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Learn how to become the most powerful version of yourself with these 5 laws of power.

Power has become a word people want to avoid. Saying that you want to be more powerful, want more influence over people, and have more control over situations is bad, right? The reality is, however, that everyone is looking for power and influence, whether you consciously do every day, or maybe it's only subconscious. Everyone is looking for power all the time, some have the balls to admit it and some don't. Perhaps you are someone who wants to attain a powerful position in life, good. Maybe you're simply someone who wants to be left alone and not get caught up in someone else's power games, that's great too. It doesn't matter which person you are, you need to read 'The 48 Laws of Power'.

It’s a handbook on how power games are being played and ways people can be manipulated and influenced. It’s not only important to know how to play power games for your own personal gains, but also not to become a victim in the power plays of others. So it doesn't matter who you are and what your goals are, this book will be very helpful in your everyday life. Let's go over the 5 laws that in my opinion are the most important and how they will help you.

Law 11: Learn to keep people dependent on you.

The essence of this law is that you become irreplaceable. You need to become someone where there is no one who can do the things you do as well as you do. If you truly are one of a kind, how are they going to find someone else who can do the job? There are a couple of ways to start using this principle:

Firstly, you could learn valuable skills that other people need, and become really good at those skills. Make sure there is no one else who can do the job as well as you can. For example:

If you are really good at selling, and you sell the most out of everyone in your company, they want to do anything to keep you around because no one else does the job as well as you do. This will also mean that you have leverage because you have something they want. Now you can make demands to your boss and he will actually listen because he does not want to lose a valuable and irreplaceable employee.

Another way to make others depend on you is by becoming good at a mix of skills and acquiring a broad skill set that will make you more valuable in your field. This way, you make yourself irreplaceable as well by being able to do multiple necessary things well, instead of just one.

Now your boss has to hire multiple people to do a mediocre job and pay a lot more with a lot more hassle, or just pay you more to do a multitude of things that you’re already good at. It's an easy choice.

In addition to this, a very important aspect besides your skills is your attitude. A positive and ambitious attitude is a lot more valuable to the marketplace than a negative or small-minded attitude. If you have an amazing attitude, better than anybody else in your field, you will stand out, and people will want to work with you.

Law 4: Always say less than necessary.

Talking too much is a handicap. The more you talk, the larger the chance that you say something stupid or offensive and you have a larger chance that you give away too much valuable information about yourself or your plans. By telling people too much about yourself, you also become more predictable and boring.

People also don’t like someone who talks too much, especially when that person talks a lot about themselves. But the problem (and the opportunity) is that people do like talking about themselves, that's why saying too much is such an issue.

You have to make use of this by letting other people talk more about themselves, by letting them speak as much as possible while you are in control of the conversation.

The person who asks the questions is always in control of the conversation, he decides what direction the conversation is going in. So if you want people to talk a lot about themselves, make sure that you are the person asking the questions. When they ask you a question in return, turn it around and make it about them again, people love this.

Don't take saying less than necessary too literally, the point is that you don't say more you than you have to without coming over as weird, closed up, or anti-social. Being one of those things are not going to make you more influential or more powerful.

Law 38: Think as you like but behave like others.

You will never have the same beliefs and opinions everybody else has, everyone is different, but most people seem to be unawarr of this fact. They walk through life thinking everyone thinks the same, or worse, that everyone should think the same as them.

These people never convince anyone and just try to force their worldview on others as if it's the only right way to view things. They don’t understand that everyone has a different way of looking at the world, and no way of looking at it is genuinly wrong, it’s all about perspective.

To gain more power, you have to make use of this phenomenon by paying attention to two things:

Firstly, everybody’s beliefs and opinions are different, so be careful of what you share with who. Test the waters first by making some remarks that will bring out opinions or core beliefs, see what they think, and respond to that person as if you would have similar opinions and beliefs. This person will think you are on their side and that they are talking to a friend, an ally, someone who believes the same things they do. This will make them open up more, which will give you more opportunities to influence them, and more opportunities for power.

Secondly, speaking your worldview to everyone is not a good choice because of multiple reasons. Most importantly, it's a waste of energy, because most people don’t care about your worldview, or they are so closed-minded and arrogant that they won’t even attempt to listen to you. If you feel like you’re talking to one of these people, don’t even try, they will use up your time and energy and eventually, they probably have not even listened to what you said, and they certainly won’t do anything with the information you’ve given them.

In addition, most opinions tend to offend people nowadays, so you have to be careful with what you say and who you are saying it to. So if you're talking to a person with his hair dyed like a unicorn, don’t try and talk about any opinions that go against feminism, it will only piss them off and you will have wasted your time and energy.

The essence of this law is that you have to be an actor, you have to wear a mask to disguise your true opinions and beliefs and only drop it when you're talking to the right people. You can’t act the same towards everybody, so you will have to adjust your opinions and beliefs, and how much you reveal, based on who you’re talking to.

"I was ashamed of myself when I realized life was a costume party; and I attended with my real face." ~ Franz Kafka

Law 10: Avoid the unhappy and unlucky.

Emotions and attitudes are extremely contagious, this goes for positive but also for negative ones. When people around you are continually positive, you tend to become more positive as a result.

But when you’re around people who are complaining all the time and can only see the negatives in things, you will tend to adopt that same negative mindset.

They say you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with, so what do you think would happen when you surround yourself with only people who are negative? Well, you will become negative as well.

Now compare this to hanging out with a group of five people who are always positive, and always look at the bright side of things. They are always looking for opportunities and ways to enjoy life, and are extremely positive.

What do you think would happen if you were part of this group?

Yes, you would become a lot more positive as well.

That's why avoiding unhappy and negative people is extremely important. You may believe you can save them, and you may even believe that they have a good reason to think so negatively, but eventually, even your mere association with these people will bring you down with them. For most people who are unhappy or unlucky, it is completely their own fault. They are unhappy because of the way they think, the choices they’ve made in life, and the actions they take every day. Yes, circumstances, parents, upbringing, and certain events, do play a role in their life. But eventually, it’s always a choice, and if you choose to be negative all the time, I can choose not to go anywhere near you.

They say misery loves company, so don’t get dragged in by miserable people who just want other people to be miserable with them. Go hang out with positive people who are doing productive things, and life will be an upward spiral.

Law 34: Act like a king, to be treated like a king.

This seems a bit like the ‘fake it till you make it’ strategy you see people talking about all the time. Just acting like you’re amazing even though you know that’s absolutely not the case.

That's not what this is.

Acting like a king has to be something you believe, you need to believe that you are the man. You need to feel like you are destined to do great things, and that you are special.

This has to be genuine belief, preferably backed by results.

Once you have this absolute belief in yourself, that you are a great person, that you are going to be successful, it will radiate outwards and other people can notice it.

People can see if you are very confident in who you are, they can feel it, and they will like you for it. People struggle with the ‘conviction bias’, when somebody comes over as totally convinced of something we tend to believe him, and we think: “There must be something to him, otherwise he wouldn’t be so confident.” Most of the time this bias is actually correct, other times it isn’t. But you can make use of this trait of human nature by appearing as a confident person.

A perfect example of this law would be Alexander the Great.

From when he was a little boy, Alexander’s mother believed that he was destined to do great things, greater than anybody else had ever done. This belief was genuine, and Alexander became infected by the belief his mother had in him. Eventually, this became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because he believed so much in himself, he did what no one else would have thought to be possible. As a result of this belief, he conquered almost the entire known world at that point and expanded his empire massively.

You can have the same kind of belief in yourself, maybe not in such an extreme form as Alexander, maybe not conquering the entire world, but you have to think bigger than you could realistically imagine. You need the belief that you can do great things, that you can do more than your parents or teachers have told you, that you can win, and that you are destined to really contribute something to humanity.

It all starts with the belief, and everything else flows from there.

“If he can think of no other plan of action and truly believes that his cause is just, Heaven, by its very nature, will see his truth and will rush to bring about his dream. This is the nature of the universe. It has no choice but to cooperate with a man of true belief.” ~ Sun Tzu ‘The Art Of War’

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