Law (1/48)-Never Outshine the Master

Law (1/48)-Never Outshine the Master

The 48 Laws of Power - Robert Greene


Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power. Always make those above you feel comfortably superior, In your desire to please and impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite i.e. inspire fear and insecurity.


Everyone has insecurities. When you show yourself in the world and display your talents, you naturally stir up all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity. This is to be expected. You cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others.

With those above you, however, you must take a different approach: When it comes to power outshining the master is perhaps the worst mistake of all. It is a deadly but common misconception to believe that by displaying and flaunting your gifts and talents you are winning the master's affection. The master may also show appreciation but at his first opportunity, he will replace you with someone less intelligent, less attractive, and less threatening. Do not fool yourself into thinking that life has changed much since the days of King Louis and the Medicis.

Key takeaways

  1. If you cannot help being charming and superior you must learn to avoid "Monsters of Vanity". Either this or find a way to mute your good qualities when in the company of an Envious master.

  2. Never imagine that because the master loves you, you can do anything you want. Entire books could be written about favorites who fell out of favor by taking their status for granted.


This book is a treasure in itself and needs no introduction. I thought of taking some points and putting them into a short blog series for my journal of sorts. Hope you find it insightful and pick up the book and read it for yourself.

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