The 50th Law Quotes
Understand: people will constantly attack you in life. One of their main weapons will be to instill in you doubts about yourself – your worth, your abilities, your potential. They will often disguise this as their objective opinion, but invariably it has a political purpose – they want to keep you down.
Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.
WHEN YOU WORK FOR OTHERS, YOU ARE AT THEIR MERCY. THEY OWN YOUR WORK; THEY OWN YOU. YOUR CREATIVE SPIRIT IS SQUASHED. WHAT KEEPS YOU IN SUCH POSITIONS IS A FEAR OF HAVING TO SINK OR SWIM ON YOUR OWN. INSTEAD YOU SHOULD HAVE A GREATER FEAR OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU REMAIN DEPENDENT ON OTHERS FOR POWER. YOUR GOAL IN EVERY MANEUVER IN LIFE MUST BE OWNERSHIP, WORKING THE CORNER FOR YOURSELF. WHEN IT IS YOURS TO LOSE-YOU ARE MORE MOTIVATED, MORE CREATIVE, MORE ALIVE. THE ULTIMATE POWER IN LIFE IS TO BE COMPLETELY SELF-RELIANT, COMPLETELY YOURSELF.
Just imagine for a day that you do not know anything, that what you believe could be completely false. Let go of your preconceptions and even your most cherished beliefs. Experiment. Force yourself to hold the opposite opinion or see the world through your enemy’s eyes. Listen to the people around you with more attentiveness. See everything as a source for education—even the most banal encounters. Imagine that the world is still full of mystery.
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.
The people around you are generally mysterious. You are never quite sure about their intentions. They present an appearance that is often deceptive—their manipulative actions don’t match their lofty words or promises. All of this can prove confusing. Seeing people as they are, instead of what you think they should be, would mean having a greater sense of their motives.
The dreamers, those who misread the actual state of affairs and act upon their emotions, are often the source of the greatest mistakes in history—the wars that are not thought out, the disasters that are not foreseen.
Fear creates its own self-fulfilling dynamic- as people give into it, they lose energy and momentum. Their lack of confidence translates into inaction that lowers confidence levels even further, on and on.
A bold act requires a high degree of confidence. People who are the targets of an audacious act, or who witness it, cannot help but believe that such confidence is real and justified. They respond instinctively by backing up, by getting out of the way, or by following the confident person. A bold act can put people on their heels and eliminate obstacles. In this way, it creates its own favorable circumstances.
Reality has its own power—you can turn your back on it, but it will find you in the end, and your inability to cope with it will be your ruin.
What excites me about America is its social mobility, people continually rising from the bottom to the top and altering the culture in the process. On another level, however, we remain a nation that lives in social ghettos. Celebrities generally congregate around other celebrities; academics and intellectuals are cloistered in their worlds; people like to associate with those of their kind. If we leave these narrow worlds, it is usually as an observer of another way of life.
THIS PAST, THE NEGRO’S PAST, OF ROPE, FIRE, TORTURE…DEATH AND HUMILIATION; FEAR BY DAY AND NIGHT, FEAR AS DEEP AS THE MARROW OF THE BONE…THIS PAST, THIS ENDLESS STRUGGLE TO ACHIEVE AND CONFIRM A HUMAN IDENTITY…YET CONTAINS, FOR ALL ITS HORROR, SOMETHING VERY BEAUTIFUL…. PEOPLE WHO CANNOT SUFFER CAN NEVER GROW UP, CAN NEVER DISCOVER WHO THEY ARE…. —James Baldwin.
What separates those who go under and those who rise above adversity is the strength of their will and their hunger for power.