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We’ve all tasted it now and then: the ability to shrug things off that might otherwise cause us distress and make us appear weak and needy is a fundamental and immense wellspring of power. The promotion you didn’t get; the romantic advance turned down; or just the mix-up of times and dates that meant you missed something cool… If you reacted with petulance and frustration, you neither felt nor appeared dignified or in control. But oh, those times where you managed to find the inner strength and stability to smile and move onwards… those are moments to treasure.
But they are also moments to repeat and turn into your standard MO. Law 36 is all about creating and cultivating your own reality: you make things significant by dwelling on them and giving them your attention. In fact, that’s the key itself: significance is something you give – it’s in your power to withhold it and retain your power and poise.
This episode goes deep. We consider the limits of privacy and surveillance; the brain’s tendency to value anything we perceive as scarce; and why your behaviour is more important than your achievements in the eyes of others. We dig into where the limits of friendship lie – just how far can you push a friend’s loyalty and patience? And is unconditional love for those closest to you secretly a recipe for disaster?
We ponder whether it’s possible for revolutions to happen in the modern western world, and whether war creates meaning in people’s lives that could be worth the costs. But there’s also plenty of time to hear Jon’s tales of Grindr, the site of entirely unassisted personal meltdowns when you don’t pay someone the attention which they crave. Oh, and we give you sound advice on how to ignore the Pope and perform the Wim Hof Method with a single ice cube.
This episode includes:
- Restraining yourself when you feel like you just ‘have’ to say something
- Why the opposite of ‘funny’ isn’t ‘serious’. It’s simply ‘not funny’.
- How continued ‘winning’ can excuse a lot of other actions
- Disdaining mainstream lifestyles – and how people react when you do
- The Anti-Wim Hof Method!
- Once again, Law 35 plays a role – timing is essential for when you show interest or disdain something or someone
- The difference between unconditional love, compassion and empathy
- The importance of drawing boundaries, especially with the people closest to you
- How the presence or observation of another person changes what you do, whether you know it or not
- Why overreacting paves the way to ruin
- How Law 19 plays into these issues
Mentioned in the episode:
- The John Favreau movie Swingers
- The ever-disturbing, BoJack the Horseman
- Idries Shah’s Caravan of Dreams
- The stats on the US prison population
Challenge: If you don’t get something you wanted in your everyday life, don’t complain about it. Play the other card: make out it was no big deal and see if other people are impressed with your power and poise.
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).