The best review of The Laws of Human Nature

  • Author: Robert Greene 
  • Genre: Career & Success 

Audio version available: 

Introduction 

The Laws of Human Nature decodes human behavior and uses ancient wisdom and storytelling to teach how humans work. This book will help you gain control over yourself and the people around you. 

Who is it for? 

If you’re interested in psychology or attaining power in life, you must read this book. You will learn how to master yourself and the people around you through The Laws of Human Nature. 

Law 1 – The Law of Irrationality 

Key lesson(s): 

Emotions constantly affect our decisions, even when we don’t realize it. And the most common emotion of them all is the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain. 

The human mind has to worship something, has to have its attention directed to something it values above all else. For most people, it is their ego; for some it is their family, their clan, their god, or their nation. Doing this can help you gain rationality and limit the influence of emotions. 

Law 2 – The Law of Narcissism 

Key lesson(s): 

We humans feel an infinite need for attention from the day we are born. Since we are social animals, our survival and happiness depend on the relationships we form with others. And due to how important  this is for humans, people will do almost anything to get attention, including committing a crime or attempting suicide. When you analyze our actions, you will see this as the primary motive. 

Empathy is a mindset, a different way of relating to others. And the biggest danger you face is thinking you really understand people and that you can quickly judge and categorize them. The people around you present a mask that suits their purposes. Assuming you know them right away can block you from seeing who they really are. 

Law 3 – The Law of Role-playing 

Key lesson(s):

Most people wear a mask that shows them off in the best possible way. They portray themselves as humble, confident, diligent and they say the right things, smile, and seem interested in our ideas. While hiding their insecurities and envy. 

When we see the mask as reality, we never really know their true feelings, and we can be surprised by sudden resistance, hostility, and manipulative actions. 

Law 4 – The Law of Compulsive Behaviour

Key lesson(s):

When choosing people to work and associate with, you should not be hypnotized by their reputation or what they try to portray themselves as. Instead, train yourself to look deep within them and see their character. 

Always remember that people never do something just once. They will inevitably repeat their behavior. 

People form their characters in their earliest years with their daily habits. Habits are the things that make them repeat certain actions in their lives and fall into negative patterns. Look closely at such patterns to be able to see through people. 

Law 5 – The Law of Covetousness 

Key lesson(s):

Absence and presence have various effects on us. Too much presence suffocates and a degree of absence increases our interest. We are controlled by the continual desire to have what we do not have. 

Use strategic absence to increase your value and make people want you to return.

Law 6 – The Law of Shortsightedness

Key lesson(s):

It is a part of our nature to be impressed by what we can see and hear in the present. The latest news reports, trends, and the opinions and actions of the people around us. This is the thing that makes us fall for schemes that promise quick results and easy money. This is also what makes us overreact to circumstances we experience.  

Learn how to measure people by the narrowness of their vision. Avoid associating with people that cannot see the consequences of their actions, people that are continually reactive. They will infect you with their energy. 

You should be paying attention to the larger trends that govern events. Keep pursuing your long-term goals and refrain from being influenced by short-term events. With an elevated perspective, you will have the patience and clarity to reach almost any objective. 

Law 7 – The Law of Defensiveness

Key lesson(s):

When others try to persuade or change us, we become defensive because we want to feel independent. That is why you must make it seem like they are making their own decisions to stop their defensive attitude. We as humans like to feel like we make our own decisions instead of being influenced by external forces. So make it seem like they are the one making the decision while you are actually the one influencing them.

Law 8 – The Law of Self-sabotage

Key lesson(s):

All of us have a particular way of looking at the world, of perceiving events and the actions of people around us. That is called our attitude and it determines what happens to us in life. 

If our attitude is fearful, we see the negative in every circumstance. We stop ourselves from taking chances and blame others for our mistakes. If we feel hostile or suspicious, we destroy our careers and relationships by trying to create circumstances we fear the most.

However, by making our attitude more positive and tolerant of other people, we can create different circumstances, we can learn from hard times, create opportunities out of nothing, and draw people to us. 

Law 9 – The Law of Repression

Key lesson(s): 

Most people aren’t who they seem to be. Behind their polite actions is a dark side with insecurities and selfish impulses they hide from others. When this dark side reflects in their behaviour, it can blindside you and even hurt you. That is why you must learn how to recognize signs of this side before it can hurt you and turn toxic. 

Law 10 – The Law of Envy 

Key lesson(s): 

As humans, we are programmed to compare ourselves to other people. We always measure the status of others, how much respect and attention they receive, and we look for differences between what we have and what they have. Sometimes, this helps us do better at what we do, however, for some this can turn into feeling inferior and frustrated. Which can lead to attacks and sabotages. 

That is why you must know how to recognize signs of envy and how to deflect it by drawing attention somewhere else. When they are distracted by something else, they won’t think about envy. 

Law 11 – The Law of Grandiosity

Key lesson(s): 

We like to think we are superior and everyone else is inferior compared to us. And when we attain some form of success, our superiority is confirmed in our own minds. We start thinking of ourselves as a god-like creature and forget the role others or luck may have played in our success. 

Unfortunately, this leads to us losing touch with reality and eventually becoming delusional. Once we lose contact with reality, we start making  irrational decisions and sabotaging our own success. 

That is why our success does not last. In order to avoid this, you must learn how to control yourself and recognize signs of inflated arrogance and an increasing loss of touch with reality. 

Law 12 – The Law of Gender Rigidity

Key lesson(s): 

We all have manly and ladylike characteristics, a portion of this is genetic and some of it comes from the significant impact of the parent of the other gender. However, in the need to introduce a significant character in the public eye, we will hide these characteristics, over-identifying with the manly or ladylike behavior expected from us. Unfortunately, we lose important parts of our character in the process. 

Law 13 – The Law of Aimlessness

Key lesson(s): 

Compared to animals, with their impulses to direct them past risks, we people need to depend upon our conscious choices. We do as well as we can with our career path and dealing with failure and hardships. However, deep down, we know that we are missing a sense of purpose in life, as we are affected by our moods and the opinions of others. Not having a sense of purpose and simply getting by leads to dead ends and an empty life. 

The only way to avoid this is to find a sense of purpose, to discover a calling in life to guide us with our decisions and goals. 

Law 14 – The Law of Conformity

Key lesson(s): 

Most people aren’t aware of a personality they have, their social personality. As we join a group, we tend to become a different person to fit in and act like others. We start believing what they believe, we feel different emotions and become more liable to take risks and make irrational decisions to do what everyone else is doing. This leads to us losing our authenticity and independence. 

The solution to this problem is to be aware of what is happening and develop an understanding of what happens to us in group settings. When you develop self-awareness, you will be able to think for yourself and engage with people on a higher level while still maintaining independence and rationality. 

Law 15 – The Law of Fickleness

Key lesson(s): 

At the point when you are the leader of a group, people are always ready to turn on you the second you appear to be weak and incompetent. 

Law 16 – The Law of Aggression 

Key lesson(s): 

Most people around you seem polite and civilized, however, deep down, all of them are dealing with frustrations. They have the need to gain power over people and influence circumstances. And sometimes that frustration leads to aggression and using manipulative behaviour which might surprise you. 

You need to learn how to recognize the signs of this dangerous behaviour. Try to find patterns of trying to obsessively control everything around them. And sometimes their frustration leads to them trying to make you afraid or angry so you can’t think straight. When it comes to dealing with your own aggressive energy, learn how to control it and utilize it for productive purposes like dealing with problems and defending yourself. 

Law 17 – The Law of Generational Myopia

Key lesson(s): 

The generation you are born into defines you as a person. Since your generation wants to be different, it creates new values, new ways of thinking, and generally a new way of living. Unfortunately, you internalize all of the values and ideas your generation develops and once you get older, those values and ideas limit your ability to see other perspectives and understand others. 

Understanding this principle of human nature and how it affects you in-depth can help you free yourself from the limits your generation sets on you and can help you influence the values and ideas of your generation. 

Law 18 – The Law of Death Denial

Key lesson(s): 

As humans, we spend most of our lives not thinking about death. However, keeping death on our minds constantly can help us understand how short life is. Which can help us create a sense of purpose and attain all of our goals due to the urgency of the situation. It can also help us deal with failures, adversities, and setbacks in life. Since it helps us see the important things in life. 

Note

It is hard for us to capture all of the lessons taught in this book. We are going to be releasing content teaching lessons from this book soon, stay tuned!

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