Thursday, August 4, 2011

48 Laws of Power FRIDAYS! - Law 30

Law 30: Make your accomplishments seem effortless.

What I obtained from this law is: (My opinions are in RED)

In order to make your accomplishments seem effortless, one has to always appear natural and never show the effort it took to get the accomplishment because when men create their efforts by producing the effect, the effort is spoiled.  Your audience should never suspect the work or the thinking that has gone into what you have done because nature never reveals its tricks.

Your hard work and endless practice should be concealed from the world.  Greene feels that even if some people see your determination and hard work as diligence and honest, it actually makes you look weak.  In his opinion it shows others that if they work hard and put in the effort, they too could do what you do with ease.  By keeping your methods to yourself, you obtain the grace and ease of a god.  The exact words are, “One never sees the source of a god’s power revealed; one only sees its effects.” 

Everyone who knows me knows that I love Oprah!  Why do I love her?  She shares EVERYTHING with us.  There are times I get through situations because of the advice that she provide through her shows and “Masterclass” in which she talks about her life and the “efforts” “determination” and “hard work” she endured to get to where she is today.  I feel that our lives should be lessons for others.  I want to be a mentor soon and how could I mentor others without showing them how I got where I am.  This section is something that I just do not agree with. 

Mr. Greene also feels that what is understandable is not awe-inspiring.  He wants you to avoid the temptation of showing how clever you are because it is far more clever to conceal the mechanisms of our cleverness.

I take from this that if I was to release or explain ways in which I do things, it may raise questions of my technique and put me in a position of my accomplishment being viewed differently.  Like, “Oh! Is that all it took, I can do that!”  A prime example for me is law school.  When people ask where I have been and I begin to express the hard work it takes to go to law school, some look at me like, “Oh! Yeah seems like a lot, but I can do that.”  Sometimes it really is best just to keep your mouth close.  Here is a perfect quote that I have been repeating lately: “Be careful who you tell your dreams to.”

Lastly Mr. Greene feels that when we want the world to know what we have done, what we actually want is our vanity gratified by others and maybe even sympathy from them because of the blood, sweat and tears we put into it.  We have to learn to control ourselves because this could cause the opposite effect that we are looking for. 

I can admit that sometimes (unintentionally) I can be guilty of this.  I believe that it is in our nature to want praise and recognition from others.  Is it always healthy? No because while others may see it as “greatness”, others could see it as arrogance. However I believe that there can be a nice balance of it.

By keeping your methods a secret, it could have you come off as a person that takes yourself too seriously and if you do not maintain some kind of balance/sense of humor, you could go crazy. 

The only time you share your methods and efforts are when you are wanting others to feel included.  As long as there are partial disclosures and these disclosures are carefully planned, rather than a need to boost, this shows ultimate cleverness.  It makes them feel that they are also superior and involved even when while much of what you do remains concealed from them.    

There should be balance.   Do not boost and brag about accomplishments BUT do not make them appear as if you did not put in the time and effort it took to obtain them.    For when you boost and brag, what could be at first admiration could turn into envy.  However by SHOWING your hard work, one would be respected.  They would look up to you regardless of how you accomplished it.  I have no interest in gaining power over others, all I ask for is respect from others, and how does one achieve that? By giving respect to them which I do through my actions. 

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