Today we are covering everything you need to know about Robert Greene’s new book The daily laws. This post will answer basic questions about the book and will eventually have a detailed list and summary of each law in addition to our current summary and overview of the book below. This is Greene’s new book for 2021 and should not be confused with his other upcoming book, Law Of The Sublime. So what does the book actually look like?
Table Of Contents
Greene’s new book is made up of 464 pages of wisdom, meant to be consumed over 366 daily meditative sessions. He discusses topics like: power, seduction, persuasion, strategy, psychology, toxic individuals, and much more. Each month has an overarching focus. The first few days focus on topics from his mastery book. Later days jump between topics from the 48 laws, human nature, Seduction, and other books. The text is meant to draw all of Robert’s existing contributions together for bite sized consumption.
But keep in mind that there is actually one major reason people could end up hating this book, which we will discuss at the end.
But first, let’s check out an example page, slated for the 4th of September. It promises to help you avoid what Greene calls “Tactical Hell.” It says, “Create a ladder of values and priorities in your life, reminding yourself of what really matters to you. If you determine that a particular battle is in fact important, with a greater sense of detachment you can now plot a more strategic response.”
Above this bolded sentence, we find the main paragraph which expands on the idea. Tactical hell is a state of war where people are responding emotionally to their opponents. Greene says we can recognize tactical hell because we begin to feel defensive and petty when fighting. In these situations it is almost impossible to use the brain’s strategic abilities. He suggests temporarily or permanently removing yourself from these knee jerk skirmishes. Instead, realize that winning an argument is a short term reward. Step back and win through actions not words. This will refocus your brain onto long term plans and reignite your strategic reasoning.
Greene then leaves a few lines that reference his book on the Laws of Human Nature. There, he discusses more on the topic via the Law of Defensiveness.
Since each law has these references, do you need all of Greene’s works to understand this book? No. You don’t need to be a super fan to understand the basic applicability of the daily law. The references simply enhance the content.
Keep in mind all pages all follow this general structure, presenting a summary or anecdote with a reference for further research. The pattern is a more abbreviated version of what Greene has put out in the past. So why would some people hate this book?
Why Some Could Dislike The Book
The main reason some could hate this book is because of Greene’s writing momentum. Most writers publish one popular book and then ride the wave of popularity, releasing similar works every few years. Greene has followed this pattern.
But this book, while it has similar abbreviated structures and topics, breaks an important element in the pattern. Greene isn’t adding anything new to his cannon with a majority of the book. All the information contained in this book has already been written about in other books in greater detail. This could confuse and surprise his core fan group who might mistakenly expect new revelation. This person would be sorely disappointed. (Note the last month has information from his future book The Sublime, but it is a minority of the information in the book.)
I would also mention the fact that many of the days seem quite repetitive. See our summary below. How many ways can you say “find your true calling in life?” This message takes up many of the days in January. Yes, it is clearly important, but it seemed to me ideas were being repeated more than necessary.
Why Some Will Like The Book
That being said, many people will have reasonable expectations and most will not mind the repetition. A few brief seconds make it clear that this book is not like the others. If you are looking for this structure, you will like the book.
This is because the work does a decent job of achieving its goal. It pragmatically presents tasty morsels from Greene’s old works. This lets people meditate on his core ideas daily. Therefore, you will probably enjoy this book most if you are using the daily laws as an organizer of sorts for your study of Greene’s other works.
We found the book fairly useful as a study guide, but very repetitive. See the list and summary of each daily law below to fully understand. We can’t help wonder, did Greene push this book out too quickly? It doesn’t feel like he reviewed the material much.
Our biggest disappointment is that Greene could have added a prompt section. It could have asked a question to help people apply each daily lesson. Some sections have statements that are supposed to lead to actions like “create a ladder of values,” but many are missing this key piece. How hard would it have been to do this? Since this frustrated us, we added a question to help people better apply each law below.
We did enjoy the references for additional study and the overall idea for the book.
List (With Each Law Summarized)
Note: If the section has a question, I added it. It will help people have more direction on how to meditate on the daily law.
January (Your Life’s Task: Planting the Seeds for Mastery)
January focuses on developing your life’s task, also known as your purpose. You might have to explore the world to find it for a while, but finding your purpose is better than forcing yourself into a situation.
1st of January (Discover Your Calling): We sculpt ourselves. The first step is to turn inward to find that powerful life force. What will you sculpt? See more detail in the book Mastery, chapter I.
2nd of January (Reconnect with Your Childhood Obsession): Your childhood obsessions can guide you towards your life purpose. What are you going to reconnect to? See Mastery, chapter I.
3rd of January (The Voice): Inclinations not placed in you by social forces help you connect with your impulse voices. Do something you used to love as a child. See Robert Greene Live Talk in LA on February 11, 2019.
4th of January (It Is Already Within You): Look for activities you never tire of. Look for visceral reactions and unbridled or unusual amounts of curiosity. Pay attention to feelings of power attached to actions. What gave you these feelings? Mastery, chapter I.
5th of January (Know What You’re Drawn to and Immerse Yourself in It): Pay attention to what pulls you. Immerse yourself in it. Mastery, chapter I.
6th of January (Change Is the Law): Don’t be loyal to a company or career. Instead be loyal to your life’s purpose. Do not hold onto past ways of doing things and be willing to adapt. How can you be more loyal to you life task? Mastery, chapter I.
7th of January (Money and Success): Avoid hyper-intention. Instead of focusing on the result, focus on the process. How can you avoid neediness? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 13.
8th of January (Occupy Your Own Niche): Embrace your strangeness and uniqueness. Bring those things together and specialize in that. What makes you different? Mastery, chapter I.
9th of January (Find Inspiration from Your Heroes): Mastery only comes when you love a subject and feel connected to it. What are you almost religious about? See Mastery, chapter I.
10th of January (Embrace Your Weirdness): Your power comes from what is unique about you. How can you stick to your uniqueness better? See Podcast Interview with J. Peck in December of 2018.
11th of January (What Makes You Feel More Alive?): Sometimes standard ways of expressing yourself are inadequate. Instead, create your own. Today, do something that makes you feel at the peak of your existence. Mastery, chapter I.
12th of January (The Obstacle Is the Way): Negative self image can become a self fulfilling prophecy. If that is you problem, confront it head on. Limitations were created for you so you can conquer. What are your limitations and how can you confront one today? Mastery, chapter I.
13th of January (Master the Small Things): When faced with deficiencies, ignore them and focus on doing small things you are good at. This will bring you confidence. Skills expand outwards like a lotus flower, from a center of strength and confidence. Focus on one small thing you do well today. Mastery, chapter I.
14th of January (Avoid the False Path): We will experience emptiness if we follow the wrong path. Often this means chasing money, fame, attention, and so on. Get off the false path. Draw energy from rebellion. What bad path are you on? Mastery, chapter I.
15th of January (Let a Sense of Purpose Guide You): Without direction people flounder. Find direction by thinking back to the moments when you felt deeply and personally connected to something. When did this happen to you? Mastery, chapter I.
16th of January (There Are No Superior Callings): You are one of a kind. Your calling is best for you. Superiority of a calling versus other people’s is irrelevant. What matters is your connection to yours. When did you last compare your calling to others and what drove that? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 13.
17th of January (The True Source of Creativity): Think about creativity in a different way. Instead of a burst of intellect, think of it as the result of years of setbacks, failures, focus, and experimentation. What will you focus on? Mastery, chapter V.
18th of January (Stop Being So Nice): Assert yourself more and stop compromising as much. Trust your opinions. Realize you must sometimes hurt people who block your way. You will inevitably offend people as you assert your uniqueness. Study your shadow side today. What assertiveness are you repressing? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 9.
19th of January (Listen to Your Inner Authority): Question what you think and stop listening to others. Know yourself thoroughly. Moments of depression are a call to listen to your inner authority more. Reflect on the times when you followed your own path versus other’s paths. Compare emotions. Laws of Human Nature, chapter 15.
20th of January (See Mastery as Salvation): Gaining mastery at some task is necessary for escaping oppression. What will you focus on mastering today? Mastery, chapter I.
21st of January (Depending on Others is Misery): Depending on yourself gives you power. Depending on others puts you in a subservient and vulnerable position. You probably underestimate your abilities and overestimate others. Stop this. Ask yourself what small matters are best left to others and what larger ones require your attention. How do you depend on others and how can you diversify your sources of that thing? 33 Strategies of War, Strategy 3.
22nd of January (Use Resistance and Negative Spurs): Embrace the difficulty, pain, adversity, and tedium. Moving towards these things will level up your skills. Find the last time you had a negative experience. What can you learn? Laws of Human nature, chapter 13.
23rd of January (Create a Ladder of Descending Goals): Prioritize you goals and focus on taking small actions to keep you moving in the right direction. If you stay focused instead on the long term goal then you will get distracted and feel great anxiety. Small, easily accomplish able goals eliminate this issue. What are your main goals and what are some small wins you have achieved so far on the way to them? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 13.
24th of January (Combine Your Fascinations): Explore many careers if you are young. If you are old find a way to take the skills you have and merge them into your true calling. What are you fascinated by and how can you use that today? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 13.
25th of January (Change Yourself from within, Little by Little): Humans see the results of success not the process. What drives success are small changes inside someone. For example, the building of a skill or habit. Lay the groundwork for success by focusing on the necessary internal changes to your person. Greene asks what would you work on if no one was looking and money was no object? TED Talk, “The Key to Transforming Yourself,” 23rd of October, 2013.
26th of January (Avoid the Counter Forces to Mastery): Silence the noise of others by rooting out the way that social pressure has affected your inclinations and desires. Find your inner direction. What are the social pressures that affected your last decision? Mastery, chapter I.
27th of January (The Real Secret): Create the mind you desire. This is the true source of success. There is no simple formula or magical shortcut. What shortcuts are you caught up in right now and how can you eliminate them? Mastery, Introduction.
28th of January (The Path Is Not Linear): See your career as a journey, not a straight efficient line. Be patient while waiting for the opportunity that best fits you. Seize it when it crosses your path. What skill can you improve that will eventually lead to your independence? Mastery, chapter I.
29th of January (Become Who You Are): Trust yourself. You are already wired a specific way. You can’t become who you really are if you trust others over yourself. What feelings within you should you listen more to? Mastery, chapter I.
30th of January (Trust the Process): Connections, confidence, and insight all come from daily work on a subject. Learn the basic rules so well and eventually you will be able to know when to break them. What basics can you focus on getting back to? How can you use the long process of mastery to your advantage? Mastery, Introduction.
31st of January (The Source of All Power): Your uniqueness is the source of your power. Do not bypass finding your purpose via your uniqueness. Keep experimenting to develop this power well. What aspect of your uniqueness can you experiment with today? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 13.
February (The Ideal Apprenticeship: Transforming Yourself)
This month focuses on how an apprenticeship will transform your future despite the fact that it seems boring, indoctrinating, and event less. Contrary to appearances, the apprenticeship phase is used to gather and nurture all the seeds of future success. Greene shares a story of how he learned French. He says motivation and necessity are key to mastering something. Make it sink or swim. Then pour all your energy into the task and don’t be afraid of failure.
1st February (Submit to Reality): Learning how to learn is the most important skill you can learn. The goal is to submit to all the years of techniques, training, and rules that a master has to teach. What can you do today to increase your learning skills? Greene, Mastery speech at Oxford Union Society, December 2012.
2nd of February (What the Mentor Needs): Focus on how you can help your master with their work. Greene talks about Ryan Holiday, his research assistant. Ryan made Greene’s life easier by helping with his internet presence and helping with book creation. Ryan was an effective apprentice because he already had the internet skills and because he had put in time to understand how Greene created his books. He understood Greene’s likes, dislikes, and preferences. What does your mentor want or need? Green Podcast interview, Curious with Josh Peck in December of 2018.
3rd of February (You Have One Goal): Evaluate everything you spend your time on based on whether it gives you the greatest possible chance to learn something practical. Beware choosing the job with better pay as it might offer fewer chances to learn. Practical knowledge will be more valuable in the long run. What are you wasting time on today? Mastery, chapter II.
4th of February (Valuable Learning above Everything Else): Get one piece of good insight from someone you look up to today. Who are you going to study today? Don’t disdain free apprenticeship. Mastery, chapter II.
5th of February (Accumulate Skills): You are more likely to become a master by developing and then combining sets of skills. Take advantage of the internet as it allows you to quickly develop skills, faster than any generation before you. How could the set of skills you have be improved? Greene, “Five Key Elements for a New Model of Apprenticeship,” NY Times, 2013.
6th of February (Consider Yourself a Builder): Develop patience for a detailed, high quality, and meticulous process. Transform yourself first before seeking to transform other things. What needs to be improved internally before you can begin to create? Mastery, chapter II.
7th of February (The Only Shortcut to Mastery): Choosing a mentor is like being given a chance to choose your parents. Don’t mess up. You will become like them and will grow in relation to their knowledge and experience. Select someone based on your needs Once you know what they know, leave so you aren’t in their shadow. What is the most important thing you need to learn right now, and who is teaching you it? Mastery, chapter III.
8th of February (The Perfect Mentor): Ask yourself who you want to be come like in a decade. What excites, inspires, or captures your imagination? A medical student heard a lecture by someone he admired. It was impressive. So he introduced himself and ended up becoming the lecturer’s assistant. Pay attention to what makes you say “this is how it should be done.” Mastery, chapter III.
9th of February (Redefine Pleasure): Reframe the results of discipline and skill as the most pleasurable thing of all. True pleasure comes from mastering yourself and overcoming challenges. Notice your skills improving. Be patient with your growth. How can you take pleasure in the daily grind? Mastery, chapter II.
10th of February (Learn from Everything): Think of everything you do as a chance to gather information about your environment. Approach any task, no matter how small this way. For example, you might observe a person who appears powerful actually isn’t, and a person who appears powerless actually is powerful. What is something you can learn about people from a simple task like taking out the trash? Mastery, chapter II.
11th of February (Enter the Cycle of Accelerated Returns): When something is difficult, focus on daily practice. This will take you to something Greene calls the cycle of accelerated returns. That is when the daily act of practicing becomes easier and easier. Make reaching this state your goal. Mastery, chapter II.
12th of February (Learn by Doing): The brain can learn any task through practical repetition. Instead of just reading about something, practice doing it daily. What is a skill you want to acquire that you can start working on now? Greene “Five Key Elements for a New Model of Apprenticeship,” NY Times, February 2013.
13th of February (How to Learn Quickly and Deeply): Try acting like everyone around you knows more than you do. This position is only temporary but it allows you to gather useful information. Mastery, chapter II.
14th of February (Move Toward Resistance): Instead of running away, move towards your weaknesses. Set up goals to push yourself. Create a resistance practice by first not being nice to yourself. Second don’t ease us on your focus. Double your focus when you start to drift. What is something you have been running away from? Mastery, chapter II.
15th of February (Concentrated Practice Cannot Fail): Commit to practicing every day for one hour. Never stop this practice. 10,000 hours has been mentioned as the amount of time it takes to be a master, and this is about 10 years. What are you going to practice every day for one hour? Mastery, chapter III.
16th of February (Love the Detailed Work): Focus on details and everything else will work itself out. Learn to love the small and seemingly insignificant tasks on the way to mastery. Greene New York Times February 26, 2013.
17th February (The Painful Truth): You can’t jump past the apprenticeship phase. Stop looking for shortcuts. Kill the desire for shortcuts as it is evidence that you aren’t ready yet for mastery. What shortcuts have you looked for today? Mastery, chapter II.
18th of February (Two Kinds of Failure): Act on one of your ideas right now. Do so with boldness. One way to fail is to never try out your ideas. This kind of failure is terrible for you. The other kind is when you try an idea out but it doesn’t work. This kind of failure helps you grow and will eventually lead to success. What idea do you fear trying out? Mastery, chapter III.
19th of February (Choose Time): Remove something from you life today that is wasting your precious time unnecessarily. Einstein worked on becoming good at his job so he could spend extra time on his theory of relativity. Mastery, chapter II.
20th of February (Understand How the Brain Works): Be careful to not become disconnected in a narrow way of looking at things. Focus on learning. What actions do you take that presuppose that you can rewire the brain? Mastery, Introduction.
21st of February (Create the Need for You): Seek to make yourself so unique that no one can replace you. Seek to intertwine yourself with those who employ you so they can never get rid of you. Place yourself in a position where your talents are scarce. How can you increase your master’s dependence on you? 48 Laws of Power, Law 11.
22nd of February (Absorb Purposeful Energy): Prioritize spending time with the people in life who live with purpose. Create relationships with people who have skills you do not. What is one skill you lack and who can you spend more time with to develop that skill? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 13.
23rd of February (Never Enough Knowledge): Find pleasure in learning and collecting information. Napoleon’s voracious appetite for learning about military strategy contributed to his success. People eventually began to think he had magical powers. What information can you collect to give you an edge? October 1, 2012 on powerseductionandwar.com.
24th of February (Surpass Your Master): Your goal isn’t to always stay in your mentor’s shadow but to eventually differentiate and outgrow them. What is one way you can be different from your mentor? Mastery, chapter III.
25th of February (Keep Expanding Your Horizons): Continually pursue expansion. Look for new ways to challenge yourself. Fight against anything that defines you as lower or less than. Go beyond what is required of you. What is one way you have been limited or defined as unqualified? Mastery, chapter II.
26th of February (Venture Outside Your Comfort Zone): Push yourself to attempt things you think are beyond you. When your master begins to be very impressed by your work, you are near the end of your apprenticeship. Where do you think you are in your apprenticeship? Mastery, chapter II.
27th of February (Establish Your Own Style): Establish your own style of doing things that follows your mentor but doesn’t completely copy them. Be like King Louis XIV. Don’t let yourself be viewed as simply following those who came before. How can you use symbolism to make yourself appear different? 48 Laws of Power, law 41.
28th of February (To the Master Goes the Knife): Apply a knife to everything that is irrelevant about your master’s knowledge. Figuratively the father figure has to die for the child to fully grow. Don’t feel embarrassed, this is the way of the world. Are you at the stage where you need to move beyond your master? Mastery, chapter II.
29th of February (Take the Hacker Approach): Seek an expansive and various set of apprenticeships. If you become rigid you will cap out early in life. You aren’t wandering by trying new things but expanding your mind and waiting for that event that focuses and draws you into committed work. Do you need to wander more? Mastery, chapter II.
March (The Master at Work: Activating Skills and Attaining Mastery)
If you rest you begin to decay. This month is focused on helping you gain the skills necessary to continually reinvent yourself and proceed on the path of mastery. Greene had an experience while writing the book Mastery. He had a difficult and slow start. But then he reached the fifth chapter and ideas started coming to him out of the blue and in the most random places. He learned that after much work you begin to have a sort of intuitive feel for the subject. The intuitive and creative bursts of insight came because of hard work and dedication.
1st of March (Awaken the Dimensional Mind): Choose a skill from a field related to your primary field and start practicing it today. Force yourself to new frontiers and away from the group. Look at issues from different angles.
2nd of March (Get to the Inside): The inner circle of knowledge can be accessed through hard and persistent work. Sports players describe playing as if the game slows down and they see everything. Their actions become fluid and second nature. They feel instead of thinking. This is when you know you have achieved mastery, when your tasks become a natural outgrowth of you. Have you ever had that intuitive feeling of mastery before in life? Greene “Mastery and Research,” Gervais January 2017.
3rd of March (Cultivate the Craftsman Ethic): Work is all that matters, not the fame or money. Focus on making things to the best of your ability. What are you applying the craftsman spirit to today? Greene, “Five Key Elements for a New Model of Apprenticeship,” NY Times, February 2013.
4th of March (The Creative Process): Time is an ally if you focus on the long term. Give yourself time to wander with no deadline. Then gather wide knowledge from many fields so you can create something unique. Finally learn to accept and enjoy the slowness of the process. Stop being impatient. What step are you on? Mastery, chapter V.
5th of March (Look Wider and Think Further Ahead): Having a more global perspective will give you a strong advantage. How does this problem that you are currently experiencing has to do with the larger picture? Mastery, chapter VI.
6th of March (The Gift of Our Original Mind): Follow your mind’s interests. Accept the fact that flexibility has risks. Beware of reaching a limit in your skills because you were afraid to lose control and challenge yourself. What are somethings you are interested in that you want to pursue? Mastery, chapter V.
7th of March (Keep the Mind Moving): Focus on acting in the moment. Find something new to focus on so that you can work on keeping your mind flexible and fluid. What is one are where you are in a rut that you can change? 33 Strategies of War, Strategy 2.
8th of March (Retain Your Sense of Wonder): Keep reminding yourself how little you know and how much further you have to travel. What do you feel superior in and how can you eliminate that sense of superiority? Mastery, chapter V.
9th of March (Impatience Is Your Enemy): Trust the process and creativity will come naturally. The thing most holding you back from being creative is impatience. Learn to love learning for its own sake. How many years have you spent trying to master your craft and how many more until Greene’s suggested 10 years? Mastery, chapter V.
10th of March (Knowledge Is Your Superior): You will always have lower status than knowledge. Follow it and always keep learning. Fight your ego which tells you you are good enough or that you know everything. How can you quell your ego? Mastery, chapter V.
11th of March (Intensity of Focus): Studies aren’t as important as how intense your attention is to a task or topic. Don’t just read books but focus intensely on analyzing them. What are you focused intensely on? Mastery, chapter VI.
12th of March (Perfect Yourself through Failure): Malfunctions are a tool for education and will teach you if you listen. Henry Ford learned that malfunctions in a machine show you ways you can improve and they show you the limitations of what you are doing. What problems or failures haven’t you analyzed properly yet? Mastery, chapter II.
13th of March (Creative Endurance): Worthwhile creation is not a sprint but a marathon. Use exercise to build up your endurance so you don’t start to produce lower quality work half way through a project. Increase your exercise until you reach a plateau and stay there until the project is finished. What do you do for exercise? HuffPost, November 2012.
14th of March (Immerse Yourself in the Details): Look for the details and you will also find the secrets to anything. Da Vinci experimented with many different ways of showing light hitting objects and eventually his new way of art looked more realistic. What is one detail you will focus on today? Mastery, chapter V.
15th of March (Make Your Work Come to Life): Make people believe your work is alive by focusing on absorbing all the minute details. How can you study your chosen topic with even more detail than before? Mastery, chapter VI.
16th of March (Alter Your Perspective): Learn to view things from every angle. Practice reframing and reinterpreting what you see today. Mastery, chapter V.
17th of March (These Powers Can’t Come Cheaply): Don’t fall for myths that creativity comes from something other than hard work and commitment. Drugs and other forms of escape won’t help. What is one myth of creativity that you believe that takes away focus from the importance of hard work? Mastery, chapter V.
18th of March (The Power of Desire and Determination): Dedication is required for mastery. Masters are committed to their craft so much that they naturally spend hours and hours each day working on it. What topic or cause would make you have such a commitment? Greene at Live Talks LA, February 2019.
19th of March (The Deadening Dynamic): Create something new and your followers will give you the highest position of power in your culture. Find the thing you have to express to the world. Consciously fight against the conventions that would suppress your unique voice. What is the thing you want to express to the world? Mastery, chapter V.
20th of March (The Master’s Brain): Your brain’s landscape continually grows based on how much you learn. Find some task to focus on to expand your brain. Mastery, chapter II.
21st of March (The Universal Master): Extend your learning so that you can have more and more connections to wider ranging things. Goethe saw secrets that were less obvious to other people because of how much time he spent chasing knowledge. Technology gives us an even greater advantage of becoming educated. What is a subject you could study that you haven’t previously looked into? Mastery, chapter VI.
22nd of March (On Meditation): Meditation helps the master’s mind stay focused on things for long periods of time. Greene does Zen meditation for 40 minutes each day to help him learn focus. Start meditating today, if only for a few minutes. Powerseductionandwar.com in September, 2014.
23rd of March (Listen to Your Frustration): The brain sometimes gets blocked. When this happens walk away and find something else to work on. Extreme focus on one thing will eventually lead you to a point where you need a break. Take a break and do something else when your mind is blocked. Mastery, chapter V.
24th of March (The Mind as a Muscle): Take risks by contemplating a viewpoint you’ve never thought about before. This will work your mind out just like exercising works your muscles. The mind has a tendency to tighten up and focus in order to save effort. Counter act this by expanding what you do. What is one viewpoint you disagree with that you can study today? Mastery, chapter V.
25th of March (Cultivate Negative Capability): You need to break up the sense that you already know everything. Suspend judgement as much as possible. Negative Capability is the ability to embrace uncertainty. Focus on not judging people’s comments and ideas as much as possible today. Mastery, chapter V.
26th of March (Pay Attention to Negative Cues): Our imagination controls how able our mind is to change it’s perspective. Think about what is absent and not what is present. Sherlock Holmes often solves mysteries by focusing on what should of occurred but didn’t happen. Did a house get robbed with out a dog barking? Think of your area of expertise and ask yourself what should happen but isn’t when you come across a problem. Mastery, chapter V.
27th of March (The Power of Peak Experiences): Find the flow state and lose yourself in your tasks. Maslow calls Peak Experiences the moments when you are so immersed in your work that you lose track of time. How can you become more immersed in your primary task today? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 8.
28th of March (Move Beyond Intellect): If you are patient then the intuitive feel of mastery will eventually come to you. Jane Goodall studied chimps and become so good at it that she altered how we think about animals. What are you choosing to commit to for a long period of time so you can revolutionize human thought? Mastery, chapter VI.
29th of March (Fuse the Intuitive with the Rational): Following your inclinations to their ends will help you reach the heights. How can you better immerse yourself in your task? Mastery, chapter VI.
30th of March (Fuse the Intuitive with the Rational): Mastery comes to those dedicated to a path of daily focused improvement. What ways are you less dedicated than you should be? Mastery, chapter VI.
31st of March (Connect to Your Destiny): Follow your voice as it helps you discover and achieve your fullest potential. This will also help you fulfill your deepest longings. Don’t worry about why you are drawn to certain things, just accept it and work on fulfilling those good desires. What part of your inner voice are you squashing or restricting? Mastery, chapter VI.
April (The Perfect courtier: Playing the Game of Power)
Life in a court was a civilized version of war that required constantly thinking about tactics. April is meant to help you learn to play in this arena of negative emotions and shiny exteriors. Greene shares a story of how he was awakened to how the real world works in his first job. He out performed everyone and got slapped on the wrist. He tried being nice and even involving his boss in his work. But the person still hated him. He later figured out that he violated the first law of power which is don’t outshine the master.
1st of April (Never Outshine the Master): Make the people who are above you feel better than you and secure in their position. If you excel and outperform people you will make them jealous and resentful. When you do something impressive, frame it as advice or input you got from them. How do you outshine the master? 48 Laws of Power, Law 1.
2nd of April (Make the Master Feel Glorious and Superior): Make those above you appear impressive. Galileo discovered Jupiter. Instead of emphasizing science and his hard work, he made the discovery into an event that focused on how great his patrons, the Medicis were. How can you make your boss seem more impressive? 48 Laws of Power, Law 1.
3rd of April (Find Out Who Holds the Strings): The people who appear to have power sometimes don’t. Look for those who actually affect change and attach yourself to them. Who does your boss listen to? 48 Laws of Power, law 23.
4th of April (Know When to Take and Give Credit): Take credit if someone is below you and give credit when someone is above. What accomplishment can you take credit for today? 48 Laws of Power, Law 7.
5th of April (Remake Yourself into a Character of Power): Become an artist that creates themself out of clay. Learn to exaggerate what works and downplay what doesn’t. Be aware of the effect your environment has on who you are and who you will become. What aspect of your environment can you improve so you can become better? 48 Laws of Power, Law 25.
6th of April (Seem Dumber Than Your Mark): If you can manage to stay around people for a while, they will eventually reveal secrets and open themselves up to deception. Stick around by making people think they are better than you. How can you make someone feel better than you with out sacrificing power? 48 Laws of Power, Law 21.
7th of April (Do Not Be the Court Cynic): Practice developing the talent of expressing wonder and amazement. If you can make this expression seem authentic when you compliment others, you will paradoxically receive attention back on your own accomplishments. Don’t criticize. Compliment someone today. 48 Laws of Power, Law 24.
8th of April (Master Your Emotional Responses): If you can’t control your emotions, how can you be counted on to control anything else in this world? Outbursts signify helplessness. When is the last time you were emotional and how can you better control it? 48 Laws of Power, Law 39.
9th of April (So Much Depends on Reputation): Reputation is the cornerstone of all power. Don’t ever let it get hurt. Always take the initiative in defining who people know you as. Reputation will protect you in the courtly game of appearances. What can you do today to improve your reputation? 48 Laws of Power, Law 5.
10th of April (Always Say Less Than Necessary): Those who speak less create the aura of power and wisdom. Say less to reduce the chance of saying something dumb. Learn to shut up today. 48 Laws of Power, Law 4.
11th of April (Appeal to People’s Self-Interest): Find a way to point out what a person can gain from helping you before you ask for anything. Stop speaking as if people cared about your needs and feelings. Make a list of what people around you want today. 48 Laws of Power, Law 13.
12th of April (Use Your Enemies): Learn to use your enemies by befriending them. Put them into your service by helping them achieve their self interest. Who is one enemy you can befriend? 48 Laws of Power, Law 2.
13th of April (Better to Be Attacked Than Ignored): Attention is in many ways important for power. Get attention at any cost whether it be negative or positive. People crave things that are larger than life, so court controversy whenever you can. How can you be more of a showman? 48 Laws of Power, Law 6.
14th of April (View the World as a Vast Interconnected Palace): Always find new ways to connect with people. Circulating and moving yourself to the center of the action will make you more powerful. Avoid fortresses as they will seem safe but really just trap and restrict you. Talk to someone new today. 48 Laws of Power, Law 18.
15th of April (Create a Cult Like Following): Grow your power by being the focal point of people’s need to believe in something greater. Followers defend you and make you more powerful when you attack. Dangle before people some new cause or get rich scheme or latest trend and they will take the bait. What new cause can you profess to draw people near to you? 48 Laws of Power, Law 27.
16th of April (Do Not Commit to Anyone): Give people hope of winning you over but never allow them to become satisfied. Don’t rush to take sides until the last moment. Not rushing to take sides will allow you to always choose the winning person. What is one conflict you are embroiled in that you could have stayed back from? 48 Laws of Power, Law 20.
17th of April (Stay Above the Fray): Always keep your independence. Seem interested in people’s struggles but don’t commit. Who can you be a better listener to today, in order to make it seem like you are on their side? 48 Laws of Power, law 20.
18th of April (Startle the Snakes): Sometimes you have hidden enemies. Scare them out with an ambiguous test. Do something that could be interpreted as either absent minded or could be interpreted as an affront on their character. Your friends will let it go and your enemies will make it into a big deal and see it as a sign of aggression. Find a way to do something to flush out your enemies in your social group today. 33 Strategies of War, Strategy 1.
19th of April (Tailor Your Flattery): Learn to cover up your flattery so it isn’t obvious. Tailor it to lower the insecurities of your target. Learn to mirror your leaders with out completely copying them. What is one weakness of your leader you can flatter today? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 14.
20th of April (Be Royal in Your Own Fashion): Confidence makes you seem destined to lead. Learn to carry yourself like a king. How can you make yourself appear more confident when you first meet people? 48 Laws of Power, Law 34.
21st of April (Be Merciless with Your Enemies): Study your enemies and decide what to do with them. Either turn them into an ally, neutralize them, or crush them totally. Those who you fail to crush might become bitter and attack you later when their strength increases. What people are you focusing on making your allies? 48 Laws of Power, Law 15.
22nd of April (Sow the Seeds of Doubt): Use rumors to destroy people who are your enemies and rivals. Use doubt to destroy people. Once you plant a seed of doubt, the enemy can either defend themselves or let it go. If they let it go, you can keep going. If they defend themselves, point out how odd it is that they are defending themselves so intensely. Find an enemy and think of ways you can instill doubt in people’s minds about them. 48 Laws of Power, Law 5.
23rd of April (Fear the Power of Infection): Whiners and the unfortunate can draw more bad situations to themselves. Avoid people like this. Instead seek out those who have good things happen to them. Who is someone who always has problems around you? 48 Laws of Power, Law 10.
24th of April (Avoid the False Alliance): Real allies have self interest that align with yours. Fake allies are those build on an emotional need, while real ones share self interest. Who shares similar interests with you? 33 Strategies of War, Strategy 27.
25th of April (Enter Action with Boldness): If you are timid, you draw roadblocks and hesitation your way. Instead, be bold and you will find any mistakes you make will be overlooked. What is one way you can do or say something bold today? 48 Laws of Power, Law 28.
26th of April (Make Your Accomplishments Seem Effortless): If you don’t reveal how hard you work people will think everything you do is natural. Telling others how hard you work only raises questions like whether you have to work harder because of how dumb you are. Cover up your work until it is finished. Seeing how things are created takes away some of the magic. How can you practice being nonchalant today? 48 Laws of Power, Law 30.
27th of April (Despise the Free Lunch): Pay for valuable things. Free things appear nice at first but they often include psychological strings you cannot pay back easily. What happened last time you accepted a gift from someone? 48 Laws of Power, Law 40.
28th of April (There Is No Revenge Like Oblivion): Sometimes we need to just move on from our mistakes instead of trying to fix them. Trying to fix the problem focuses attention on it. Learn to move on. What is one thing you need to stop trying to fix? 48 Laws of Power, Law 36.
29th of April (Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability): Only subordinate people act in a way that can be predicted. If you are unpredictable people will go on the defensive with you, always trying to reinterpret what you are doing. If you act in an unpredictable manner after you have achieved some notoriety, people will think it is for some specific reason and begin to ponder what you are doing. How can you be more unpredictable? 48 Laws of Power, Law 17.
30th of April (Never Appear Too Perfect): Since people are envious, those who appear perfect will eventually get attacked. Downplay your successes and skills and it will diffuse negative emotions towards you. Who is most envious of you in your workplace? 48 Laws of Power, Law 46.
May (The Supposed Non players of Power: Recognizing Toxic Types and Disguised Power Strategies)
May is about people who claim to not be playing power games. Many of these people have cloaked their desires and goals to give them an advantage. Green talks about how power, and the associated moves, are timeless. Some are disturbed that power games are every played. Some deny the games are played but play them themselves. Others love manipulating. Realists accept that the desire for power is part of human nature and learn to defend and use the laws of power.
1st of May (Everyone Is a Player in the Game): Spot supposed non players by looking for people who flaunt their morality. Who around you tries hardest to convince others that they are moral? 48 Laws of Power, Preface.
2nd of May (Take on the Toxic Types): The greatest defense is to learn to identify people’s behaviors ahead of time. You will learn to ignore their cover stories and stay calm when they attack. Reframe encounters with people like this as a way to practice self mastery. Laws of Human Nature, Introduction.
3rd of May (Judge Them on Their Behavior, Not on Their Words): It is best to look at a person’s behavior over time. Time makes it difficult to hide who you really are. Pay attention to their outward behavior and look for what is underneath, or what it is masking. Actions speak louder than words. Mastery IV, See People as They Are.
4th of May (The Appearance of Naiveté): Those who try to present themselves as innocent are often the least so. Their appearance protects them from accusations. What is one time when someone appeared naive but their behavior said otherwise? 48 Laws of Power, Preface.
5th of May (Be Careful Whom You Offend): People rarely forget a time when they were insulted. Be careful not to offend someone who could later have more power. What is a more tactful way to get the same result as offense, but without the potential future cost? 48 Laws of Power, Law 19.
6th of May (See Through the False Front): Never take believe an appearance. Napoleon got the enemy to attack by pretending to be panicked and scared. They rushed into a trap. People often get aggressive when they think they can easily win. How can you feign weakness in an area where you are strong? 33 Strategies of War, Strategy 23.
7th of May (The Subtle-Superiority Strategy): People want you to feel inferior, but they want to avoid the social cost of saying it outright. They show up late, talk about how busy they are, and put you into inferior positions. Induce shame in them by subtly pointing out what they have said. What can you say to someone who is always late to appointments with you? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 16.
8th of May (Look at Their Past): Look for instances where someone disappears when there is stress, gets aggressive when challenged, or rises to the situation when they are given an opportunity. Ignore patterns at your own risk. Pick one person and ask yourself what behaviors do they do when under pressure or stress? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 4.
9th of May (See Through the Emotional Outburst): Emotional outbursts are often power moves. They aren’t always directed at you. Don’t be vain and think you are the main cause. Keep your calm and behave strategically while they lose theirs. How can you adopt a meditative state when someone loses their cool? 48 Laws of Power, Law 3.
10th of May (Don’t Mistake Extra Conviction for Truth): People who defend or propose ideas with emotional fervor or conviction can be wrong. Learn to be skeptical when you see signs of deception. An animated front is one of those signs. Conviction bias describes this behavior. How can you both use and spot this type of bias? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 3.
11th of May (The Pattern): People choose to follow others based on glittering appearances and images. Ignore the front. Look at how they delegate authority, what others say about them, and the results of their decisions. What is one thing that is hard to fake in your area of expertise? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 4.
12th of May (Be Wary of the Noble Gesture): Noble gestures make for great smoke screens. Greene talks about how donating art to a public gallery increases prices while letting the owners appear to benevolent. What is the last public display that you saw? What actions followed that display? 48 Laws of Power, Law 3.
13th of May (Recognize Deep Narcissists before You Fall for Them): Deep narcissists are easy to spot because of how they react. When insulted or challenged, they react abruptly, with anger and intense vengeance. They will maneuver themselves into the victim role. They are over sensitive and need the conversation to focus on them all the time. They see others as simply ‘self objects,’ or things that exist to validate and prop up their ego. It is best to avoid them. Who in your life needs constant attention? Laws of Human Nature, 2.
14th of May (The Grandiose Leader): Beware of leaders who feel like they have the support of the public and can do whatever they want. Stop feeding their egos by cutting off their attention. Ignore them. Who is a grandiose individual that you can ignore? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 11.
15th of May (The Machiavellian Gift): People use distraction to cover up what they are really after. This can be gift giving, kindness, or honesty. Beware of gifts that randomly show up. They often have strings attached. What is the last random gift someone gave you and what did they want? 48 Laws of Power, Law 12.
16th of May (The Fake Traditionalist): Look past people’s appearance. A distraction commonly used is to publicly proclaim support for a traditional way of doing things, while changing things behind the scenes. Find a way to clothe your change in ‘the old way’ or traditions. What was the last public proclamation of tradition that you heard in your social group? 48 Laws of Power, Law 45.
17th of May (Deciphering the Shadow): Sometimes people over emphasize certain traits about themselves. Watch for this. Those who do this often are concealing the opposite. Those who appear empathetic are often cold and aggressive. They repress one need and cover it up with the other. What is a trait that makes you angry when you see someone displaying it? That is probably part of your shadow. Laws of Human Nature Chapter 9.
18th of May (Look Beneath the Mask): Stop focusing on the image people display to the world. Instead, look behind their best face. What is the true emotion they are suppressing? Laws of Human Nature, 3.
19th of May (Demanding Equality): People who demand equality are often just advocating for a distribution of rewards according to their desires. Treat people like the quality of their work. Who is one person that you should treat better because of their usefulness or skill? 48 Laws of Power, Preface.
20th of May (The Unambitious Front): A great tool for reducing envy is to reject the power that someone wants to give you a few times, and then eventually accept. It is hard to feel negatively towards someone when they appear to not want power. Be careful of those who don’t appear to want power but continue to gain it. Who is one person that has constantly gained power by appearing to not want it? 48 Laws of Power, Law 46.
21st of May (The Aggressive Pleaser): Extreme niceness isn’t natural and is often a cover for more aggressive behavior. They want to gather power. Their kindness has an almost aggressive element to it. Stress will make such people crack. Who is someone who appears nice on the outside but feels internally aggressive when you interact with them for long enough? Laws of Human Nature, 9.
22nd of May (Determine the Strength of People’s Character): You can spot strength and weakness in moments of pressure and stress. Look at their outwards behavior during such times. Look for people who have strong character. Weight them higher than those who are outwardly charming. What is the last time when you misread someone? Laws of Human Nature, 4.
23rd of May (Don’t Always Believe Your Eyes): Pay attention to facts and not appearances. Those with power often use positive visuals to override what is really happening. How can you use this tactic? Art of Seduction, Soft Seduction.
24th of May (Easy Money): You cannot get something from nothing. There is always a cost to a ‘free’ gift. Watch out when someone is selling you an easy money story. When have you fallen for this belief? 48 Laws of Power, Law 40.
25th of May (Avoid the Drama Magnet): People who have stories of stirring up drama and victory are often the cause of the very drama they are telling you about. Who is a drama magnet in your life? Laws of Human Nature, 4.
26th of May (The Sincerity Ploy): Pretend to bear your heart so someone so they will share their secrets with you. When did you last share more than you should have? What precipitated this oversharing? 48 Laws of Power, Law 14.
27th of May (Detect Their True Motives): Knowing someone’s motivation is the key to getting them to do what you want. Next time you are caught in an important situation ask yourself, ‘who benefits’ from this situation? Powerseductionandwar.com, 23rd November, 2007.
28th of May (The Effective Truth): Look at results and not the stories they tell. For example the Pope is primarily power focused and political. The religious comments are simply a clothing for this agenda. What is one time when you clothed your true motive for an action? Powerseductionandwar.com, 28 July, 2006.
29th May (Nothing Personal): Many people take things personally in the game of power. Stop emotionally driving decisions. Instead look at life like chess, a series of moves and counter moves. How can you be more strategic today? Greene: Mastery and Research, Finding Mastery Conversations with Michael Gervais, 25 January, 2017.
30 May (Everyone Wants More Power): Assume people are motivated by power. Use this assumption as a starting point. No one likes the feeling of no power. How are you motivated by power? Greene: The 48 Laws of Power, Between the Lines with Barry Kibrick, 15 May, 2015.
31 May (Know Who You’re Dealing With): Most people will have some use or value to you in the course of their lives. Treat everyone accordingly. Measuring people is the most important power skill. Before doing anything, ask yourself what the long term consequences of the move will be. Don’t rely on instincts to judge people. Never trust appearances. How can you be more scientific or systematic in measuring and studying other people? 48 Laws of Power, Law 19.
June (The Divine Craft: Mastering the Arts of Indirection and Manipulation)
This section covers how to clothe your iron hand in a velvet glove, or in other words, how to get people to do what you want with out realizing it. Just like when you are playing pool, angles and strategy is important. The true players have an end game mapped out, and use manipulation and angles to achieve that end game. They learn to put up a front when attacked, then they take subtle moves to isolate attackers, and only once the other is weak do they directly attack.
July (The Seductive Character: Penetrating Hearts and Minds)
Success makes us confident. This month is focused on teaching you how to charm people so you can experience power more often. The first step is to stop thinking about seduction in terms of romance. Instead, think of it as drawing someone into a story where they get something that they want. Some want adventure, others drama, others pleasure. Bring out your natural qualities and use those to make people more interested.
August (The Master Persuader: Softening People’s Resistance)
Most people avoid the game of strategy. Instead accept it and become skilled at it. Greene talks about how he uses stories to get his points across. They help him lower people’s guards. Learn to tell people the stories they want to hear. That will help you get what you want.
September (The Grand Strategist: Rising Out of Tactical Hell)
Strategy requires constant effort in service of a goal. Most people have grand plans, but don’t do the work of daily strategy. Some are good tacticians, who always have a good response in the moment. But they lack a long term plan. Others, appear to have a vision, but their plans don’t work in reality. September is the month dedicated to helping you be more strategic. It is supposed to help you rise out of tactical hell, or situations where you are simply reacting based on emotion and situational dictates.
October (The Emotional Self: Coming to Terms with Our Dark Side)
October is all about uncovering our true nature and accepting that there is a wiring in you that is beyond your control. Understand these roots and learn to work within their constraints. We are all in pain and that pain is often caused by other people. The source of this pain is that we are poor observers of the people around us. This causes us to miss hints and red flags and to strategize poorly. People are fascinating if you just pay attention.
1st of October (The Primary Law of Human Nature): Don’t think of yourself as superior or separate. Accept your shared nature with other people. Stop thinking the other side of the argument is irrational, dumb, or wrong. All have elements of irrationality and correctness in them. What do you have in common with someone you disagree with? “The Laws of Human Nature: An Interview with Robert Greene,” dailystoic.com, October 23rd, 2018.
2nd of October (There’s Nothing Stronger Than Human Nature): You can only become better when you see what you are. These inner tendencies have only become heightened as of late. Learn to understand your nature. What inner tendency can you transmute to your advantage today? Laws of Human Nature, Introduction.
3rd of October (The Inner Athena): Be like Pericles and devote your attention to one think you value most. Cultivate your inner calm and focus. Once you minimize emotions you will begin to allow rationality to take the forefront. How can you increase your focus and calm today? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 1.
4th of October (Analyze, Scrutinize, Question): Dig into your feelings and decide whether they are justified logically or not. You might need to physically separate yourself to do this. Where does your need for attention come from? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 1.
5th of October (Do Not Let Success Intoxicate You): Avoid satisfying your need to feel superior to others when you’ve achieved some success. Remember the element of luck. This will help you not overestimate your skills. What role did luck play in your last success? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 11.
6th of October (See into Your Own Nature): Everyone is a conformist. Analyze yourself and the origins of what you believe and feel. What are you conforming too right now? Greene asks you to ask yourself where did I pick up this belief? Quillette, January 1, 2019 An Interview With Robert Greene “Stop Assuming that Everything You Feel or Think Is Right.”
7th of October (Rationality: A Simple Definition): Rational people are aware of the ways emotions effect their thinking. Irrational people aren’t and rush into things because of this. How would you rate your ability to be rational? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 1.
8th of October (The Madness of Groups): Group think can be madness. People tend to just validate the things supported by their peers. Don’t relinquish your ability to doubt and consider different paths than the ones supported by the group. When is the last time you were driven by group think? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 14.
9th of October (The Power of Association): People have great power over those that surround them. Some could infect you with misery and other ill emotions. In what ways do the people around you exercise power over you? 48 Laws of Power, chapter 10.
10th of October (Think for Yourself): Social media has amplified our tendency to not think for our selves. Don’t be like the academics, confined to the rules and viewpoints of those before you. Fearlessly rid yourself of conventional ideas. Robert Greene Official, “Irrationality 2020” on YouTube in August 29 2020.
11th of October (Beware the Fragile Ego): It can be painful to admit your inferiority. Avoid disguising envy by cloaking it in a claim about how situations are unfair. Instead, act on envy and accomplish something. What feeling of envy can you do something about today? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 10.
12th of October (See Things as They Are, Not as Your Emotions Color Them): See emotional responses as a kind of disease. These make you overcompensate. When you have success, experience anger or fear, be wary, take no action, and think. When did you last make a mistake because of an emotional response? 33 Strategies of War, Preface.
13th of October (Change Your Circumstances by Changing Your Attitude): Focus on having a pragmatically useful attitude for the situation. Our mindset can affect whether people react positively or negatively to us. What mood will you change today? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 8.
14th of October (Confront Your Dark Side): Everyone represses parts of themselves. These parts tend to be the less socially acceptable parts. This dark side leaks out in moments of anxiety, anger, neediness, and suspicion. Recognize the dark side of your character. What parts of yourself are you repressing that are causing you to act in ways where you aren’t in control? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 9.
15th of October (Create Mental Space from the Group): Social pressure effects what the think and do. Develop the ability to resist and detach ourselves from the group. The first step is to accept how much of an effect the group has on us. How does your group effect your feelings of outrage and anxiety towards popular topics? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 14.
16th of October (Test for Envy): A simple way to test for envy is to tell people some good news about yourself. You will notice a quick expression of disappointment. You can also try telling them bad news about yourself. You will notice an equally quick expression of joy. Envious people can’t help feel these feelings. Who do you suspect is envious of you? See Laws of Human Nature, chapter 10 for more.
17th of October (See into the Spirit of the Times): Your surroundings deeply effect you. Especially your generation’s perceptions and rhetoric. Become an archaeologist and dig into your past. How can you be more objective about the things that influence you? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 17.
18th of October (Think Like a Writer): The writer Chekhov used his plays and characters to explore and make sense of the worst types of people. Demythologize aggressors and brutes by understanding what makes them tic. Who is one person you can try to understand better? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 1.
19th of October (Accept People as Facts): Treat people’s negative traits as minerals and fossils. Observe them and think about what made them form. You can also think of them as as neutral as the comets or plants. They are a puzzle to be understood and solved. What are some faults in yourself and how did they form? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 1.
20th of October (See Beyond the Moment): We can get bogged down in the rush of immediate events. Elevate your perspective. Look at the ways you actions affect other things. What were the ramifications of the last major decision you made? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 6.
21st of October (Recognize Your Aggressive Impulses): Stop trying to separate aggression from what you do. Instead think about the situations where aggression led to failure or victory. Laws of Human Nature, chapter 16.
22nd of October (Lost in Trivia): Weed out the unessential details. It will save you much time. To know which details are non essential, be clear about your goals. What is the goal you are currently working on and how can you clarify it more? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 6.
23rd of October (The Lost Self): Work on the opposite sides of your character that are neglected. Attack when you usually defend. It will make you less easy to categorize. How can you switch up your actions and act in the opposite way today? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 12.
24th of October (Know How Little You Know): Socrates was wise because he knew that he did not know. Think back to the seventeenth century and how many ridiculous ideas they had. Think of your ideas as toys or blocks that can be knocked down or discarded. How many of our ideas will be surpassed and thought ridiculous in a few hundred years? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 7.
25th of October (Examine Your Emotions to Their Roots): Think about the last emotion you felt strongly. Think about what triggered it. Was it petty or trivial? If so there was likely something else behind it. Find out what that is. Try journaling to find out. When will you start journaling your emotions and their sources? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 1.
26th of October (Resist Simple Explanations): We are drawn to simple explanation to events. The truth is that the world is full of ambiguity and nuance. Avoid the tendency to reduce things to simple terms just to get a grasp on them. What is something you have unnecessarily simplified as of late? 33 Strategies of War, Strategy 32.
27th of October (See Your Shadow): Our dark side can be integrated productively, giving us much energy and vigor. Instead of suppressing it, find a way to use it productively. How can you use your dark side today? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 9.
28th of October (Move closer to What You Envy): People hide issues and try to appear perfect. Imagine the disadvantages of their position and try to see behind their mask. What do you appreciate about your situation? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 10.
29th of October (Manage Your Grandiose Tendencies): Stop imagining the godlike powers you value but cannot achieve/obtain. Be more realistic about your weapons and tools. What tools do you possess currently and what are their weaknesses? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 11.
30th of October (The Myth of Progress): Stop thinking that people today aren’t beholden to extreme irrationality. There is a cycle between times of rationality and irrationality. What are those cycles in your life? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 1.
31st of October (You Are the Obstacle): Life is a struggle and battle. If you lose your sense of direction, you only have yourself to blame. Shift your perspective by realizing the ways you are your own obstacle to success. 33 Strategies of War, Strategy 1.
November (The Rational Human: Realizing Your Higher Self)
The goal for November is to focus on staying in your higher self state and avoiding your lower self. Greene says the higher self’s impulse is weaker so it requires effort. He says contrary to expectations you actually need to learn to cultivate certain emotions and not repress all emotions. Emotions drive behavior whether it is in your career, relationships, or some other area of your life. You should recognize your emotions and use them to drive your behavior, but only after you have thought about what result they will bring.
1st of November (Hope for Us All): All the highly rational people shared certain qualities. They had a realistic appraisal of themselves and what their weaknesses were. They sought truth and reality and tolerance. They set and achieved goals. Awareness and patience are required for the rational self to come out. What are some of your weaknesses that stop you from being rational? The Laws of Human Nature, chapter 1.
2nd of November (Keep Free of the Emotional Whirlpool): Don’t waste time or emotions on the drama of other people. Maintain your independence from these conflicts and you will have more respect and power that you can then use to chose to help these people or not to. How has your compassion or pity sucked you into an emotional whirlpool? The 48 Laws of Power, law 20 Do Not Commit to Anyone.
3rd of November (Increase Your Reaction Time): Treat life like resistance training, try to delay reacting for as long as you can. Treat this ability to step back and think as a muscle to train. Try sleeping on a decision before you actually make it. Laws of Human Nature, chapter 1.
4th of November (Make Envy a Spur to Achievement): Stop trying to halt the comparison mechanism in our brains. Instead redirect it and use it productively. You can use it productively by first believing you can improve yourself. Second focus on developing work ethic. How are you going to convince yourself that you can improve in the area where you feel jealous? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 10.
5th of November (Know Yourself Thoroughly): Can you see through your own self deception fog? Our emotional parts thrive on us being ignorant of how they work. Think about how you operate under stress, sadness, and anger. What weakness comes out in those moments that ends up causing you issues? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 1.
6th of November (Who Is To Blame?): Take accountability for your role in any failure. Stop blaming others. With better strategizing, see how you could have avoided the issue. What problem can you better take responsibility for? 33 Strategies of War, chapter 12.
7th of November (Practice Mitfreude): Practice feeling joy when others succeed. This cleans our minds of envy and its negative consequences. This helps you bond to people and make social connections. How do you usually react when another person experiences success? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 10.
8th of November (Supreme Patience): We construct time in our own minds. It often drives us to do dumb things. Never be in a hurry. It manifests lack of control. Wait a day before you act on an important problem. What is an important decision you have to make today and can you delay committing to making it until tomorrow? 48 Laws of Power, law 35 Master the Art of Timing.
9th of November (Channel Your Grandiose Impulses): Stay focused on the current project. Stop fantasizing about future success or projects you are going to undertake. Channel this grandiose energy into your current project. Do this by creating small and achievable goals along the way to your major goal. This will trigger a state of flow where you won’t be fantasizing. You will be acting. Laws of Human Nature, chapter 11.
10th of November (Transcending Tribalism): Identifying with any group other than the general group of the human race is dangerous. What group do you identify with and how could that be used against you? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 14.
11th of November (Ascend the Mountain): We have a limited and skewed view of how the world really is. The longer time passes over an event, the more clearly we see it. It is like climbing a mountain where you can see more clearly the further up you get. To avoid the consequences of a skewed reality, never lose sight of long term goals. What are your most important long term goals? Laws of Human nature, chapter 6.
12th of November (Break the Codes of Convention): Release your shadow or daemons and use their energy to drive you to your goals. Practice pushing back against conventions in ways that bother you. What conventions bother you that you can push back against today? 33 Strategies of War, Strategy 3.
13th of November (Suffer Fools Gladly): Fools waste your time and dealing with them doesn’t advance your goals. Think of fools as children, not important enough to affect your mental balance. Stay cheerful in the face of fools. How can you take a jovial perspective on one of the fools in your life? 33 Strategies of War, Strategy 3.
14th of November (Project Saintliness): People judge by appearances so you must learn to adopt the right persona. Appearing saintly and humble and honest and sincere are always good traits. How can you better project these characteristics? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 3.
15th of November (Adopt a Generous Spirit): Generosity draws people to you. It also will help you escape the self imposed prison of a negative and fearful way of looking at life. Accept people for who they are. How can you be more generous of those around you? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 8.
16th of November (Integrate the Shadow Side): You need to integrate the drive and force of your shadow. Your shadow is made up of all the things you and society don’t like. Bring those sides out in a positive way and you will discover force and energy. What sides of yourself do you dislike and how can you integrate those traits in a way that makes you better? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 9.
17th of November (Balance Imagination and Reality): You must be connected to reality and what makes you unique. Listen to feedback but always keep a space for your creativity. Cycle back and forth between creating something and getting feedback. You need both to remain balanced. Which do you struggle more with and how can you improve? Laws of Human Nature chapter 11.
18th of November (Focus Outwardly): Learning to focus on people’s moods. First hone your listening skills, second dedicate yourself to earning respect by working for the greater good, third picture yourself as a leader with tremendous responsibility. Which of the three things mentioned above will you work on today? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 15.
19th of November (Destiny): Thinking you will accomplish great things will create a self fulfilling dynamic. Think of yourself as descended from the gods, full of potential and opportunity. This will empower you. What are the great things you want to accomplish? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 8.
20th of November (Focus and Prioritize): Focus on what is a priority. Some tasks don’t bring us closer to our long term goals. Leave room for pleasure, but spend your time with actions that lead you closer to your major goals. Make a list of what you want to accomplish and prioritize the things at the top. Laws of Human Nature, chapter 15.
21st of November (Connect to What Is Nearest to You): Covet a deep relationship with reality. Try to understand yourself to the best of your ability. This will bring opportunities for innovation and improvement. What is an area of your personality you don’t fully understand? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 5.
22nd of November (Embrace Whatever Happens to You): See all obstacles as opportunities to learn and conquer and get stronger. Obstacles perfect you and eventually you will be too good to ignore. How can you reframe a current obstacle to be an opportunity? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 8.
23rd of November (Admire Human Greatness): Seek out people to admire from the dead and the living. Who do you admire and why? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 10.
24th of November (Seek the Upward Pull of the Group): Look for groups that have a positive and upward pull. Learn to attach yourself to these positive versions of the group. Healthy groups focus on accomplishment while unhealthy ones focus on politics. Learn to spot each. How would you describe the positives and negatives of your group? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 14.
25th of November (Transform Self-Love into Empathy): We are all narcissistic at some level. Stop your incessant interior monologues and focus on feeling and understanding others. Pay attention to shifting group moods. Can you describe the way the mood changed over time in the last social setting you were part of? What evidence do you have for this feeling besides your own emotions? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 2.
26th of November (The Confirmation Bias): A test of intelligence is being able to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still functioning. Beware of confirmation bias that makes you agree and find support for the things you already think. Look for the studies and facts that seem too good to be true. How can you be more skeptical of the things people tell you and the things you think? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 1.
27th of November (Assume You’re Misjudging the People Around You): It is very dangerous to assume you understand a person. Instead, begin with the assumption that you are ignorant. This will open your mind to the way things really are. Treat each person as an undiscovered plot of land. What did you learn today about someone that was new? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 2.
28th of November (Make the Past Come to Life): Take an era of the past that excited you. Recreate those feelings and actions in your life. Learn to understand. What era do you feel connected to? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 17.
29th of November (The Rider and the Horse): Emotions are the horse. The rider should be your mind. Both are powerful when working together. Emotions are inherent in your thought process. Learn to recognize and channel emotions instead of them controlling or riding you. Don’t separate the rider from the horse. Do you struggle with controlling or using your emotions? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 1.
30th of November (Advance with a Sense of Purpose): There are two types of armies, those that fight as a job and those that have a cause. Operating with purpose increases your force and power. How can you better clarify your purpose in life? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 13.
December (The Cosmic Sublime: Expanding the Mind to Its Furthest Reaches)
This month is focused on expanding your mind to the fullest reaches. You can move the focus of your mind by visiting primeval landscapes and thinking about nature. This will help you keep perspective which will keep you from getting sucked up in negative experiences. Accept the eventuality of death instead of avoiding it. Confront the fear of death so you don’t repress it. One way to do this is to ponder how you could be gone tomorrow. By doing this you magnify the intensity of life’s experiences and expand your mind.
1st of December (The Infinite and the Awesome): The Cosmic Sublime is an encounter with a physical object that implies a sense of infinite space or time. We need this experience but it has been slowly removed from our culture. Seek experiences with the infinite by pondering silence, seemingly endless horizons, blank spaces and other things that create a sense of majesty. How can you meditate on the Cosmic Sublime right now? Law of the Sublime, chapter 1.
2nd of December (A Most Improbable Occurrence): We can feel the sublime by meditating on our mortality but also by thinking about the infinity of space and how small we are. Think about how unlikely your birth was. How can you appreciate your life more? Laws of Human Nature chapter 18.
3rd of December (Turn and Face Your Morality): Become aware of your mortality to intensify our life experiences. Continually ponder death to make life’s negative experiences appropriately small. What will life be like for others right after you die? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 18.
4th of December (The Universe Is Within You): The inner space of the brain is very complex. If you were to count all the possible paths in your synapses, it would be greater than all the positive charged particles in the universe. The inner space of the brain matches the outer universe. Ponder this magnificence. Law of the Sublime, chapter 1.
5th of December (Immerse the Mind in the Moment): Focus on teaching yourself to live in the moment. Meditation helps Greene do this. Think of how athletes perform on the highest level when they have the flow state of the moment. When was the last time you meditated? Robert Greene: Mastery and Research “Finding Mastery: Conversations with Michael Gervais, in January of 2017.
6th of December (Alive Time or Dead Time?): Live without wasted time. Be careful how you give away your time. Think of time as an alive thing that is growing and that you own. What is the last way you wasted your time and how can you avoid that in the future? Daily Stoic, “Robert Greene on the Idea of Alive Time vs Dead Time,” YouTube May 2020.
7th of December (The Bullet in the Side): We are all in the process of dying. Use this feeling of oncoming death to feel a sense of urgency in life. It can anchor you to the present. What is one thing that happened today that reminded you of your upcoming death? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 18.
8th of December (Connect to Something Larger Than Yourself): A lady was experiencing depression, so she returned to her childhood home. By connecting to her past she put her current experiences in perspective. Connect to the eternal cycle of nature. What is an area you can return too? Law of the Sublime, chapter 1.
9th of December (Encounters with the Inhuman and the Infinite): To connect to the Sublime, first go to places where humans have had very little impact. Second, don’t bring technology. Third, focus on approaching your experiences in a different way than you usually would. What makes you feel separate from nature? See yourself and the landscape merging. Law of the Sublime, chapter 1.
10th of December (See the Whole): Imagine yourself as part of a whole. Think of things like cultural zeitgeist, society, and other things that influence humans. What influenced how you think and behave? Law of the Sublime, chapter 2.
11th of December (The Child’s Sense of Scale): We seek to find that something that is missing from our lives. To get it we change jobs, move, or do anything to change up life. The key isn’t to change large areas of our life. Instead, try to approach experiences as you did when you were a child. Small and powerless. Awe will increase as nature dwarfs you. Are you experiencing boredom? Law of the Sublime, chapter 1.
12th of December (Life and Death): By denying death you feed your anxiety which makes your time alive similar to death. You become isolated and repressed and boring. Paradoxically, thinking about death can make us feel more alive. Laws of Human Nature, chapter 18.
13th of December (How to View the World): View the world as a place to explore where you will never know everything. What can you explore with out preconceptions, today?This unleashes your creative powers. Laws of Human Nature, chapter 8.
14th December (Release Yourself from Habits and Banality): To release yourself from banality or habit, meditate or experience the Sublime. Try thinking about other forms of life and how they experience reality. Laws of Human Nature, chapter 18.
15th December (Create Physical Death Awareness): Use your imagination to vividly envision the day death arrives. Laws of Human Nature, chapter 18.
16th December (The Near Death Experience): Get smaller doses of a near death experience while not risking your life so intensely. How can you get that same feeling with out the risk? (Encyclopedia of Power suggests adrenaline sports like climbing or skydiving.) Laws of Human Nature, chapter 18.
17th December (Let the Impermanence of It All Sink In): See and experience life as if you are experiencing it for the last time. Hold onto the emotions you feel. What are they like? What happens when you focus on them? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 18.
18th December (Have a Sense of Urgency and Desperation): We experience a general anxiety that we need to accomplish our goals but we then procrastinate or choose a less important goal. When a deadline happens all that is shattered and we find the ability to get the right things done. Think of life as a continually extending deadline. What is one thing you can set a deadline for today? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 18.
19th December (Feel Reborn): Dostoevsky the famous author was almost executed, but he survived. This brush with death gave him greater observational powers and empathy. Live like you’ve been spared from a death sentence today. Laws of Human Nature, chapter 18.
20th December (Know What Matters): Awareness of mortality can clarify every day we live. Be aware of what really matters. What is the most important thing you are doing today? Laws of Human Nature chapter 18.
21st December (Let death Awareness Disperse Our Differences): When people have difficult experiences like a plague, they tend to increase in empathy for others after. Things that usually polarize people and separate them vanish. Create this effect in your life by imagining other people’s feelings of vulnerability, suffering, and death. Laws of Human Nature, chapter 18.
22nd December (The Ultimate in Stupidity): Those who deny mortality and fight against it are fools. It is woven into our nature. Silicon Valley is stupid for obsessing over prolonging death or ending it. This makes us run away from the only reality that exists. Even if we could extend death we’d have other problems like how to handle the additional people on the planet. How do you obsess over avoiding death? Laws of Human Nature An Interview with Robert Greene, Dailystoic.com in October 23 of 2018.
23rd December (Avoid the False Sublime): The false sublime is found in things like drugs or video games or alcohol. It temporarily frees, and gives us an experience of expansion or power. The true Sublime happens when a change occurs within us. Our minds, perceptions, feelings, expand. What false sublime are you experiencing? Law of the Sublime, Introduction.
24th December (Place Yourself on Death Ground): Humans are ruled by necessity. People only change if you force them too. Put yourself and others in situations where you can’t possibly waste resources. What is one way you can employ this strategy to motivate yourself or someone else today? 33 Strategies of War, Strategy 4.
25th December (This Too Will Not Last): Our brain freezes memories of experiences. Instead of holding on to our past to try to stop the flow of time, focus on letting go. How can you focus less on memories and more on the present? Law of the Sublime, chapter 2.
26th December (Journey Inside the Global Brain): You become what you think and focus on. Don’t waste your time on your smartphone. The internet is a global brain. So explore it. (What?! This section seems internally contradictory. So I’m not going to put much more summary work here.) Law of the Sublime, chapter 1.
27th December (Amor Fati): Want nothing more than to be as you are in the present. Reaffirm life by accepting the bad things that happen as chances to strengthen yourself. Everything happens for a reason and it is our job to create that reason. Law of the Sublime, chapter 1.
28th December (The Sky and the Stars): Reflect on how improbable it is for humans to have come into existence. Think about some of the light from the stars in the sky took millions of years to reach your eyes. Law of the Sublime, chapter 1.
29th December (Meditate on the Mysteries): Realize how much we don’t understand. Your senses only reveal part of what the world is truly like. The next time you experience uncertainty and discomfort, hold on to those feelings instead of running from them. Holding onto those feelings and meditating on them will help bring your sense of wonder out. What does uncertainty feel like? Law of the Sublime, chapter 1.
30th December (Accept Your Insignificance): No other animal is aware of its own insignificance. Use this to give you power by restoring your awe and connection. What can you remember about the terror of the world from when you were a child? Law of the Sublime, chapter 1.
31st December (The Ultimate Freedom): Instead of being a slave to our fears, numb our anxiety about death by becoming more fully aware of our morality. What are all the way you could die? Laws of Human Nature, chapter 18.
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