The 50th Law

This is a book review on The 50th Law By 50 Cent and Robert Greene.

Bryan’s Notes: We know 50 Cent from his music and headlines so it was great to get a deeper understanding of his story – he has gone from a street hustler to an international star and successful (though volatile) businessman. This a reminder that you can shape your destiny with unrelenting focus, work and drive…and of course some luck. Having time to think, evaluate and the plan is well worth the time you are “wasting” to set a proper course of action. A worthwhile read with a ton of takeaways.

Bryan’s Takeaways: Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within their limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.

Fear creates its self-fulfilling dynamic – when people give into it, they lose energy-momentum. The lack of confidence translates into inaction that lowers confidence levels even further, on and on.

The greatest danger you face is your mind growing soft and your eye getting dull.

You were born with the greatest weapon in all of nature’s space – the rational, conscious mind.

If you have a long-term goal for yourself, one that you have imagined in detail, then you’re better able to make the proper decisions in the present. You know which battles or positions to avoid because they don’t advance you toward your goal.

In war or any competitive game, you don’t pay attention to people’s good or bad intentions. They don’t matter. Look at people’s maneuvers – the actions in the past and what you might expect in the future.

Don’t get caught up in people’s grand gestures or the public face they put on. Pay more attention to the details, to the little things they reveal in their day-to-day lives.

You need to be able to assess what is happening without your ego or emotions coloring your perceptions. Moving to a calm, detached, disposition to observe events will become a habit and something you can rely on amid any crisis. At those moments in life when others lose their balance, you will find yours with relative ease.

The real poetry beauty in life comes from an intense relationship with reality in all its aspects. Realism is, in fact, the ideal we aspire to, the highest point of human rationality.

The only way to survive was to admit you are on your own, learn to make your own decisions, and trust your judgment.

You came into this life with the only real possessions that ever matter – your body, the time that you have to live, your energy, the thoughts and ideas unique to you, and your autonomy.

Self-sufficient people are generally types who are more comfortable with themselves

Events in life are not negative or positive. They’re completely neutral. Is your mind that chooses to interpret them as negative or positive?

True opportunists do not require urgent, stressful circumstances to become alert and inventive. They operate this way daily. They found their aggressive energy in hunting down possibilities for expansion and the banalest and insignificant events.

An opportunist in life sees all hindrances as instruments for power. The reason is simple: negative energy that comes at you in some form is energy that can be turned around – to defeat an opponent and lift you. When there is no such energy, there’s nothing to react to or push against; it is harder to motivate yourself.

The motivation and energy levels you bring to an encounter have three times as much weight as your physical resources. With energy and high morale, a human cannot overcome almost any obstacle and create opportunity out of nothing.

Momentum in life comes from increased fluidity, a willingness to try more and to move in a less constricted fashion.

This should be your model in any venture that involves groups of people. You provide the framework, based on your knowledge and expertise, but you allow room for this project to be shaped by those involved in it.

When you submit in spirit to aggressors or an unjust and impossible situation, you do not buy yourself any real peace. You encourage people to go further, to take more from you, to use you for their purposes.

There’s no nobility in losing if an injustice is allowed to prevail.

You must be less respectful of the rules that other people have established. They do not necessarily fit in the times or your temperament. And there’s great power to be had by being the one to initiate a new order.

Leaders who work harder than anyone else, who practice what they preach, and who are not afraid to be accountable for tough decisions or to take risks, will find they have created a well of respect that will pay great dividends on their own.

To be a leader often requires making tough choices, and getting people to do things against their will. If you have chosen the soft, pleasing, compliant I have leadership and had a fear of being disliked, you’ll find yourself with less and less room to compel people to work harder or make sacrifices.

When you study an individual or a group, your goal is to get inside their minds, their experiences, and their way of looking at things. To do this, you must interact with them on a more equal plane. With this open and fearless spirit, you will discover things no one had suspected before. You have a much deeper appreciation for their actions and a better understanding of whom you are trying to reach.

You cannot disguise your attitude toward the public. If you feel superior at all, part of some chosen elite, then this seeps out into the work. It is conveyed in the tone and mood. It feels patronizing.

If some distance between you and the public must be maintained, by the nature of your group or enterprise, then the ideal is to open up as many informal channels as possible, getting your feedback straight from the source.

Success creates distance. Consciously or unconsciously, people come to feel separated and above their audience.

The goal of connecting to the public is not to please everyone or to spread yourself out to the widest possible audience. In trying to widen your appeal, you will substitute quantity for quality and you’ll pay a price.

Many people cannot handle the boredom that comes with patient immersion in any field of study; they fear starting such an arduous process. They prefer their distractions, dreams, and illusions, never aware of the higher pleasures that are there for those who choose to master themselves and a craft.

Understanding the real secret, the real formula for power in this world lies in accepting the ugly reality that learning requires a process, and this in turn demands, patience and the ability to endure drudge work.

Understand: when you enter a group as part of a job or career, there are all kinds of rules that govern behavior – values of good and bad, power networks that must be respected, and patterns be followed for successful action. If you do not patiently observe and learn them well, you will make all kinds of mistakes without knowing why or how.

People follow those who know where they are going, so cultivate an air of certainty and boldness.

Remaining unique, you will create something unique and inspire the kind of respect you would never receive from tepid conformity.

By taking an action we have never done before, we place ourselves in unfamiliar territory – our minds naturally awaken to the novel situation.

The higher your self-belief, the more your power to transform reality.

The key in life is to always be willing to walk away.

If attaining certain goals becomes your greatest source of pleasure, then your days are filled with purpose and direction, and whenever death comes, you’ll have no regrets.

Contemplating sublime time has innumerable positive effects – it makes us feel a sense of urgency to get things done now, gives us a better grasp of what matters, and instills a heightened appreciation of the passage of time, the poignancy and beauty of all things that fade away.

The greatest fear people have is that of being themselves.