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Moral Critique of Law #3: The 48 Laws of Power

Updated on January 24, 2014

I read the book The 48 Laws of Power out of a curiosity and a hunger for something greater for myself. What I found was a book that could be seen as ruthless and manipulative in it's principles. I have decided to write a series of critiques of each of the laws. I will discuss the good and the bad of the law as well as a key that I've found to upholding the law without losing your morality.

Now, I will discuss Law #3.

Law #3. Conceal Your Intentions.

"Keep people off-blance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelop them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late."

-Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

The Good

Imagine going into a job interview and getting asked the question, "Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?" Now, imagine answering the question with, "I want to be CEO of your company." Do you think you will get the job? The answer is most likely "no". It's interesting, because no matter how supportive people say they are of your dreams, at the end of the day they may not always be as supportive as they say. Especially if your dream is to become more powerful than they themselves are.

One story that was told in this chapter was of a man who got what was essentially a dating coach who taught him how to woo the lady of his dreams. The woman was falling for him, but unfortunately, the man became impatient and told the woman what he was doing and she immediately became turned off.

How many times do you get rejected when you approach the person of your desires and tell them straight out that you are in love with them? How many more times are you intrigued by a person who plays "the flirting game" and never actually tells you straight out what their intentions are.

As you can see this law has many applications in life, in love and in the pursuit of power.

The Bad

If you are familiar with such principles as "the law of attraction" or "the power of intention", you know that it is important to state your intentions clearly to "the universe". It is important to know exactly what you want and let the universe know what you want so that you will be attracting those things to you.

Concealing your intentions may be seen as "lying by omission" which may be seen as morally deficient. If you are not careful, you may even start believing your own lies.

The Key

The key to this law is to be clear with yourself on what it is that you want and don't get lost in what you are telling other people. Write down your clear intentions in as much detail as possible on a piece of paper or a vision board and store it somewhere for you and only you to utilize. Revisit that list regularly so as not to lose your focus.

However, do not be too free with exposing your plans to others. This does not necessarily require you to lie, but to not say everything. This is not "lying by omission", but in fact very normal. If you are not asked, don't say. And in the rare occasion that you are asked directly, "What are your plans?" or "What is your intention?" find an answer that is non-descript, but truthful. Perhaps only tell of your short term plans, but not your long term ones. Try asking the same question of that person or changing the subject.

Person: What is your intention here?
You: Thanks for asking. I just really want to get this project finished, don't you?

There is an African proverb that says that one should not say their good plans too loudly, because "The Evil One" may hear it and decide to sabotage you.

Did you read The 48 Laws of Power? What did you think about Law #3?

You can probably get this book on for less than $15 or bid on it on eBay, but read it with a compassionate heart and watch the Laws of Power work magic in your business, relationship and life! Then, join the conversation in the comment box below!


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