Cook Ding's Kitchen (7)

|The 48 Laws of Power, #30: Seem Effortless

Posted: 18 Sep 2019 05:00 AM PDT

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.

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 #30, Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless

Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease. All the toil and practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be concealed. When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more. Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work – it only raises questions. Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you.

Of course we are proud of the hard work and practice that we’ve put into something, but when we put that on display, it makes our accomplishments seem less wonderful, less special. They’ll say that anyone could do it if they practiced that much, then they’ll criticize your practice.

Don’t reveal why you are capable; just do it.

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