Law 1: Never outshine the master – Do not show up your superiors, as they will resent you and feel threatened.
Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies – Friends can become enemies, and enemies can be valuable allies.
Law 3: Conceal your intentions – Keep people guessing about your intentions and plans, as this gives you an advantage.
Law 4: Always say less than necessary – Speak only when necessary and do not reveal more than you need to.
Law 5: So much depends on reputation – Build a strong reputation and protect it at all costs.
Law 6: Court attention at all costs – Be bold and visible, as attention leads to power.
Law 7: Get others to do the work for you, but always take credit – Delegate tasks, but take credit for their success.
Law 8: Make other people come to you – Be the one in control by making others come to you.
Law 9: Win through your actions, never through argument – Actions speak louder than words, and it is more powerful to demonstrate your abilities rather than argue.
Law 10: Infection: avoid the unhappy and the unlucky – Do not associate with unhappy or unlucky people, as their negativity can bring you down.
Law 11: Learn to keep people dependent on you – Keep people dependent on you by controlling the resources they need.
Law 12: Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim – Use honesty and generosity selectively to manipulate others.
Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest – Make others want to help you by appealing to their self-interest.
Law 14: Pose as a friend, work as a spy – Appear friendly and trustworthy while gathering information.
Law 15: Crush your enemy totally – Do not leave any room for your enemies to recover or retaliate.
Law 16: Use absence to increase respect and honor – Absence can make people appreciate and respect you more.
Law 17: Keep others in suspended terror: cultivate an air of unpredictability – Keep others on edge and unsure of your intentions.
Law 18: Do not build fortresses to protect yourself – isolation is dangerous – Do not isolate yourself, as it can make you vulnerable.
Law 19: Know who you’re dealing with – Be aware of the people you are dealing with, and tailor your approach accordingly.
Law 20: Do not commit to anyone – Do not tie yourself to one person or group, as it limits your options.
Law 21: Play a sucker to catch a sucker – Pretend to be a fool to catch others off guard.
Law 22: Use the surrender tactic: transform weakness into power – Use surrender to turn a weak position into an advantage.
Law 23: Concentrate your forces – Focus your energy and resources on a single target.
Law 24: Play the perfect courtier – Behave like a perfect courtier to gain the favor of those in power.
Law 25: Re-create yourself – Constantly reinvent yourself to stay ahead of the game.
Law 26: Keep your hands clean – Do not involve yourself in dirty work or unethical practices.
Law 27: Play on people’s need to believe to create a cult-like following – Use people’s need for belonging to create a loyal following.
Law 28: Enter action with boldness – Be bold and decisive when taking action.
Law 29: Plan all the way to the end – Plan for all possible outcomes and contingencies.
Law 30: Make your accomplishments seem effortless – Make your successes appear effortless, as this creates an air of mystique and mastery.
Law 31: Control the options: get others to play with the cards you deal – Control the choices available to others to gain an advantage.
Law 32: Play to people’s fantasies – Play to people’s desires and fantasies to gain their loyalty.
Law 33: Discover each man’s thumbscrew – Discover what motivates and drives others to gain influence over them.
Law 34: Be royal in your own fashion: act like a king to be treated like one – Project an air of authority and confidence to be treated with respect.
Law 35: Master the art of timing – Understand the importance of timing in decision-making and action.
Law 36: Disdain things you cannot have: ignoring them is the best revenge – Disregard what you cannot have to avoid feeling inferior or powerless.
Law 37: Create compelling spectacles – Use dramatic gestures and symbols to create memorable events and leave an impression.
Law 38: Think as you like but behave like others – Think independently but conform to social norms and expectations.
Law 39: Stir up waters to catch fish – Create chaos and turmoil to distract and manipulate others.
Law 40: Despise the free lunch – Do not accept favors or handouts, as they come with strings attached.
Law 41: Avoid stepping into a great man’s shoes – Do not try to replace a great leader or figure, as it will be impossible to fill their shoes.
Law 42: Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter – Target the leader to disorient and weaken the group.
Law 43: Work on the hearts and minds of others – Use emotional appeals and persuasive language to gain support and influence.
Law 44: Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect – Use the mirror effect to reflect back people’s behavior and provoke a reaction.
Law 45: Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once – Advocate for change, but implement it gradually to avoid backlash.
Law 46: Never appear too perfect – Display minor flaws and imperfections to appear more human and relatable.
Law 47: Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop – Do not overreach or push too far, as it can lead to failure.
Law 48: Assume formlessness – Be adaptable and flexible to handle any situation and avoid being predictable.