Law 6: Court Attention At All Costs

In the image: Ratan Naval Tata is an Indian industrialist, philanthropist, and a former chairman of Tata Sons. He was also chairman of Tata Group, from 1990 to 2012, and again, as interim chairman, from October 2016 through February 2017, and continues to head its charitable trusts.

Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colourful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.

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Part 1: Surround your name with the sensational and scandalous

Draw attention to yourself by creating an unforgettable, even controversial image. Court scandal. Do anything to make yourself seem larger than life and shine more brightly than those around you. Make no distinction between kinds of attention — notoriety of any sort will bring you power. Better to be slandered and attacked than ignored.

Keys To Power

  • Attracting attention is a skill no one is born with; you have to learn.
  • At the start of your career, you must attach your name and reputation to a quality, an image that sets you apart from other people.
  • This image can be something like a characteristic style of dress, a personality quirk etc. Once the image is established, you have an appearance.
  • It is a common mistake to imagine that this peculiar appearance of yours should not be controversial, that to be attacked is bad.
  • To avoid being a flash in the pan, you must not discriminate against different types of attention, in the end, every kind will work in your favour.
  • Society craves larger-than-life figures, people who stand above the general mediocrity. Never be afraid of the qualities that set you apart and draw attention to you.
  • If you find yourself in a lowly position that offers little opportunity for you to draw attention, an effective trick is to attack the most visible, most famous, most powerful person you can find.
  • Once in the limelight you must constantly renew it by adapting and varying your method of courting attention. If you don’t, the public will grow tired of you, take you for granted and move on to a newer star.
In the image: Leonardo DiCaprio’s character from The Great Gatsby always knew how to steal the show

Part 2: Create an air of mystery

In a world growing increasingly banal and familiar, what seems enigmatic instantly draws attention. Never make it too clear what you are doing or about to do. Do not show all your cards. An air of mystery heightens your presence; it also creates anticipation — everyone will be watching you to see what happens next. Use mystery to beguile, seduce, even frighten.

Keys To Power

  • The mysterious invites layers of interpretation excite our imagination and seduce us into believing that it conceals something marvelous.
  • Do not imagine that to create an air of mystery you have to be grand and awe-inspiring. The mystery that is woven into your day-to-day demeanor and is subtle has much more power to fascinate and attract attention.
  • Mysterious people put others in a kind of inferior position — that of trying to figure them out.
  • If you find yourself trapped, cornered, and on the defensive in some situation, try a simple experiment: do something that cannot be easily explained or interpreted. Choose a simple action, but carry it out in a way that unsettles your opponent, an action with many possible interpretations, making your intentions obscure.

Reversal

  • At the beginning of your rise to the top, you must attract attention at all costs. As you rise higher, you must constantly adapt. Never wear the public out with the same tactic.
  • Do not let your air of mystery become a reputation of deceit.
  • Never appear overly greedy for attention, for it signals insecurity and insecurity drives power away. Understand that there are times when it is not in your interest to be the center of attention.

Example

In the image: Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso would not allow himself to fade into the background. He would rather paint something out of the ordinary and ugly than be forgotten. All publicity is good publicity. Don’t let yourself become one of many.

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.

Buy The 48 Laws of Power or Listen to it for FREE on Audible