Overview of Law #36: Disdain Things You Cannot Have: Ignoring Them Is the Best Revenge Sometimes it’s better to ignore things. You’ll make small problems worse, make yourself look bad, and give your enemy attention he doesn’t deserve if you respond to a minor provocation. By not showing interest, you maintain your superiority.
Overview of Law #35: Master the Art of Timing Anticipate the ebb and flow of power. Recognize when the time is right, and align yourself with the right side. Be patient and wait for your moment when you know you’ll benefit in the long run. Master the art of timing. When it’s time to make your end move against an opponent, strike without hesitation.
Overview of Law #34: Be Royal in Your Own Fashion Act like royalty and people will treat you that way. Project dignity and supreme confidence that you’re destined for great things. If you demand a high price, people will think you’re worth it; you’ll accrue power and respect.
Overview of Law #33: Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew Everyone has a weakness, a hole in his armor, a thumbscrew. It’s usually an insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need, or a secret pleasure. Once found, it’s leverage that you can use to your advantage.
Overview of Law #32: Play to People’s Fantasies Conjure up attractive fantasies in contrast to the gloomy realities of daily life, and people will flock to hear them. Truth is less pleasant, and fantasies are preferable. Spin the right tale at the right moment and wealth and power will follow.
Overview of Law #31: Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards You Deal To deceive people, seem to give them a meaningful choice. But sharply limit their options to a few that work in your favor regardless of which they choose. Your victims will feel in control, but you’ll pull the strings.
Overview of Law #30: Make Your Accomplishments Seem Effortless Make difficult feats seem effortless and you’ll inspire awe in others and seem powerful. Conceal the work behind your accomplishments — if you brag about it, you’ll ruin the effect.
Overview of Law #29: Plan All the Way to the End Make detailed plans with a clear ending. Think far ahead, take into account all possible developments, plan all the way to the end, and don’t be swayed by wishful thinking. Then pursue your plans and don’t be tempted from your path.
Overview of Law #20: Do Not Commit to Anyone Do not commit to anyone except yourself. By maintaining your independence, you remain in control — others will vie for your attention, and you can play one side against another.
Overview of Law #28: Enter Action with Boldness If you hesitate before doing something, your doubts will undermine your efforts. When you act, be bold — and if you make mistakes, correct them with even greater boldness. Everyone admires the bold.