Ever since I picked up Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power from the library a couple of years back, I knew that he was going to be one of my favorite authors from the way he writes in an amoral fashion to the people he uses as examples in his books (e.g. Zhuge Liang, Nietzsche, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Napoleon, Baltasar Gracian, Ninon de Lenclos and Cardinal Richelieu) that I had a hard time putting it down as I was simply astounded in the way he distills knowledge from these respected leaders and philosophers and the extensive research he has done to compile their instructions into a book that would be helpful to anyone who seeks power or wants to arm himself against it. So, naturally I also read his other books, 33 Strategies of War and Art of Seduction, simply because I love how he uses anecdotes of historical personalities to provide the reader a clearer understanding of the lessons he espouses. It's like reading world history...on steroids.
Late last year, I learned that Greene co-authored a book with 50 Cent (yes, the rapper) called "The 50th Law" and I was ecstatic to hear about the news that I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of the book. When I started reading, I wasn't disappointed, if the 48 laws of power was a history book on roids, this is a self-help book...on crack. The book starts with a little background on Curtis Jackson, how he used to be a drug dealer in Queens and how a close encounter with death changed his life to be the person he is today - 50 Cent.
The book centralizes on the topic Fear, Greene uses 50 Cent's life experience to show how fearlessness could help us reach our potentials. In the introduction of the book he writes,
‘…your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.’
Some of the rules mentioned in the book include being realistic, having unshakable self believe, learning to utilize your aggression and taking advantage of opportunities. The section that captivated me was on taking advantage of opportunities or as the book aptly calls it "Turning Shit into Sugar".
The section tells us to take events in our lives as neutral, that it is our minds that chooses to interpret whether something is positive or not. It teaches us to do a paradigm shift in times of adversity. Basically when you are down and you've got nothing to lose, that is the time when you are closest to success since you have nothing to fear, ergo you are free to do anything. If you could frame a negative event in your life as a blessing in disguise, it makes it easier for you to move forward, a kind of mental alchemy - Turning Shit into Sugar.
This book was simple and straightforward unlike Greene's first two books, 48 Laws of Power and 33 Strategies of War which carries more academic weight, nevertheless it was a good read and puts the intended message across. Though people might question the credibility of 50 Cent in preaching life lessons yet alone be a motivational writer he is in fact an astute businessman who invests in companies outside the music industry. He is most famous for earning over $400 million, thanks to his foresight for making an early investment in vitamin water company Glacéau, which was bought by Coca Cola in 2007 for $4.1 billion.