Episode #304: Robert Greene on the Laws of Human Nature
This man needs no introduction but I’m going to give him one anyway.
Robert Greene is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law and Mastery.
His highly anticipated sixth book, The Laws of Human Nature, explores people's drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves. Knowing why people do what they do is the most important tool we can possess, without which our other talents can only take us so far.
Having read hundreds of business books myself, perhaps the books that have had the most profound positive impact on how I show up each day and how I conduct myself are books on psychology, behavioural economics, neuroscience and biological evolution. Books that ultimately helped me to understand myself and understand others. As such, I was really excited to read the Laws of Nature and speak with Greene about what is such a fundamental topic.
In addition to having a strong following within the business world and a deep following in Washington, DC, Greene's books are hailed by everyone from war historians to the biggest musicians in the industry (including Jay-Z and 50 Cent).
Expect to learn a ton from this conversation, but in particular, three key take-aways:
1) How having an estimated 80 jobs before becoming an author shaped Greene’s world view and made him a better and more creative writer
2) Why it is our moments of frustration where we often seek out life-changing answers
3) How Greene seeks the path of what is ‘most right’ by looking at questions from multiple angles and contemplating many alternatives
This just scratches the surface of the many enlightening things we discussed - just peek at the topics discussed in the show notes to get a feel for everything discussed - so with that, it gives me much pleasure to present you with one of the most pre-eminent authors of our time, the one and only, Robert Greene.
- How having an estimated 80 jobs before becoming an author shaped Greene’s world view and made him a better and more creative writer
- Greene’s take on ‘strong opinions, loosely held’
- Why books on human behaviour can make you a better entrepreneur than business books
- What The Laws of Human Nature offers that other books don’t
- Greene’s approach to writing books like the 48 Laws of Power and Mastery
- How Greene aims to avoid the narrative fallacy
- Why one should look for their ‘higher purpose’ in life
- The peril of false purposes
- Why it is our moments of frustration where we often seek out life-changing answers
- Imposter syndrome
- Avoiding the ‘counterfeit yes’ in sales
- Napoleon and controlled chaos
- How to become like Marcus Aurelius or Queen Elizabeth I, a leader who people want to follow
- Pericles and emotional regulation
- How Greene seeks the path of ‘most right’ by looking at questions from all angles
- Why activism is often just a fast-track to moral righteousness, sans actually being morally righteous
- Why people wear masks and why it’s their shadows that reveal their true selves
- How to infer what people’s true character, or shadow, is through body language
- How social media can bring out the worst in us and the rise of tech addiction
- Keeping toxic people out of your life or not succumbing to their games
- How to persuade by first confirming people’s self-opinion
- How to persuade by allaying someone’s insecurities
- The irrationality of human beings and why we should increase our reaction time
- Greene’s meditation practice and how it has impacted his life and work
1. The Blog of Robert Greene: www.powerseductionandwar.com
2. Twitter: @RobertGreene
3. Greene’s Books: https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Greene/e/B001IGV3IS
4. The Laws of Human Nature Book: https://www.amazon.com/Laws-Human-Nature-Robert-Greene/dp/0525428143
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