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Book Summaries Psychology

Law 15: Make Them Want to Follow You (The Laws of Human Nature)

The Law of Fickleness

To lead, you must sacrifice, you must show your appreciation to the others in the group, and those who are below you in the hierarchy. Never take people’s trust for granted, it is something that you must continually earn. It is what Queen Elizabeth did. She made the love of her people a priority, while others in similar positions squandered the trust of the public.

If you are young, and are just starting out, you have no credibility yet.

This can be frustrating, but you should understand that people will rarely listen to you. Even if your knowledge is accurate and your wisdom valid, they will not see you as a voice of authority – they will not act on your advice.

If a more experienced person with a proven track record tells them exactly what you said, they are much more likely to believe them. That is why you should avoid moralizing and preaching when you are young, don’t be so anxious to influence other people. In this way, you also benefit. Since people will not look to you for advice, you can use this time to build rapport, and to learn and experience more of life.

It is important to have deadlines, either externally or internally imposed. But never take such deadlines too seriously. Remember that time is passing and if you don’t feel you are moving in the right direction, stop. There is nothing more tragic than to see the years roll by without a clear path towards mastery or achievement. This can only start when you become more attuned to who you are and what your purpose in life should be.

Constant serving of others is not something to scorn at but something to embrace. You have a responsibility to serve others. Before you, millions of people have died, leaving behind a culture that allowed you to become educated and to lead a good life. But the job is far from over. Humanity still has a long way to go, and you have a responsibility to give back to it.

Once you begin to experience pleasure in working for the benefit of others, you escape the small world of the egotistical self – that is insecure and needy. When you work for something bigger than yourself, people will naturally gravitate towards you. Whether you embody the Founder archetype and want to disrupt the status quo or the teacher archetype that helps others learn from their mistakes, you are showing that you can go outside of yourself. People respect this because it is a rare and valuable quality.

The person who only cares about satisfying their own needs is not respected, is not a hero for their culture, and not an example to follow.

The select man, the excellent man is urged, by interior necessity, to appeal from himself to some standard beyond himself, superior to himself, whose service he freely accepts. . . . We distinguished the excellent man from the common man by saying that the former is one who makes great demands on himself, and the latter the one who makes no demands on himself, but contents himself with what he is, and is delighted with himself. Contrary to what is usually thought, it is the man of excellence . . . who lives in essential servitude. Life has no savor for him unless he makes it consist in service to something transcendental. Hence he does not look upon the necessity of serving as an oppression. When, by chance, such necessity is lacking, he grows restless and invents some new standard, more difficult, more exigent, with which to coerce himself. This is life lived as a discipline—the noble life.

José Ortega y Gasset

Read The Laws of Human Nature

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

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