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One of Dre’s favourite Laws, this one treads the fine line between performing, lying, and simply showing the side of yourself that you most want the world to see. Are you ready to escape the roles and limitations that other people foist upon you? Well, here’s a newsflash: it all starts with you and how you present yourself. Kings can be unmade if they do not act like kings, and power can be gained if you act like it’s yours already.

Dre reads this Law through the prism of Superman (Jon’s least favourite superhero), but what does it really mean to be a king or a hero? How can you push for more without upsetting (and being held down by) jealous people around you? And if you end up a martyr, did you really achieve what you wanted?

This is a wide-ranging episode, taking us from Christopher Columbus to Buddhist psychology; how to react when the world tells you to ‘Be Less You’; plus we break down the intense complexity of choosing handshakes or hugs in Britain and elsewhere. We get into a pretty intense debate over whether it’s ever OK to pull down statues; if having the right accent is the real key to using this Law; and Jon tells the story of how he rejected two contracts from a major publisher because they seriously undervalued him and his work.

We also dig into the dangers of agreeing to work for free or for less than you’re worth: it’s almost impossible to escape the resulting perception that you’re actually not worth anything.

In between nearly choking to death over the course of the episode, Dre makes a strong case that hard work is a tool, not a truth; we ponder the importance of reconnecting with your inner child (with psychedelics or otherwise) to (re)discover your creative freedom; and insist that you need to say the word ‘cunt’ if you want to get into Jon’s good books.

This episode includes:

  • Setting an example without becoming a martyr
  • The Rhodes Must Fall controversy
  • Christopher Columbus: cunt or kingly?
  • Be prepared to fail if you ever want to get anywhere
  • How to successfully set your own price
  • The difference between being angry and experiencing anger
  • The need to believe in yourself precisely when you’re trying to convince others
  • The recursive mirror of dickheadedness
  • The importance of psychedelics to your mental health
  • Finding and holding to your own integrity
  • Beware of permitting bad precedents – and never leave them unpunished
  • Act with dignity, no matter the circumstances
  • The difference between being vulgar and being crass and weird

Mentioned in the episode:


Be silly. Be kind. Be weird.

Join us as we continue our 48 Laws of Power review, exploring Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling book, in which he lays bare the history, practice, psychology, and philosophies of power that ultimately shape all human relations. Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look, beyond the hyperbole, and discuss how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually.

Jon and Dre aim to get to the heart of each of the Laws, grapple with their sometimes disturbingly amoral nature, and discuss what the Laws mean in everyday life (often revealing their own experiences – good and bad – when they’ve either observed or transgressed them).

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