48 Laws of Power Book Summary

Table of Contents

“The 48 Laws of Power” by Hobo Matt is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Why are the 48 Laws of Power so important?

The 48 laws of power can help you attain power in life, businesses, and more. When you’re able to manage power, people respect you and enjoy your presence all the time. As a result, you become a very powerful and influential person.

How can you master the 48 Laws of Power?

Applying the 48 laws of power into your daily life can help you become a better person. By doing this, you’re able to understand what power is all about and how it needs to be used to succeed in everything you do. Being an influential person is essential in life; it helps you succeed in life, business, and everything else, and applying the 48 laws of power into your daily life can help you attain that.

Law 1: Never outshine the master

In the first law, Robert Greene states that you should always make those above you feel superior and powerful more than you. No matter how smart and talented you are, you need to make those above you feel the importance they need. Take an extra mile and make minor mistakes to ask for help from your master; this makes them feel important and necessary. The more your superiors feel essential, the more power you attain

Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies

In the second law, Robert Greene States that you should not trust your friends entirely because they can easily stab you in the back when you least expect it. Friends are more prone to envy, and as they see your achievements, they hide their true feelings and pretend to be happy for you, yet in a true sense, they are envious, and as a result, betrayal comes in. Hiring former enemies can be a better solution as they strive to prove themselves more trustworthy.

Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions

Keep your plans and intentions secret; by doing so, your opponents remain clueless. By the time they realise what you’ve been up to, you will have already succeeded in your plans.

Law 4: Always say less than necessary

Be a person of few words. The more you say, the more you’re likely to say something unnecessary and foolish. Be a person who listens more than a person who talks more. This helps you know what others are thinking and also helps you know the best way to respond.

Law 5: So much depends on reputation; guard it with your life

Your reputation is the powerhouse. You can use it to conquer your opponents and achieve anything; once you lose it, you’re more vulnerable to failure. Bulletproof your reputation and predict attracts before they take place. Having a good reputation will strengthen your power.

Law 6: Court attention at all costs

Crave for attention, make yourself appear stronger and undefeated. Make yourself stand out, interesting, and more mysterious among your opponents. The more people notice your presence, the more powerful you become.

Law 7: Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit

Use the knowledge and experience of others to exalt yourself. By doing so, you become recognized as one of the knowledgeable people in the world. Those who did the work will be forgotten, but your name will be remembered.

Law 8: Make other people come to you, use bait if necessary.

When you make your opponents come to you instead of you going to them, then you’re in control. Use baits and any sort of attraction to make them leave all their plans their plans in the process just to come to you.

Law 9: Win through your actions, never through argument

Never argue with your opponents, but use an action to win all your battles. Let your actions speak louder for you in any situation. When people agree with your actions instead of your words, you become influential and powerful. Words are easily forgotten, but actions make a huge impact.

Law 10: Infection: Avoid the unhappy or the unlucky

Stay away from the unlucky and unhappy people, these emotional states are infectious, and once you surround yourself with such people, you become just like them, “Unhappy and Unlucky”. Therefore, make sure you surround yourself with happy and fortunate people. Unhappy people always think they are victims, not realising they are the cause of their misfortune once they infect you with their misery; you also start thinking you’re a victim and drain your potential power. Who you decide to associate with is critical.

Law 11: Learn to keep people dependent on you

To attain power, always make sure you’re needed and wanted by people. Make them depend on you for happiness. The more people rely on you, the more influential you become. However, don’t teach them enough to manage on their own; keep them coming back to you.

Law 12: Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim

By being honest and generous, you’re able to disarm the most dangerous people around you. Once they are disarmed, they begin to trust you, and then you are able to manipulate the way you want. Being honest and generous distracts those who wish to harm you and makes them become vulnerable.

Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never their mercy or gratitude

When asking for help from your opponents, present to them a benefit, they’ll get when helping you. As a result, your opponents will not hesitate to help you when they realize there’s something in it for them. Self-interest is the highest motivator for individuals. Therefore you need to use it for your own benefits.

Law 14: Pose as a friend, work as a spy.

Knowing everything, there is to know about your opponents is very important. Present yourself as a friend to them so you can get them to open up about their plans and all the information you need to know. By posing as a friend, you’re able to know all their weaknesses and hence know how to react against them.

Law 15: Crush your enemy totally

If you deal with your enemies partially, they will eventually recover and seek revenge. Their chances of succeeding are pretty high. However, you can only gain peace of mind when you get rid of them completely, don’t give them a chance to recover, remove all other options they might go for, and have them under your rule.

Law 16: Use absence to increase strength and honour

Make your presence become something people appreciate. The more you make yourself available, the more familiar you become, and people will slowly lose respect for you. Let your absence create your value.

Law 17: Keep others in suspended terror, cultivate an air of unpredictability

Act unpredictably, and therefore your opponents will have a hard time figuring out your moves. When all your actions are predictable, it’s easy for others to attack you.

Law 18: Do not build a fortress to protect yourself; isolation is dangerous

Isolating yourself from the world prevents you from knowing valuable information that could better your life; this makes you vulnerable to attacks from different people. Mingling, among others, will help you understand what is happening around you all the time and also keep you alert. Power comes from interacting with different people.

Law 19: Know who you’re dealing with, do not offend the wrong person

There are some people who do not accept defeat no matter what happens, so it’s essential to choose your opponents wisely to avoid such people from being a pain. Don’t judge people by their appearance or through your instincts; it’s better you study them for some time before you make them your opponents.

Law 20: Do not commit to anyone

Do not commit to anyone, as this makes you weak and vulnerable. May the only person you fully depend on be you; this allows you to have people against each other to your own advantage. You gain a lot of power and respect by being independent.

Law 21: Play a sucker to catch a sucker, seem dumber than your mark

The truth is no one likes feeling stupid. We all like the thought and knowing we are smart all the time. But when you play the trick of making your opponents feel smatter than you, you gain power. This is because when your opponents start to think you’re less intelligent, they’ll never think you can challenge them; hence you can achieve all your motives with no one looking over your shoulder.

Law 22: Use the surrender tactic: transform weakness into power

Sometimes you need to act as if you have lost to actually win. This gives you more time to plot revenge and crush your enemy once and for all. By surrendering, they don’t see the need of destroying you; hence you make the tool of surrender a tool of power.

Law 23: Concentrate your forces

Power is like oil; you only need to strike it once to assure yourself a lifetime of wealth, power, and respect.

Law 24: Play the perfect courtier

Mater the art of indirection and attain power gracefully. The steps to take to become the perfect courtier include practising nonchalance, being frugal with flattery, adapting your style and language according to your opponents, avoiding being the bearer of bad news, never criticizing your superiors, being self-observant, mastering your emotions, and being a source of pleasure.

Law 25: Re-Create Yourself

Don’t accept the identities people give you; create your own identity, one that grabs attention. Re-create yourself into a figure of power and strength. Make people respect you wherever you go, leave a mark where ever you go. To master this, you must first be able to control your emotions, and then you’ll be able to adapt to any situation.

Law 26: Keep your hands clean

Don’t be associated with bad deeds; your reputation must remain clean. This means you must have a scapegoat on hand when needing to conceal your more dubious activities.

Law 27: Play on people’s need to believe in creating a cult-like following

Humans were created with the need of believing in something. By pretending to be a cult-like person, people will follow you and give you power over them. To achieve this, you need to keep your words vague and simple but full of promise, emphasize enthusiasm rather than the intellectual and the rational, and create an us-vs-them dynamic.

Law 28: Enter action with boldness

People admire bold individuals. So if you present yourself as someone bold and courageous to the world, you gain so much respect and power. The timid are frowned upon, and no one wants to associate with cowards who can handle situations the best way possible.

Law 29: Plan all the way to the end

When you plan all the way till the end, you think through all the possible obstacles that could prevent you from achieving your goals.

Law 30: Make your accomplishments seem effortless

Make all your achievements seem easy to attain, hide all the tricks you used in achieving your goals. This makes people more curious about your life. Don’t reveal to others how you reached all your power because they may use it against you and drag you down.

Law 31: Control the options, get others to play with the cards you deal

Be the one in control of your opponents’ options; they might think they are creating their own destiny not knowing you’re giving them opportunities that best serve you.

Law 32: Play to people’s fantasies

Most people hate the truth because it is unpleasant. Therefore you need to avoid it. Always tell people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear. Play with people’s fantasies, and they will love you for that.

Law 33: Discover each man’s thumbscrew

Find your opponents’ weaknesses, and it’s usually associated with insecurities, uncontrollable emotions, secrets, etc.

Law 34: Be royal in your own fashion. Act like a king to be treated like one

The way you present yourself determines how you will be treated. If you want to be treated like a king, act like one; if you’re going to be treated like a commoner, present yourself like one, there’s no secret to it. By acting and representing yourself as royalty, people are bound to respect you and the crown of power.

Law 35: Master the art of timing

As they say, patience is a virtue, and the same applies here. Learn to take your time and only react when the time is right.

Law 36: Disdain things you cannot have; ignoring them is the best revenge

The more mystery surrounds your actions, the more awesome you appear to be among your opponents.

Law 37: Create compelling spectacles

By striking imagery as a symbolic gesture, you create the aura of power, and people will react to it. Stage spectacles for your opponents and heighten your presence; let your appearance leave people dazzled.

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

By presenting your unconventional ways, people will only think you’re craving attention and hence punish you for making them feel like they don’t matter. Therefore, no matter how smart you are, you need to blend in with others perfectly.

Law 39: Stir up waters to catch fish

If you want to be a winner, you must learn to control your emotions at all costs. Remain calm in all situations. Win by making your opponents emotional while you remain calm all the time.

Law 40: Despise the free lunch

Trusting free things is dangerous because everything of worth always has a price tag. Everything presented to you for free has a hidden agenda. By paying for every valuable thing you get, you avoid falling into your enemy’s traps.

Law 41: Avoid stepping into a great mana’s shoes

What was presented first always seems to take the lead while everything else follows. But you must try by all means to not get lost in the shadows of those that came before you. Create your own identity, don’t follow what others did, walk in your own path.

Law 42: Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will scatter

Trouble can be traced to one particular person. By finding the person responsible and stopping them, you will as well stop the influence they have on people

Law 43: Work on the hearts and minds of others

When people feel forced to act in a certain way because of you, they will eventually resent you. Therefore, you must have people acting the way you want without asking them or using force.

Law 44: Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect

When you mirror exactly what your opponents do, they will have a hard time finding out your strategies. This may make them overreact, and it will humiliate them as well.

Law 45: Preach the need to change, but never reform too much at once

Present change like a gradual and gentle improvement on the past whenever you’re trying to attain power.

Law 46: Never appear too perfect

Appearing superior to others is extremely dangerous; the same applies to presenting yourself faultless.

Law 47: Do not go past the mark you aimed for. In victory, know when to stop.

If you go too far in victory, you gain more enemies. Therefore, you need to set specific goals and once you achieve them, stop right there.

Law 48: Assume formlessness

When you make your plans visible to your opponents, you’re more vulnerable to attacks; therefore, you need to stay adaptable and on the move. Accept that nothing is certain and that everything changes.

Is the 48 Laws of Power a good book?

The 48 laws of power are neither good nor evil; they are just laws that you can follow if you want to. If not, then that’s fine as well.

What is the purpose of the 48 Laws of Power?

The book details laws one can follow to attain power in life, business, and more.

The 48 Laws of Power Review

The 48 laws of power by Robert Greene states that if a person can seduce, charm, and deceive opponents, they can have the ultimate power. The book also says that if you can manage power correctly, you become a better person, friend, and lover. This is because you can make those who surround you feel better about who they are, which makes them enjoy being around you.

How much are the 48 Laws of Power?

The 48 laws of power cost $14.99 on Amazon.

48 laws of power book summary pdf

You can download the 48 laws of power summary on the internet on the following websites:


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