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Law 35: Master The Art Of Timing

In the image: Indra Nooyi is an Indian-American business executive and former chairperson and chief executive officer of PepsiCo. She has consistently ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women. Wikipedia

Never seem to be in a hurry — hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself and over time. Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually. Become a detective of the right moment; sniff and the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power. Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.

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Keys To Power

  • Time is an artificial concept created by humans. Since it is human-constructed, we can mold it to some degree, to play tricks with it.
  • Time depends on perception, which we can alter.
  • If the inner turmoil caused by our emotions tends to make time move faster, it follows that once we control our emotional responses to events, time will move much more slowly.
  • This altered way of dealing with things tends to lengthen our perception of future time, opens up possibilities that fear and anger close off and allows us the patience that is the requirement of timing.

3 Kinds Of Time

1. Long Time

  • The drawn-out, years-long kind of time that must be managed with patience and gentle guidance
  • When you force the pace out of fear and impatience, you create a nest of problems that require fixing, and you end up taking much longer if you had taken your time.
  • Sometimes not acting in the face of danger is your best move — you wait and deliberately slow down.
  • When your mind is uncluttered by constant emergencies you will see further into the future. You will also be able to resist the baits people dangle in front of you. You will also have room to be flexible. You will not move from one deal to another without completing the first one.

2. Forced Time

  • The short-term time we can manipulate as an offensive weapon, upsetting the timing of our opponents.
  • Make them wait, make them hurry, make them abandon their own pace, distort their perception of time
  • The deadline is a type of forced time.

3. End Time

  • When a plan must be executed with speed and force


  • There is no reversal.


Joseph Fouché was switching sides whenever he sensed danger. His biography is riddled with nigh impossible escapes from death. He did not deem it necessary to be loyal to disloyal men. Say what you want of his attitude, but he certainly knew when to act and when to lay low. With time comes change. It is important to not only know how to adapt but at what exact moment for maximum effect. Too fast and you’re a traitor. Too late and you’re imitating the others. In any case, learn to use time to your advantage.

About The Book

The 48 Laws of Power (1998) is a non-fiction book by American author Robert Greene. The book is a bestseller, selling over 1.2 million copies in the United States.

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