Tuesday, January 13, 2009


The book states that you should know how to take advantage of the people around you because this would guarantee you “godlike aura of efficiency and speed”.

Doing everything on one’s own would only get oneself exhausted and impoverished. You should not try to excel in all aspects of your work / task on your own but assign different people who are expert in the parts that you are not talented / knowledgeable of. Pushing yourself to excel in all aspects will only stress you out and will not benefit you. You should never be naïve and try to do everything on your own because there are people who are waiting to take credit of other people, and you are not excused in being their target.

In relation to this law, the story about Nikola Tesla, a Serbian scientist is discussed. Tesla was a brilliant inventor but he is not well-known because he was targeted by other inventors and his inventions were used by them. In other words, although Tesla was the one who invented a lot of things, others got the credits because Tesla was too naïve.

Once again, the essence of this law is that “you should learn to get others to do the work for you while you take the credit, and you appear to be of godlike strength and power”. However, this is just a helping strategy. This law should not be considered as the main basis. Not doing your work and just looking for chances wherein you can take the credits of others would not benefit you at all. This might even lead to total failure.

Yu Chin Hong

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Law 11: Learn to keep people dependent on you

Everyone wants to have an ultimate power that can control others as one wish to. What makes you powerful is not your skill nor force but your ability to create a relationship of dependence. People can not get rid of you when they need you. When people extremely depend on you, even though they are on the higher position, you hold the power over all of them.

Although you have done something grateful to people and eventually hold power, you can not guarantee the power is totally yours unless you create a relationship of dependence. There are possibilities that you can be replaced by someone who is more skillful, younger, less expensive, and less threatening.

An example of this is the case of Count of Carmagnola. He was the bravest soldier who saved the town of Siena from foreign invasion. As he had grown powerful, he became greedy and threatening. This led him to death because there were so many soldiers who could replace him.

When Bismarck became a deputy in Prussian parliament, he didn’t ally himself with the powerful liberals but with the weak king, Frederick William IV. He made Frederick dependent on him to fight against the powerful parliament. Finally, Bismarck became minister who could control the military and the country.

Thus, in order for you to maintain the power, create a relationship with weak masters not with strong masters because they don’t find you because they are already strong. People usually depend on you whenever they feel that you can secure them. Thus, impress others that you are the only one to secure them and there are no substitutes.

Lee, Hae In
History 18 sec k

Law 22: Use the surrender tactic: transform weakness to power

Surrender is usually a sign of weakness; when someone has had enough and decides that it is best to let him be at the mercy of their enemies rather than face utter annihilation. However, Law 22 states that in surrender one can subtly fall but regroup to fight once again when the tides turn to his favor.

When an aggressor tries to exert power over you, someone whose strength is greater than yours, you often try to fight back regardless of the chance you have against the aggressor. But if one tries to surrender and avoid reacting aggressively, then the aggressor won’t have a reason to use his strength to crush you. Rather, he’ll be apprehensive and be forced to give you time to plot against him and strike in an opportune time.

Metaphorically think of yourself being a rattlesnake, coiling up appearing to surrender but then striking your opponent with venom, killing him slowly.

Same can be thought with the Japanese’s foreign policy around the 1860s. Threatened with the gunboat policy of the Western powers, they decided to open themselves and gain valuable knowledge about the best their rivals have to offer to complement their weaknesses, gradually strengthening their country and thus exerting their own culture in the end without resistance from the West.

The Melians of Melos however decided to wait for their Spartan allies and defy the superior military and naval might of Athens during the Peloponnesian War. The islanders of Melos said that it was the honorable way. This led to their utter demise.

Martyrdom can never bring victory to you, only indirectly through others. Thus this law’s reversal is not a wise option even if the enemy does not respect surrender. Best it is to wait to see the tides of war turn.

Alan Ortiz
HI18 - K

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness

A leader must move with nothing less than absolute confidence. The bolder the lie, the better. It is by the greatness of the lie does the enemy no longer sees the lie. The sheer audacity of the lie makes it more convincing. Audacity creates fear and thus becomes power and, with power, anyone can do the impossible.

Once hesitant, a person is no longer in power and thus no longer in control. A leader cannot lead with “maybe”s and “I think”s. Hesitation only creates gaps wherein the enemy can intervene. A half heart digs a deep grave.

In May 1925, five successful scrap-metal businessmen were invited to buy off the Eiffel Tower from the government, with the reason that its maintenance cost was too high and the liked. Attracted, one of them won a bid for the tower. However, once the businessman was suspicious of the credibility of the deal, the “official” asked for a bribe, which made the deal more believable and put the businessman in relief. It is only in the next few days that the businessman found out that the Eiffel Tower was not being sold and he had lost 250,000 francs.

We can see when the con artist saw the hesitation of the businessman, he made his lie bolder by asking for a bribe, which ultimately led to his success.

In Russia, a young Ivan, heir to the throne but a mere child, was overthrown by his father's rivals, the boyars. After a several years of silent withdrawal, he suddenly ask the Prince Andrei Shuisky to come to his room. There he ordered the royal guard, who grew to hate the boyars, to have the prince executed. Withing the next few days he banished all of Andrei's associates. This is the story of the Ivan the Terrible.

In Ivan's case, his sudden boldness and shift action caught his rivals off guard and led him to reclaim his throne.

However, boldness is only a tactical strategy and should not always be the basis of all your actions. If audacity is your only weapon in life, you will offend too many people and leave you too vulnerable.

Jan Christian Leyson
hi 18 - L

Monday, December 22, 2008


Making other people come to you seems like a pretty obvious tactic for those who desire or have power but knowing this fact is far from actually being able to implement it, let alone master, it. The essence of this tactic is twofold: one, is it is simply a way of being implementing another tactic that is having control. By making people come to you you force them to abandon their plans and conform to your own mind's concotions, uknowing of what comes next. Knowledge is power, as they say. The great Napoleon Bonaparte's minister, Talleyrand expertly put shows this effect of making people come into your own territory.

Talleyrand made Napoleon come to him by baiting him with he sweet temptations of mass support and appeal in his homeland through Napoleon's many visitors in Elba. By convincing others of his motives, he succesfully got Napoleon back to France unscathed and without challenge. But after Napoleon had regained power, he quickly lost it due to a scarcity of resources. Talleyrand was very aware of the circumstances when he laid his trap. By controling all the variables in your territory and drawing your unsuspecting prey into your turf, control is maximized.

The second thing that this tactic tries to accomlish is that it hopes to drain the ones being drawn out of their energy thus denying them their full potentials and capabilities. This is quite obvious and simple but is devilishly put into use by the Japanese in their war against the Russians in 1905.

The Japanese had a vastly inferior navy to Russia but by baiting them with false rumors that exxagerated their inferiority, they lured the Russians to attack. Because the shortest possible way to Japan was British territory, the only way they had left was by passing the Cape of Good Hope. By again, spreading false rumor that the Japanese were sailing to launch a counter-attack, the already tired seamen on their way were hit by another blow of stress and anxiety thus making them unfit for battle when they reached Japan, making theirs and easy victory.
A counter to this tactic is its obverse, striking quickly and aggressively. This forces the agressee to be in a state of panic and forces them to respond to your moves thus serving the same purpose. This can be taken that the rule is not absolute but rather its purpose is what it hopes to attain, which is attainable through other methods. This brings us to another saying, does the end, sometimes, not justify the means?

Diego Elpidio Juan Canlas Ibañez
Hi-18 K

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Law 23: Concentrate Your Forces

Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their strongest point. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another – intensity defeats extensity every time. When looking for sources of power to elevate you, find the one key patron, the fat cow who will give you milk for a long time to come.
Law 23 is basically, in a way, connected to the law of attraction.

It talks about how our focus and attention in life has to be centered on what we really want and how to get there. What we do in general has to always revolve around our main and end goal. And despite the many other decisions, choices and distractions we come across along the way, we must never lose track and instead hold on and maximize the path that will lead us to where we really want to go.

In the same way, in the law of attraction, priorities have to be set before we pursue anything in our lives. Once that has been set, we must concentrate and think positively on our target and constantly aspire to get there. The clearer and more positive our outlook, the less complicated and easier it will be to achieve what we want. Our positive and focused energy will be a magnet for that.

In both principles, they simply stress the need to give attention to and strengthen our energies towards our objectives. It is all about focusing on what we really want and doing things that will help us make it happen. In law 23, every outcome that we want to happen or that will take place will depend and revolve around how much concentration we put to it.

An example would be a man juggling 3 sports at a time, let’s say baseball, soccer and basketball. The man can be good in all sports, but the tendency is he would only be able to reach a certain level because he has two other sports to focus on. But when the man only plays one sport then he is able to put all his focus in training, conditioning, and weights training. Because he does not need to balance so much his concentration is only on one thing which gives him a greater opportunity to master the sport and surpass any competitors.

Tiffany Mathay
Hi 18 -L

Friday, December 19, 2008

Law #46: Never Appear too Perfect

As you rise in power, attention will inevitably turn on you. The book says that, in these cases, you should not take all the credit, but act in such a way that your "audience" will see that your achievement is "attainable" as well. It is just not natural for people to be too perfect, and appearing so will create envy in other people. This envy will make them turn either hypocritical, or over-praising; both indications of upcoming trouble. You should acknowledge some shortcomings to appear more human, to make people see you as this real and approachable person. In short, never take all the credit for your accomplishments. Say that luck or other factors also had a play in your success.

An example of a person who may relate to this law is Joseph. When he told his dream to his brothers, it was not exactly an "achievement" yet, but as he is already envied by his brothers, his dreams of success led to more envy, which became the cause of his demise. He redeemed himself, though, in the future, when he was already a vizier. He said that it was in the LORD's plan to save their family that they [his brothers] sold him to the passing traders (sort of emphasizing the "fate" part that he is in that position).

But in this age, where people are generally more competitive, and want to project that he/she is always better than the next person, what are the pitfalls of admitting to your weaknesses?

Sydney Arbilo~