A concept from The 33 Strategies of War and The 50th Law. Tactical hell refers to a situation in which you are simply reacting to events and circumstances in life, instead of actually taking control of the situation. Your reactions may be clever (i.e. tactical), but you are only barely keeping your head above water. For example, you may have a sly, witty, or biting retort when a rival says something negative to or about you, but such a retort does little to actually resolve the conflict.
To get out of tactical hell, you must think strategically. You must develop what Greene calls “strategy-in-depth.” This is the ability to see above the fray, about the situation, and get a clear view of where you are going. Here you can decide what battles to fight, what battles to avoid, and how to move forward.
Recent article written by Ryan Holiday, former apprentice of Robert Greene, on Robert Greene’s advice for creating a classic book (like The 48 Laws of Power). Enjoy!
Concept from The 33 Strategies of War. Strategy-in-depth refers to the ability to gain a sense of proportion over your situation by focusing on the bigger picture – what’s going on and where are you headed. Greene opposes strategy-in-depth with what he calls “tactical hell” – a situation where you are just reacting to what life gives – what people say or do, a disruptive event that occurs.
With strategy-in-depth, the idea is to get above the reactiveness and actually gain a sense of control over your situation – by peering into the future and seeing where everything is headed.
One of the nine seductive characters from The Art of Seduction. Primarily male, the Rake embodies the female fantasy of a man who will do anything – face any obstacle, bear any risk – to be with her. Unrestrained, bold, and a master of seductive language, the Rake knows how to inflame a woman’s desire, providing an alluring blend of danger and pleasure.
A concept from Mastery. Primal Inclinations refer to those activities or subjects that deeply interest us, and especially interested us as we were kids. These activities or subjects could be things like writing, playing with certain toys, reading about certain scientific fields, building things.
Albert Einstein, for example, was fascinated as an early child with a compass that his father had given him, and it was from that fascination that he developed a deep interest in physics. For Greene, one of the main ways to find your life’s task – your calling in life – is to look at your primal inclinations – those subjects or activities that really fascinate you or drew your attention as a child.
Greene posted a link to a picture of the books he’s reading for his upcoming book, The Laws of Human Nature.
THE ORIGINAL MIND
A concept from Mastery. The Original Mind is the mind of a child, and reflects how children often see the world. With the Original Mind, the child sees the world as full of imaginative possibility. Everything is infused with wonder and flexibility. For Greene, as we grow older, we lose this original mind, seeing the world as more strict and conventional. The goal of Mastery is to try to regain a sense of this original mind, combing it with our knowledge of our craft.