The Laws of Human Nature - Critical summary review - Robert Greene

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The Laws of Human Nature - critical summary review

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Personal Development and Career & Business

This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: 

Available for: Read online, read in our mobile apps for iPhone/Android and send in PDF/EPUB/MOBI to Amazon Kindle.

ISBN: 0525428143, 978-0525428145

Publisher: Penguin Books

Critical summary review

Almost all the decisions we make on a daily basis carry a set of consequences. For this reason, you ought to understand the laws of human nature that shape your character and compel you to act in a given manner.

In all honesty, this is not a path everyone is willing to take, and most people would rather remain ignorant than embarking on a perilous journey to self-discovery. If you are on the threshold of making this huge step, then sit tight and see how life opens up with the right knowledge.

Without further ado, let’s explore the laws, which can make a huge difference in your life.

The Law of Irrationality

People are overwhelmed by emotions despite the fact that hypersensitivity conflicts with the fundamental laws of rationality. Robert Greene argues that being overly sensitive prevents you from seeing things clearly and compels you to be on the lookout for things that apply to your belief system.

This is also partly linked to the inability to connect with the real world, and subsequently, build an inner one. The consequences are severe regarding your capacity to think and make rational decisions. Given these points, it’s critical for you to know how to cool off, in order to have full control over your life and emotions.

Your job is to subdue the emotional turmoil in order to tackle irrationality.

The Law of Narcissism

People are social creatures, and our constant need to interact and hang out with one another is only but natural. However, sometimes the narcissistic elements within us take a toll on our well-being and stir up selfishness.

Whatever path you choose, it must be filled with self-love but redirected outwardly. This will facilitate the transition from overly emotional and self-centered to open-minded and caring.

In the meantime, you should keep an eye out for narcissists that are present in your life, and slowly start to back away from them. These people love to be in the spotlight and rarely give a damn about the world around them. Most importantly, their hearts are brimming with envy and toxic intentions.

The Law of Role-playing

Robert Greene gives huge importance to non-verbal cues, and with good reason. Although people are fond of role-playing, you can easily discern their real intentions by paying heed to their movements and gestures.

The mask allows them to adjust their behavior based on the circumstances but they pay a heavy price for that. They end up becoming conformists with no real self-awareness. You have probably been in a situation where you tried to manipulate the interlocutor, by nodding, saying the right things or making the right moves. 

Truthfully, every mask has cracks in it. By detecting these weaknesses, you’ll be able to deal with things with much greater ease and have a good response to every social situation.

The Law of Compulsive Behavior

Before assembling your crew, make sure to choose the right people for the job. In order to do that, you would have to dig deeper into their characters and see what they can bring to the table.

The habits and concepts they espouse will determine their input! Bear in mind that people don’t want to abandon their comfort zone, which means that they are prone to repeat whatever they’ve done in the past.

Those that separate themselves from the herd will often display flexibility and willingness to adjust their approach depending on the situation. Make sure that you bring them to your team!

The Law of Covetousness

Indeed, people love the things they can’t have. The absence and presence method introduced by Robert Greene pinpoints that deprivation of something triggers the desire to obtain that item or asset.

To leverage this mindset present in all people, you must create a sense of uncertainty and mystery around yourself and your actions. Mysteries and rumors have always been perceived with curiosity and passion, and that’s why you should learn how to exploit this social pull. But beware, fall too deep into this, and it will be hard to get out.

You might also create a counter-reaction that will not help but rather harm you. So, take things slow and with caution. Learn to be grateful and mysterious at the same time.

The Law of Shortsightedness

What does shortsightedness even mean? You cannot help but notice that almost all of us are obsessed with recent trending stories and news that have no positive effect on our lives.

Not being able to see the big picture, makes you vulnerable especially when things take an unexpected turn. With the mental projection fizzled out, people hit the bottom without even realizing it. This reactive mode is partly the reason for the deep social dejection and fears that are pervasive nowadays.

Embracing the long-term perspective can be hard, but it's not like we have much of a choice anyway.

The Law of Defensiveness

Evidently, individuals who adopt a more defensive approach find it extremely hard to bring more people to their side of the argument. If you want to persuade someone in joining your cause, then the least you can do is be creative and stop leveraging overly aggressive techniques.

Try to lure them in by explaining how this transformation will benefit them in the long run and help them to achieve prosperity. Also, resist the temptation to make decisions on their behalf, because that will only stir up their rigidity towards your project.

Give them the freedom to choose, but guide them through the process.  

The Law of Self-sabotage

Your mind is like a garden with different flowers in it. If you don't water the flowers and take care of them they will dry out. For precisely the same reason, you must feed your mind with knowledge to keep it fresh and healthy. But, you must remember that knowledge without the right attitude is like a boat on dry land.

Most people would agree that attitude and determination represent the backbone of any successful endeavor. If a person adopts negative mental patterns, he or she will automatically attach a negative undertone to every opportunity that emerges.

This sabotage can only be tackled with an internal revolution. It will not only open up more opportunities, but it will also bring happiness in different ways.

The Law of Repression

Behind the fancy clothes, and friendly smile there is almost always another personality buried beneath the superficial appearance. It’s a metaphorical explanation that reveals the corrupt side dwelling inside us and how we seek to hide it from the eyes of the community.

By all means, you must double-down on tackling these shady urges and take full control over yourself. Also, it is of utmost importance that you learn how to channel your energy and transform the negative sensations into positive affirmations.

This form of integration will give you the upper hand when engaged in different social situations.

The Law of Envy

In reality, we are all prone to comparing ourselves to others, as if it's our second nature. We as humans have an inclination to evaluate the quality of our own lives based on the values that are accepted and promoted by the mainstream narrative.

For some, this form of evaluation acts as an incentive to work harder and take advantage of the opportunities that come along. For others, it takes the shape of deep envy which leads to total dissatisfaction in the long-run.

Don't crave the limelight and work solely on your personal progress, because that will give you enough room to breathe and pursue your goals.

The Law of Grandiosity

By all means, people have this habitual sense to think highly of themselves. We are addicted to superiority, admiration and a tap on the shoulder. Although natural grandiosity can come at a terrible cost, most people fear that life without it would be much harder.

It's not a very popular thing to say but sometimes, other factors like your parents, environmental opportunities, or political climate might have had a critical role in your rise to prominence. If you don’t give credit to all the people who’ve helped you, you’ll give the impression of an irrational and pretentious person.

The most basic signs for excessive grandiosity are oversensitivity if criticized, vouching for certainty when conceiving a plan, excluding others from making decisions, to name a few.  

The Law of Gender Rigidity

You can’t simply switch off the masculine and feminine traits, but you can exert some influence on them. Most of us pattern our lives after role models that inspire and make us feel good about ourselves. Even if you are not aware of this, chances are that you emulate or at least you did that in the past, some of the people present in your life.

If your role models are only enforcing the gender rigidity we are trying to destroy, then you should really question your loyalty to them. To incite creativeness, you must crank up the efforts to disintegrate from this shallow group-thinking impulse.

Simply speaking, don’t put a stranglehold on your personal development and embrace fluidity. If you have the audacity to follow this lifestyle, people are going to notice your authenticity and be mesmerized by it!

The Law of Aimlessness

The human mind is the most sophisticated machine in the entire kingdom. Unlike animals who draw conclusions based on past encounters and instincts, we lean towards conscious decision-making. It helps you to choose both the battles you want to fight and the battlefield.

Nonetheless, not all people have managed to lead with a clear goal in their mind, and have spent most of their lifetime roaming around looking for the next meal. Finding your life mission is the single and most important aspect of your journey.

Clearly-defined life path gives energy to the individual even in moments of deep despair.

The Law of Conformity

The group conformity is an omnipresent phenomenon, existing both now and in the past. Some people are apt to imitate other people, others act in accordance with their own set of acceptable thoughts and feelings. When it comes to the conformists, they are the creators of the irrational system, which takes on individualism and threatens to destroy personal freedom.

Some might call it a cult, and it is clear as to why the conformist stance is not something to be celebrated. Your job is to work on your self-awareness and make judgments based on your own convictions and seeings.

It will help you be more cooperative on the outside while staying independent and self-reliant on the inside.

The Law of Fickleness

It’s almost paradoxical, but people both hate and love their leaders. They want to be guided, but they also feel envy and skepticism regarding the leader’s abilities. In other words, they prefer prosperity without having to risk much.

At the first available opportunity, they would question your strength and ability to lead them. To deal with this wavelike behavior, you must exercise your authority and above all, earn it!

In such circumstances, your legitimacy as a wielder of institutional power will remain intact.

The Law of Aggression

They say the eyes are the window to the soul. Have you noticed that every person will try to hide their imperfections for as long as possible? As you get to know the person, you’ll start seeing the deep aggressive desires and motives, which are camouflaged to fit the social image. The number of people who are prepared to do anything to fulfill their longings, while totally disregarding morality and ethics, is way too high.

By acting as an observer, you may be able to spot these hidden emotions and prepare an adequate response beforehand. That way, you’ll ward off potential aggressors and preserve your peace.

In addition, you should learn how to channel your own aggressive energy in order to achieve ambitious goals.

The Law of Generational Myopia

The age gap is true and real. As much as we try to blend in and be cool, it’s more than evident that different generations cultivate a different set of values, which is a testament to the creation of the so-called Generational Myopia.

To put it differently, the generational values that are enforced by society confines you into thinking and acting in a predefined manner. All of the decision-making is generalized, and your input is hardly ever unique.

It’s not easy to face this problem, because reprogramming your mind is no child’s play. At the same time, you need to learn how to resist the social engineering that comes with each generation and strive for freedom of mind!

The Law of Death Denial

The fear of extinction is the driving factor behind every civilization ever built. Avoiding death is not possible, and given the fact that this thought fills us with dread, people tend to delay this fight by any means necessary. Robert Greene states that fear can be used to your advantage as your most potent weapon.

The shortness of life ought to compel you to fight harder and stop with the procrastination. Once you are ready to face your end, you’ll be able to deal with setbacks and obstacles in a swift manner.

The understanding of mortality is undoubtedly a powerful tool sitting at your disposal that is seldom used to achieve something.

Final Notes

Just when the world thought that Robert Greene couldn’t outdo himself, he proved us wrong.

Apart from the fact that this book embodies competitive spirit and rationality; it also stirs up revolution regarding your inner belief system.

What's your opinion on personal development? Do you think that the author’s perspective can be used as a blueprint to overcome the hurdles ahead? We do believe that Robert Greene has what it takes to unpuzzle the definition of personhood and tell you what you are doing wrong.

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Who wrote the book?

Robert Greene is a bestselling American author with a degree in classical studies from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He has written six books, all of them international bestsellers: “T... (Read more)

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