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Thank you so much John and Bel!

Super helpful.

Some quick notes from you both as I still reflect on this deeply:

"Cover Your Ass" in the fundamentals

I feel it must be there even if only as a reminder.

Go for win-win without a potent reminder that any win-win can go south is at high risk of being naive.

Even if a solid win-win may have a 90%+ chance of lasting for ever, as many friendships do, it's still an important reminder.
And even if "only" at an emotional level, without taking any concrete steps, it's empowering to know and accept the possibility of betrayal, and be cool with it.

Just as an example:

I remember once when a girl I was seeing had an ex-boyfriend still help her with chores.
Given all that I knew, I considered it low-ish odds that they were still hooking up, but for sure not zero.
And albeit knowing it was happening would have hurt me somehow, being aware and accepting the possibility of betrayal made me a lot more "cool" with it and more resilient in case it was actually happening.

"Straightness" as an addition (in eagle lesson and/or as a "good to have" in the foundations)

Yes, I agree it can go into the eagle concept.

For sure something like that will be in the eagle lesson/article, may be even with stronger references to values and ethics since the eagle concept isn't all about "maximizing power", but also about being a "honorable person", in a way.

And I'm thinking whether it can be as a separate smaller topic in the foundations of high-value socialization.

So right now I'm thinking either:

  1. In the foundations' module, but outside the main lesson, as a sort of "this will also help" type of addition
  2. In the eagle's lesson
  3. Both

Choose high quality people in the fundamentals

I think it makes sense that's it there, again if only as a powerful reminder.

Sometimes the most basic reminders sound so obvious and simple, but it's a lot about applying them (and how to apply them, picking high quality people means getting good at reading people, which is a huge life skill in and on itself).

You can have win-win with son of bitches if the interests align and it's more of a "business transaction" to advance in life.

But that's a reminder that whenever you have the option, and almost always for your personal life, go for high quality, which includes a certain baseline of morals and ethics.

Part of the code of being high-power, yes... Just not that central

Yes, I agree, it's part of the mix of being high-power and generally successful.

Being held in high regard and self-esteem is also power, and even more so it's success at 360^ since you just feel better about yourself and about life.

But it's just not that central, that was the main issue that led me to move it outside.

Too many counter-examples in real life of people that acted in ways that make you dislike, despise, and not respect them but that still acquired power and kept it for long.
When the counter-examples start being too many it's not any more exceptions to the rule, but it just shows that it's not that important.

Section on "respect"

I agree, it's important.

Of course it overlaps with power, since people tend to respect high-power even when the behavior is not the most honorable -most people would respect Trump if they were in the same room, even though he's the opposite of "straight / honorable"-.

And it will overlap even more with the eagle construct, to the point where one can see PU + the eagle portion as the most reliable way of "getting respect" in life.


If any, happy to read more thoughts, feedback, and opinions.

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Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on October 6, 2022, 4:53 pm

Part of the code of being high-power, yes... Just not that central

Yes, I agree, it's part of the mix of being high-power and generally successful.

Being held in high regard and self-esteem is also power, and even more so it's success at 360^ since you just feel better about yourself and about life.

But it's just not that central, that was the main issue that led me to move it outside.

Too many counter-examples in real life of people that acted in ways that make you dislike, despise, and not respect them but that still acquired power and kept it for long.
When the counter-examples start being too many it's not any more exceptions to the rule, but it just shows that it's not that important.

Section on "respect"

I agree, it's important.

Of course it overlaps with power, since people tend to respect high-power even when the behavior is not the most honorable -most people would respect Trump if they were in the same room, even though he's the opposite of "straight / honorable"-.

And it will overlap even more with the eagle construct, to the point where one can see PU + the eagle portion as the most reliable way of "getting respect" in life.


If any, happy to read more thoughts, feedback, and opinions.

Agree with everything in your post.

I think that being high-power beats being "straight". If one has to choose between these two, probably high-power tends to work better in the short term and in the long-term, assuming one is able to keep power, and assuming "not being straight" doesn't create so many enemies that one is hated from everywhere.

In the long term, being high-power without being straight and respected could mean that the moment you lose power, you probably lose everything and everyone.

Also, by not being "straight", one is probably going to lose most relationships with straight people (including high-power straight people), and be surrounded by dishonest people.

Even if one keeps high power, not being straight could also make one lose the most important relationships eventually (ie with a child, with a spouse), if one behaves the same way with everyone.

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Lucio Buffalmano

Great, great post, Bel!

Just to be extra clear -albeit I think we were all on the same page on that-, the question here was not "is it important" -it is- or "is it good" -it is-.

The question is if it's foundational enough to be on that overview lesson , and if it's as important as all other entries in that list.

So far, I'm thinking that it's more of a "second-level of importance" and has more to do with character and "quality of life", including attracting and retaining great people in your life, than with power and success per se.

Quote from Bel on October 7, 2022, 2:32 pm

In the long term, being high-power without being straight and respected could mean that the moment you lose power, you probably lose everything and everyone.

Also, by not being "straight", one is probably going to lose most relationships with straight people (including high-power straight people), and be surrounded by dishonest people.

Even if one keeps high power, not being straight could also make one lose the most important relationships eventually (ie with a child, with a spouse), if one behaves the same way with everyone.

Fantastic, you really went to the core of the issue!

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Thank you for your kind words Lucio!

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Lucio Buffalmano

Hello Lucio,

About fundamentals:

I would put the one you uncovered: "power matters more than reputation".

I would rather call it "Fundamental principles" as principles are powerful cognitive aids that lead to strategies and tactics. To me principles are more like mindsets, from Oxford dictionary :

Principle: a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning. "the basic principles of justice"
I now see that a fundamental principle is actually a tautology.
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Lucio Buffalmano

Thank you, John!

Still reflecting on these topics.

About this:

Quote from John Freeman on October 8, 2022, 8:55 am

I would put the one you uncovered: "power matters more than reputation".

I would rather call it "Fundamental principles" as principles are powerful cognitive aids that lead to strategies and tactics. To me principles are more like mindsets, from Oxford dictionary :

Principle: a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning. "the basic principles of justice"
I now see that a fundamental principle is actually a tautology.

Great point, it's an important principle indeed that wasn't there, thank you for highlighting that.

I will note that in the lesson on "be straight", and probably also make a note in the "48 laws of power", where it says that "reputation matter more than anything, guard it with your life".

As for putting in the lesson, since PU is more for life applications and personal transformation, I go for active constructions that usually make it easier for people to remember and apply.
Such as, "do (more of) X", rather than comparative or descriptive constructions such as "X matters more than Y" (with this latter one, people then would have to make an extra step to translate it into mindsets, strategies, and techniques, and not everyone will do that)

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New optional topic on "being straight" that we discussed above:

It includes a fundamental notion that we ended up discussing several times in several different forms on the forum: being straight is people and context-dependent.

To get the best of both worlds, you want honest and straight relationships in your personal life with those who are equally honest and straight (honesty and straight talk with just about anyone would be naive).

Also an interesting section on telling the truth  VS lying.

If there are any feedback, most happy to read.

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Added the "sliding scale" concept we introduced in the infographic thread:

The simple idea is that when you're low power, you end up with assholes in your life.

When you're high power, you tend to discourage assholes, get the most out of people, and you tend to attract and stick with higher quality people.

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Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on October 20, 2022, 12:44 pm

New optional topic on "being straight" that we discussed above:

It includes a fundamental notion that we ended up discussing several times in several different forms on the forum: being straight is people and context-dependent.

To get the best of both worlds, you want honest and straight relationships in your personal life with those who are equally honest and straight (honesty and straight talk with just about anyone would be naive).

Also an interesting section on telling the truth  VS lying.

If there are any feedback, most happy to read.

The examples and case studies of this lesson:

It's the first draft, so not even in PU right now.

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New example of power negotiation:

  • Negotiating "authority": warmth/power, dominance/submission and who comes across as "expert" and who ends up being less credible
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