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Notes politics

Chapter 1: See Things for What They Are – Intense Realism (The 50th Law)

Image result for malcolm x
Malcolm X

Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) learned from his experience on the streets, that the only way to get what you want in life, was to be realistic. Many people choose to live in a fantasy world that makes them feel comfortable, while ignoring the details and the reality around them.

50 Cent succeeded because his mind was sharp, but his mind was sharp because his circumstances didn’t allow otherwise. When your life is on the line, you cannot afford to lie to yourself.

When people manage to overcome their fear of reality and confront it directly, they often succeed. But they often rest on the glory of the past, thinking that they know enough, or that they are secure. Their minds become soft and they start making mistakes. That is the danger that you are warned about.

Don’t lose focus and drift into fantasy land when things are going well.

Dig Deeper – Depth

To do this, you need to dig deeper. Don’t be satisfied with what is obvious and what is conventional.

Napoleon was the greatest general that ever lived, because he paid close attention to detail. He took in massive amounts of important information, and that allowed him to build sound strategies that matched the reality on the ground. He was never satisfied with surface level information.

Malcolm X understood this too. He realized that the reason black people were marginalized was because they were dependent. And they had no self-determination, because the people who could change their circumstances were the liberals in government and their leaders.  

Look Further Ahead – Proportion

Because of fear, people often limit their focus on the near term. This is because people are preoccupied with endless battles in the present. But the less you think about the future, the less you can shape it.

The key is to know what to focus on in the present. Instead of worrying about things today that won’t matter tomorrow, shift your thinking towards only the things that matter, freeing you up to think about the future.

Think about the mistakes that others have done that you may benefit from and think about the problems that are holding you back.

Look at People’s Deeds, Not Words – Sharpness

Don’t take people’s actions personally, if they offend you, but see them for what they are: attempts to gain power. Some people will disguise their behavior as morally righteous while others will not, but the motivations don’t matter. The words they use to justify their behavior are tools to get them what they want, whether they acknowledge it or not.

Pay attention not to the grand gestures that people make but to the details. Someone who is quick to be friendly may be doing so out of envy or malicious intent. To know, you must observe their behavior in a careful and objective way.

Reassess Yourself – Detachment

Every few weeks, you should use your critical thinking on yourself. Think about what you are doing, where you are going, and whether you are doing things the right way. If you are engaged in unnecessary conflicts, withdraw from them. Adapt your behavior to changing circumstances, make sure you are not moving away from reality. When you make this a habit, it becomes more difficult to put you off balance when circumstances change.

Reversal of Perspective

Dreamers are often idealized, but they shouldn’t be. The biggest mistakes of history have come from dreamers, while the realists are the innovators. The realists are not less creative, but more creative, since their insights are closely tied to reality and are useful.

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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