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“The Laws of Human Nature”

Robert Greene’s “The Laws of Human Nature” may be the best book I have read in a long time and if I had my way it would be a textbook in every high school in America.  I feel that way because this book lays out a comprehensive guide for the way we think and behave.  Greene mixes philosophy with ancient wisdom and recent events to help us understand the 18 laws that guide us.

Each section begins by explaining the ‘law’, then shares a story that supports the theory.  He summarizes what we have learned and shares strategies on how we can build our skills or improve our behavior in each area.

Here are Greene’s laws with my one-sentence summaries:

The Law of Irrationality – How our emotions lead us to bad decisions and create negativity in our lives.

The Law of Narcissism – Why people are narcissists and how they can be dangerous.

The Law of Role-playing – The impact of hiding our true personalities.

The Law of Compulsive Behavior – People fall into the trap of repeating bad behaviors.

The Law of Covetousness – Why we want what we don’t have.

The Law of Shortsightedness – Why we overreact to short term situations and ignore the long-term.

The Law of Defensiveness – We resist when people are trying to change our minds, yet we look for opportunities to change others.

The Law of Self-sabotage – If you change your attitude who can avoid problems that you will face.

The Law of Repression – Be cautious of your dark side.  We all have one.

The Law of Envy – Because people are naturally envious, you need to work to draw attention away from yourself and develop your own self-worth but the way you view yourself.

The Law of Grandiosity – A little success goes to our head.  It is wise to be realistic when looking at your own accomplishments.

The Law of Gender Rigidity – We are born with male and female genes, but as we grow older, we repress parts of our traits.  This is to our own detriment.

The Law of Aimlessness – When you have a sense of purpose, you will be more successful.

The Law of Conformity – We act differently when we are in groups.  We are more likely to take risks when we feel the support of those around us.

The Law of Fickleness – Authority results from creating the appearance of power and when others see you as a leader.

The Law of Aggression – Recognize the signs of our repressed frustrations and anger and learn to tame them.

The Law of Generational Myopia – As you grow up you identify with others from your generation, but when you get older these attitudes prevent you from being open to the ideas of others not in your group.

The Law of Death Denial – We spend a lot of our lives avoiding the subject of our own death. But as we accept it, we enjoy more aspects of our life.

You owe it yourself, to read this book.


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