rise in the court.

Law 25– Re-Create Yourself

What does it mean- Never accept how society brands you. You are a unique individual. Always try to create or re-create yourself in a way that attracts people’s attention towards you. Your authority and power will grow.

Be the master of your image and don’t let others define you. Add some dramatic devices into your life and your character will be taken as longer than life.

Law 26– Keep Your Hands Clean

What does it mean- Maintain your image as spotless. Make others a scapegoat to disguise your involvement. You have to be a person without any taint. This is a must to rule others and gain power over them.

Law 27– Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following

What does it mean- It is natural that people have true desires in believing something. You become the focal point of their desire by proposing them a cause, a new conviction to follow.

Keep your words ambiguous but full of commitment. Your words must emphasize enthusiasm rather than logic or rationality. Give your followers some new rituals to perform.

They will make sacrifices for you. You will become an icon and guru for them. You will generate immense power and control over them. 

Law 28– Enter Action with Boldness

What does it mean- Don’t take half-hearted actions. If you are hesitant and timid, you will never be able to exert power. Be bold and courageous. Everyone loves bold and audacious rather than covered and timid.

Law 29– Plan All the Way to the End

What does it mean- The ending is remembered more than the beginning. Plan for the end by thinking far ahead and ahead of time.

Law 30– Make Your Accomplishments Seem Effortless

What does it mean- Make your actions effortless. It shows your mastery. Don’t reveal the preparation part. It will raise questions and the same strategy may be used to topple you. 

Law 31– Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards You Deal

What does it mean- Form a strategy to make people choose your options. It will be an option for them, but you have to put options in such a way that whatever they pick should serve your choices.

Law 32– Play to People’s Fantasies

What does it mean- Truth is simple. Fantasy is full of fairy tales. Life is tough and harsh. People who conjure up fantasies and tricks, people throng to them. They give them hope and fun. This way you can command and control them. 

Law 33– Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew

What does it mean- Every person has some weaknesses. Know their shortcomings and use them to your advantage. This way you can control them and exert your power over them.

Law 34–  Be Royal in Your Own Fashion: Act Like a King to be Treated Like One

What does it mean- How you carry yourself determines how others will perceive you. Give respect to yourself as the King respects himself. 

Never belittle yourself else people will start disrespecting you. By showing confidence and clout, you exert power on others.

Law 35– Master the Art of Timing

What does it mean- Never be in a hurry. When you are in a hurry, you lack control and power. Show composure. Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.

Law 36– Disdain Things You Cannot Have: Ignoring Them Is the Best Revenge

What does it mean- When you acknowledge small irrelevant problems, you give them existence and credibility. When you try to fix irrelevant issues, you make them visible. It is a mistake. It is sometimes the best strategy to leave things alone.

If there is something you can not have, show contempt for it. This way you will not crave it and others will not get a chance to make an undue bargain with you. This attitude will show your superiority. Your power will grow.

Law 37– Create Compelling Spectacles

What does it mean- Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power. Everyone responds to them.

Stage spectacles for those around you, then, full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence. Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing.

Law 38– Think as You Like but Behave Like Others

What does it mean- If you have fancy and unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways to get them, don’t flaunt them to people. They may feel unprepared and go defensive for them. They may also feel insulted and looked down upon. 

It will hinder your march. Give your ideas and ways some common touch for acceptance. Share them only with your friends and well-wishers who are always in your favour.

Law 39– Stir Up Waters to Catch Fish

What does it mean- Anger and emotions are the weaknesses of people. If you control them, you control people. You always maintain your calmness.

If you can make your opponents and enemies angry but do not lose your calmness, you are in the driver’s seat. Find a way to off-balance your enemies. If you could rattle them and maintain your composure, you hold the strings.

Law 40– Despise the Free Lunch

What does it mean- Despise all the things which are given to you free. Either they carry some trick or any hidden obligation. Always remember- what is worth is worth paying for. When you pay for something, you stay clear of guilt, bondage, greed, gratitude or deceit. 

It is always wise to pay the full price for not feeling burdened. Be lavish with your money and things. Generosity is a sign of power and influence.

Law 41- Avoid Stepping into a Great Man’s Shoes

What does it mean- What is original will remain original and what is copy is always second to it. Similarly, if you succeed a highly successful figure or father, you have to double their effort to outshine them to gain power and control of people. 

Make your own moves to become influential. Even if you have to break their principles or rules. 

Law 42– Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep Will Scatter

What does it mean- Troubles start from either an individual or a source. They can influence others and derail the progress. They can multiply their issues and make others doubtful. Don’t let them thrive.

Don’t try to convince them or negotiate with them. Rather neutralize their influence by isolating or banishing them. Strike at the source of the trouble and the sheep will scatter.

Law 43– Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others

What does it mean- Don’t thrust force on others to dominate rather seduce them in your favour. Those who are seduced are your loyal pawns. 

You can seduce them by operating on their psychologies and weaknesses. You will rule their minds and hearts.  

Law 44– Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect

What does it mean- The mirror reflects reality. You can use it for deception. You can mirror your enemies to confuse them. The mirror effect mocks and humiliates your enemies and they overreact. This is a good strategy to humiliate them by showing the same values.

Law 45– Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform Too Much at Once

What does it mean- People are creatures of habits. They have their own preferences and ways. Don’t go too far in changing things at once. You will face resistance and earn a bad name for you. 

If you want to rule over them, respect their beliefs. If changes are necessary, dress them in the form of little improvements and implement them.

Law 46– Never Appear Too Perfect

What does it mean- Posing yourself better and superior to others is always a bad strategy. You will attract envy and jealousy. Envy and jealousy are silent enemies. 

Rather, show yourself as more humanlike, who make mistakes, mend ways and behave like them. You will be accepted and appreciated by the masses. 

Law 47– Do Not Go Past the Mark You Aimed for; In Victory, Learn When to Stop

What does it mean- Good times are often the most thought-provoking times. The moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril.

In the heat of good victorious moments arrogance, haughtiness, and over-confidence may overrule you. You may earn more enemies than friends. Don’t allow success to overrule you. There is no option for success and planning.

Law 48– Assume Formlessness

What does it mean- When you take a shape, you become visible. It becomes easier for your enemies to attack you when you are in a form. 

Assume formless. Show others that no law is fixed. You are flexible in your approach. Your enemies can never form a certain strategy for you.

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Book NameThe 48 Laws of Power
AuthorRobert Greene
PublisherPenguin Books
PriceHard Cover ($32.49); Paperback (14.55)
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The 48 Laws of Power Book Summary shows us the glimpses of mastery, control and power. While reading it, you must visualize many rulers, leaders and influencers. 

In the glimpses, you will see your own images here and there. This book is for you. This book is for everyone. If you want to become a master, you have to understand the rules of mastery.

Please share these rules with your friends and relatives. They can get inspiration, motivation and direction from them and better their lives.

May God Bless You. Amen.

Thank You.

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