“Understand: people judge you by appearances, the image you project through your actions, words, and style. If you do not take control of this process, then people will see and define you the way they want to, often to your detriment. You might think that being consistent with this image will make others respect and trust you, but in fact it is the opposite—over time you seem predictable and weak. Consistency is an illusion anyway—each passing day brings changes within you. You must not be afraid to express these evolutions. The powerful learn early in life that they have the freedom to mold their image, fitting the needs and moods of the moment. In this way, they keep others off balance and maintain an air of mystery. You must follow this path and find great pleasure in reinventing yourself, as if you were the author writing your own
I was incredibly sceptical about The 50th Law, the collaborative book by Robert Greene (the expert historian, author and strategist) and 50 Cent. I wondered if it might just be a quickly thrown together way to cash in, a mess of inspirational quotes and banal idioms.
It wasn’t – not in the slightest. I’ve read a lot of books in my life. I’d genuinely put this in the top 10 or 20.
The parallels between the decisions of iconic figures like Hannibal or Napoleon and the difficult, violent life of a street hustler are fascinating.
One thing is clear: there are tropes and human behaviours we can all benefit from if we’re fearless enough. We’ve got to develop unshakeable self confidence, consistently deliver our best work, stay in touch with our roots and always maintain that urgency of action so critical to victory.
I highly recommend you check the book out.
A selection of some of my favourite passages to give you a flavour:
“The real poetry and beauty in life comes from an intense relationship with reality in all its aspects. Realism is in fact the ideal we must aspire to, the highest point of human rationality.“
“If you view everything through the lens of fear, then you tend to stay in retreat mode. You can just as easily see a crises or problem as a challenge, an opportunity to prove your mettle, the chance to strengthen and toughen yourself, or a call to collective action. By seeing it as a challenge, you will have converted this negative into a positive purely by a mental process that will result in positive action as well.“
“Fear is the oldest and strongest emotion known to man, something deeply inscribed in our nervous system and subconscious. Over time, however, something strange began to happen. The actual terrors that we faced began to lessen in intensity as we gained increasing control over our environment. But instead of our fears lessening a well, they began to multiply in number. We started to worry about our status in society- whether people liked us, or how we fit into the group. We became anxious for our livelihoods, the future of our families and children, our personal health, and the aging process. Instead of a simple, intense fear of something powerful and real, we developed a kind of generalized anxiety.“