The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Friday, April 18, 2014

The 48 Laws of Power, #10: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky

First of all, the 2014 Lenten Challenge is finished! I hope that everyone who participated got as much out of it as I did. 

One of my favorite books on strategy is The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers.  Where The Art of War, by Sun Tzu is written as an overview of the whole topic of strategy, seeking to provide an overall understanding of the subject; and The 36 Strategies tries to impart the knack of strategic thinking through 36 maxims related to well known Chinese folk stories, Mr. Greene focuses on how we influence and manipulate one another, ie "power".

Mr. Greene draws from both Eastern and Western history and literature as his source material. Sun Tzu and Machiavelli as cited as much as wonderful stories of famous con men. Among my favorites is about a scrap metal dealer thinking he bought the Eiffel Tower.

Each of the 48 Laws carries many examples, along with counter examples where it is appropriate that they be noted, and even reversals.

It is a very thorough study of the subject and the hardback version is beautifully produced.

One of the things I admire about Greene is that he not only studied strategy, he applied what he learned to his own situation and prospered.

Today we have #10: Infection - Avoid the unhappy and unlucky.

From The 48 Laws of Power Blog:

You can die from someone else's misery—emotional states are as infectious as diseases. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead. 
You can die from someone else's misery—emotional states are as infectious as diseases. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead. - See more at: http://48laws-of-power.blogspot.com/2011/05/law-10-infection-avoid-unhappy-and.html#sthash.XwJSxmEW.dpuf

The infector possesses an inward instability that radiates outward drawing disaster to all that they touch. Marie Gilbert A.K.A Lola Montez of Ireland was one such person. Lola found herself in the role of a courtesan (prostitute of the royal court). In today’s society Lola would be considered a gold-digger. She only sought out men with high social standing in the community that she could use for her own gain.

Once she would have her hooks in these men, their slow demise began. One of her victims was king Ludwig of Bavaria, who felt compelled to help Lola yet once he was warned of the dangers of his affair with her, he could not seem to resist Lola’s aura and almost found his once peaceful country in a state of civil war. It was not until then that the king finally ordered Lola to leave but a month after she left King Ludwig was forced to relinquish his throne.

There are many men who suffered because of their association with Lola Montez.

King Ludwig said that he was “bewitched” by Lola. Lola was an unstable, incurable and infectious character type. This is not to say that these characteristics are only restricted to women, this is to say that there are some people whose emotions are so powerful that they infect the very soul of the people that they touch.

5 Ways to Affect Positive Change through Your Associations

1. If you are miserly by nature, associate with the generous and they will infect you, opening up everything that is tight and restricted in you. Only generous souls attain greatness.

2. If you are gloomy, gravitate to the cheerful.

3. If you are prone to isolation, force yourself to befriend the gregarious.

4. Never associate with those who share your defects—they will reinforce everything that holds you back.

5. Only create associations with positive affinities.

Your rule for life…

Recognize the fortunate so that you may choose their company and the unfortunate so that you may avoid them. Misfortune is usually the crime of folly, and among those who suffer from it there is no malady more contagious: Never open your door to the least of misfortunes, for, if you do, many others will follow in its train… Do not die of another's misery. (Baltasar Gracian, 1601-1658)

More precious than all the therapy in the world...


The infector possesses an inward instability that radiates outward drawing disaster to all that they touch. Marie Gilbert A.K.A Lola Montez of Ireland was one such person. Lola found herself in the role of a courtesan (prostitute of the royal court). In today’s society Lola would be considered a gold-digger. She only sought out men with high social standing in the community that she could use for her own gain. Once she would have her hooks in these men, their slow demise began. One of her victims was king Ludwig of Bavaria, who felt compelled to help Lola yet once he was warned of the dangers of his affair with her, he could not seem to resist Lola’s aura and almost found his once peaceful country in a state of civil war. It was not until then that the king finally ordered Lola to leave but a month after she left King Ludwig was forced to relinquish his throne.
There are many men who suffered because of their association with Lola Montez.
King Ludwig said that he was “bewitched” by Lola. Lola was an unstable, incurable and infectious character type. This is not to say that these characteristics are only restricted to women, this is to say that there are some people whose emotions are so powerful that they infect the very soul of the people that they touch.
- See more at: http://48laws-of-power.blogspot.com/2011/05/law-10-infection-avoid-unhappy-and.html#sthash.XwJSxmEW.dpuf

1 comment:

Rick Matz said...

It's Good Friday. We can declare the Lenten Challenge to be finished.

Since I took a new job last October, I've been working from home. Sure I have had to do my share of traveling, but when I am home, I'm home.

I like being really home, but ironically have felt the need to get out of the house. Besides with the traveling, my good habits were breaking down and I was putting on weight.

I was thinking about returning to an aikido class and/or perhaps taking up judo to mix with more people and get more physical exercise.

I found a couple of dojo fairly nearby. One only trained Saturday afternoons, which was the worst time for me. The othe seems to have closed.

As I was thinking about my next move, the Mrs reminded me that a friend of hers has been going to an MMA gym for years and really enjoys it there. I had never considered that, but decided that I would take the free lesson (for the conditioning class) with and open mind and see what happened.

What happened is that I signed up right away. On Mondays, there is conditioning followed by kick boxing. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I'm doing Brazilian Jiujitsu and conditioning again on Thursdays. There is heavy sparring on Thursdays for the guys who are entering MMA matches and I don't want any part of that unless I am in a full suit of armor.

I have NO boxing skill, although I've been improving. At 56 I am finding that while I can hold my own with the 40 year olds, I can't come close to the 20 year olds.

The young guys are pretty good to me though. I am the oldest guy in the place. They generally dial it back to what I can handle, although I have found that the instructions to "take it easy on the old guy" lends itself to a wide range of interpretation. I picked up my first black eye about a week ago.

I am gravitating towards BJJ. It seems to be easier on my body and I think that I'll have a greater longevity at this gym if BJJ is my main focus rather than the kick boxing. If I do kickboxing for three days straight, for instance (in place of BJJ on Tuesdays and Wednesdays), my knees and feet are really sore for the next four days and it's time to begin again!

I like the gym. I'm glad I found it. My goal is to stick with BJJ as long as I can and to eventually be the toughest guy in the nursing home.