48 Laws of Happiness

Posted on August 16th, 2008 in Commentary by EngineerBoy
Don't Worry, Be Happy

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Through my web meanderings recently I came across The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene.  I read them and laughed, thinking they were a joke, as the 48 laws seem to describe virtually everything that one should not be or do in order to have a happy life.  However, I did a bit more research and found that this guy appears to be serious about these “laws”. 

I cannot speak to whether or not following them will result in the attainment of power, however I can state unequivocally that unless one is truly a megalomaniac, the attainment of power does not lead to happiness.  This is the same truth that holds that the attainment of money does not lead to happiness.  One can have money and power and happiness, but happiness derives from who you are and what you do, not from what you have.

So, for any of you who have read the 48 Laws of Power and found them to be…misguided?…here is a counterpoint:

The 48 Laws of Happiness

Law #1:  Always Do Your Best

Law #2:  Develop Friends You Know You Can Trust

Law #3:  Keep Your Own Counsel, But if You Share Your Intentions, Be Honest and Forthright

Law #4:  Strive For An Economy of Words, But Always Say Enough

Law #5:  Always Do What You Know Is Right and Fair, and Your Reputation Will Remain Untarnished

Law #6:  Unless You Are An Entertainer, Do Not Seek the Limelight

Law #7:  Always Work Your Hardest, and Share Credit Where Credit Is Due

Law #8:  Only A Coward Is Afraid To Lose Home Field Advantage

Law #9:  Know When a Consensus Is Necessary

Law #10:  Helping Those Who Need Help Is Mankind’s Highest Aspiration

Law #11:  Teach People To Fish and They Eat Forever

Law #12:  Fake Sincerity Poisons Your Soul

Law #13:  If A Win/Win Scenario Is Possible, Go For It; If Not, Be Honest

Law #14:  If You Fake Friendship To Gain Advantage You Are, At Best, A Hooter’s Waitress and At Worst, A Prostitute

Law #15:  Show Mercy, But Do Not Ask For It

Law #16:  If Your Absence Makes People Happy Then You’re Doing It Wrong

Law #17:  Terrorism In Any Form Is Reprehensible

Law #18:  Make Your Home A Sanctuary From Trouble For All Who Dwell There Or Who Visit In Good Faith

Law #19:  If You Intimidate the Weak While Hiding from the Strong, You Are a Bully and a Coward

Law #20:  Love Your Family Unconditionally

Law #21:  Only the Fool Plays the Fool Expecting Profit

Law #22:  If You Surrender Freedom to Achieve Safety, You Deserve Neither

Law #23:  All Who Wander Are Not Lost

Law #24:  The Sycophant Dies A Thousand Deaths

Law #25:  Attention Does Not Equal Respect, Particularly For the Clown

Law #26:  Take Responsibility for Your Own Actions

Law #27:  If You Are Worthy to Lead It Will Happen Naturally

Law #28:  Never Dive Head First Into Dark Waters

Law #29:  Luck Favors the Prepared

Law #30:  A Stage Magician Fools No One But Fools

Law #31:  In A Crooked Card Game, It’s the Dealer Who Gets Shot First

Law #32:  Honesty Is the Best Policy

Law #33:  Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword

Law #34:  Don’t Be A Dick

Law #35:  If You Wait Too Long For the Perfect Moment, the Opportunity May Be Lost

Law #36:  Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Law #37:  Don’t Play the Fool Simply to Gain Attention

Law #38:  Be True To Yourself

Law #39:  If You Spread Evil, You Must First Have It Within Yourself to Give

Law #40:  There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, But Be Able To Spot the Truly Generous Gesture

Law #41:  Take Your Lessons From Great Men and Women, Whoever They May Be

Law #42:  If You Convince the General to See Things Your Way, You Won’t Have a Battle

Law #44:  Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Law #45:  If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It, But if It’s Broke, Then Fix It

Law #46:  Pretension Is For The Weak-Minded

Law #47:  When You Win, Don’t Gloat

Law #48:  Stick To Your Beliefs, But Always Be Open To New Information

So, there you go, 48 Laws of Happiness.  Feel free to add more in the comments below!

2 Responses to '48 Laws of Happiness'

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  1. on October 13th, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Yes, the “laws of power” are pretty Machiavellian. Good work.

  2. EngineerBoy said,

    on October 18th, 2010 at 12:08 pm


    Thanks for the feedback. The original ‘laws’ seem ruthlessly narcissistic and borderline sociopathic, so, yeah, Machiavellian!


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