The 48 Rules of Power by Robert Greene is an essential study in the rules that govern our world.
The book is banned in many prisons where power plays are often the difference between life and death. As part of our ongoing analysis of the work, let’s examine law #28.
Fortune is said to favour the brave. But how do decisive individuals prosper over their hesitant opponents? How do we utilize this rule in our everyday lives?
There is a fine line between boldness and recklessness. An individual who blunder into a situation unprepared would be best described as reckless. A day-trader might misread a graph. It looks like free money is just sitting on the table. He plunges in recklessly. The graph turns against him and losses are incurred. Too many reckless trades will destroy any bankroll.
At the other end of the spectrum, an indecisive individual sees a business opportunity that has a huge potential upside. He crunches the numbers, talks with confidantes, and it looks like the stars are aligning. But he just cannot pull the trigger. He is only 90% sure of success. Doubt and a fear of failure hold him back. He is lacking in boldness, misses the opportunity, and that weaknesses destines him to mediocrity.
So acting with boldness is a combination of preparedness and an ability to pull the trigger. Success is contingent upon this convergence of these talents. Anyone who invests, trades, or speculates must be sufficiently bold. Meritocracy and market forces invariably weed out the reckless and indecisive. The bold prosper by identifying opportunities and capitalising accordingly. The best traders are certainly not afraid to gamble when the odds are in their favour.
Great investors can reach their trigger point sooner than their competitors. Their minds are wired to rapidly ascertain the true odds of an outcome. When the market presents a favourable price, the world-class trader pounces the instant his certainty threshold is met. He does not enter the trade early and recklessly, nor does his miss an opportunity through indecision. He successfully threads the needle and that’s what sets him apart.
Bold individuals are also successful in the dating sphere. Fortuna was the Roman goddess of fortune and luck. She was said to admire young men because of their fearlessness. The dating marketplace resembles any other merit-driven system. Standing shyly in the corner, failing to respond to obvious indicators of interest, and presently flimsy proposals that hide one’s true intention are not the actions of the bold.
Enter actions with boldness. It seems like an easy rule to follow. Don’t be bashful. Push yourself forward. Don’t fall prey to recklessness or indecision. Throw yourself at worthy objectives. Play the game. Learn when to pull the trigger.
Jackson Byrne – Editor at A Man’s Guide