“Freedom lies in being bold.” – Robert Frost
1.) Introduction – Summarising The Law
2.) Notes On The Law
3.) Relevant Reading
1.) Introduction – Summarising The Law:
Law 28 highlights the power of audacity and contrasts it with the ineffectuality of reticence. Confidence creates audacity, whilst timidity creates reticence; audacity is a byproduct of confidence, whereas reticence symbolises its absence.
Reluctance and indecision convey passivity, whilst the speed and affirmation of boldness project power and strength. Passivity is low energy complacence where boldness is high energy proactivity. Be mindful with your boldness and be careful not to get too carried away, for impulsive reactivity is easily weaponised against you.
People will follow a man on the strength of his conviction irrespective of the validity of his argument. Confidently conveyed rhetoric is persuasive irrespective of its truthfulness, whilst the same cannot be said of a cogent albeit less passionate competing argument.
In matters of decision-making, it is better not to move at all than to move with reticence, for a reticent move is deprived the vigorousness of confidence. The “go hard or go home” colloquialism rings true here.
Where appearing less threatening proves useful, timidity finds its scarce value. For example, say one’s reputation for ruthlessness began to prove disadvantageous, a display of feigned vulnerability may prove beneficial. In general principle, boldness is intrinsically more beneficial than timidity, and less likely to prove deleterious than its counterpart. In light of this, when improvising one should always err on the side of boldness.
As exemplified in “The Shit Test Encyclopedia“, the way to defend against psychological attacks is to exceed the level of audaciousness you are met with. Do not back down unless necessary, as retreat signals weakness and gives your opponent the confidence to attack more aggressively. If the assuredness of boldness is what feeds into power projection, then it stands to reason the reluctance of timidity would siphon from it. The utility of timidity is less vast and requires a more surgical approach, whereas boldness is more universally useful. If in doubt, act bold.
2.) Notes On The Law:
- Boldness makes you seem more powerful with the spectacle of its grandiosity whilst simultaneously obscuring your weaknesses. It is fundamental in illusion because it keeps people distracted, preventing them from finding your thumbscrew. The predatory are always trying to ascertain what your thumbscrew is through deep analysis; continuous spectacle is thus necessary for bogging down their analytical process with misdirection. The less intelligent they are, the easier this is.
- There is boldness in polarisation; an effective way to seem unique and powerful is to undermine the ways of your opponent by nonchalantly disregarding them.
- Following from the previous point, in any scenario where there are two opposing forces, reticence can be the difference between life and death. When you hesitate you give the opposition the confidence to strike, for rightfully or not they assume your uncertainty stems from fear. Confidence feeds bravado, bravado can mask your fears when aptly portrayed.
- Timidity makes you prey, even the weak will become guileful enough to exploit you if they believe you’re a fool. This is a matter of opportunistic disrespect rather than sadistic hate.
- Timidity makes people awkward and is easily detected if not masked by bravado.
- In contrast, boldness can make others feel more comfortable. This is oft why unconfident men are more well-liked when intoxicated than when sober. Such a man has however briefly, become bolder.
- Boldness can be cultivated by the challenges of struggle. If you are comfortable in your life you will grow timid. Healthy paranoia is realising that comfort can be dangerous in excessive amounts. With healthy paranoia, boldness becomes natural, for one is more alert, attuned to their surroundings.
- Reluctance restricts movement whilst boldness allows room for manoeuvre. Reluctance is oft analysis paralysis, allowing the unending discourse of logic to control your thoughts. Boldness rejects logical perfectionism in favour of goal-orientated motivation. He who is bold knows how to get outside of his head.
- Unannounced boldness keeps the element of surprise on your side. Reluctance gives others a chance to think, allowing them to strategize and weigh up their options.
- Boldness can force the enemy into a state of reactivity.
- Ambush: a pre-emptive swift move allows you to potentially win the game in a single move; you have the upper hand by strategising in advance whilst the competition is not even aware a game is being played. Not until the enemy is feeling the effects of your opening gambit can they strategise.
- The swift energy of boldness does not give spectators the opportunity to doubt or worry, announcements are better made boldly than tempered.
- Boldness is key in seduction, any hesitance creates awareness of your intentions before you can enact them. Boldness literally “sweeps the person off their feet” allowing no such insecurity to form within their mind.
- In seduction, effrontery, temerity and brazenness are key to success. These things are all equivocal to “shameless boldness.” The shameless persistence of pursuing your desire, “knowing what you want and not being afraid to go after it” is incredibly attractive to the opposite sex.
- Boldness gives you presence, it makes you seem more important and special than you inherently are, for all admire the bold. This ties in with law 27 which looks at “playing on people’s need to believe.”
- Drawing on the previous point, law 28 ties in well with law 37 which is to “create compelling spectacles.” Law 37 is directly dependent upon the energy of Law 28 in order to function. Unless, in a twist of irony, you are typically so bold that an act of shyness is a spectacle itself.
- Boldness draws attention, attention creates power. “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” is an idiom which comes to mind, thus boldness links in nicely with law 06, “to court attention at all cost.”
- People who form immunity to shaming tactics have an increased capacity to be bold. Shaming tactics seek to limit and impose restraint on one’s power via stigmatisation. Boldness is impervious to such restraints by being indifferent to them.
- In light of the previous bullet point, the bold are freer in their behaviour.
- The higher the stakes the more distracted and awestruck we become by audacity. This is how theatricalism works.
- Theatricalism on stage as well as social and mass media is boldness on a broader scale. With bigger stakes and larger audiences, such things are a narcissistic hotspot. Boldness feeds the attention funnel; attention creates popularity which brings revenue.
- If someone is suspicious of your boldness, become bolder to alleviate their anxiety. They will assume that further boldness makes you true to your word. The assumption is that if you were not legitimate, rather than exemplify your claims, you would back down in fear of imminent exposure. Do not show fear, master the metaphorical poker face and double down.
- Boldness need not always be constant, it can be calculated and deferred. Those who fear your rise to power will look to thwart you. This idea is somewhat similar to “law 01’s don’t outshine the master“. By remaining neutral and showing neither ambition nor discontent (law 03’s – conceal your intentions) when the variables in your environment are most favourable you may strike unexpectedly and achieve your objective. Refer to the bullet point on ambush.
- Negotiation with opposition creates opportunity for the opposition. “Do not negotiate with terrorists.”
- Compromising allows your opposition to have a foot in the door, boldness does not allow for compromise unless absolutely necessary, rather, it crushes the enemy.
- Boldness instills fears in those who doubt and disdain you, whilst winning the love of those who respect and admire the courage of the bold. It is better to be thought of as crazy than it is weak. It is better to be feared than loved.
- When you are small, powerful, unknown – you must attack someone who is known to bring attention to yourself. The bolder the attack, the more you stand out and are admired. Your attack must be tasteful to the audience, humour is the perfect veil for plausibly denying your true intent.
- Voice unspoken fears that infect the group, the expression of shared sentiment is power only the bold can utilise. This is a risky move, but like all risk, if it pays off the rewards are sublime.
- Timidity is often disguised as a concern for the well-being of others, in reality it is oft simply a concern for one’s own well-being born of fear.
- Boldness is the fuel to illusion, when an illusion begins to fade in power, injecting more boldness into it reinforces the status quo of the illusion.
- The bold are admired because their self-confidence infects others.
- The bold are admired because those who are not bold see the freedom and success in boldness and wish to emulate it. The aesthetically bold are seen as role models.
- When you have the opportunity to set a price in the haggling process, say in a job interview or other type of negotiation, open with an unreasonably high price. This is how one begins to practice boldness should such a thing not come naturally.
- Following from the previous point, by not asking for enough, we project to the world that we do not value ourselves much. Always ask for more than you are worth and you will typically get more than you are worth. This sounds absurd, but try it.
- Boldness does not come naturally to most but can be developed as a habit. Social conditioning may have made you timid, once you aware you are timid you can defeat this negative habit by consciously opposing it. What first takes effort eventually takes none.
- The consequences of timidity are generally far worse than the consequences of boldness. Boldness pays, timidity costs.
- Do not incorporate boldness into all and every action, calculate your boldness, but always incorporate it into your finishing move.
- Boldness is useful but it must be controlled. If you are naturally bold you must be careful not to react without thinking. Boldness must come from within, you must dictate its projection. It cannot be an involuntary reaction to something else. When it is, you’re not in control of your boldness.
- An inability to properly apply boldness causes offence. Realise when boldness is appropriate by understanding the context of your situation. Recklessness will ruin your reputation.
- Timidity can be used as a Venus fly trap gambit by the powerful. Being in power you must feign timidity to make yourself appear less intimidating at times. This is weaponised timidity, not legitimate timidity owing to a lack of power. Do not overuse this gambit, remember what Machiavelli said: “It is better to be feared than loved.“
3.) Relevant Reading:
If you have any additional suggestions for relevant reading, leave a comment.
Buy “The 48 Laws of Power” in the USA
Buy “The 48 Laws of Power” in the UK
Buy “The 48 Laws of Power” in Canada
Buy “The 33 Strategies of War” in the USA
Buy “The 33 Strategies of War” in the UK
Buy “The 33 Strategies of War” in Canada
Buy “The Art of War” in the USA
Buy “The Art of War” in the UK
Buy “The Art of War” in Canada
Buy “The Art of Wordly Wisdom” in the USA
Buy “The Art of Wordly Wisdom” in the UK
Buy “The Art of Wordly Wisdom” in Canada
Buy “The Craft of Power” in the USA
Buy “The Craft of Power” in the UK
Buy “The Craft of Power” in Canada
Buy “The Prince” in the USA
Buy “The Prince” in the UK
Buy “The Prince” in Canada
12 thoughts on “Notes On Law 28: “Enter Action with Boldness””
“Effectively, conviction trumps reason, and so conviction should form the foundation of your boldness.”
This is great – but I wish there were real-world examples of applications of this. Could you provide or perhaps direct me to some?
The 48 Laws of Power book has some historical examples, get the book and check those out if you haven’t already. If you want actual modern day examples you can relate to, I could pen those if it is something the readership would be interested in. I have a lot of projects on the go as it stands – but if there is a demand I will fulfil it.
I’ve read the 48 Laws, but as you said, the examples were mostly historic. I actually preferred the 50th Law, because it had examples which more relevant to present day society.
While being respectful of your time, I’m sure the readership would greatly benefit and enjoy more modern day examples. Or maybe it’s something you could put in your book?
Yes – I’d also like to see modern day examples
I feel like examples are a cop out for personal experience; or a lack of…. Go figure this shit out and bring back what you have found… Do not ever wait for someone to hand you anything… Because you never know what they are giving you… Until it maybe it is too late. And only then will expeiernce have given you what you needed to not make the same mistake twice… Play to win, Dont play to not lose…. 🙂
Regarding the introduction (if I read it correctly): Can even timid people become bold by practice, or will people who know you just “put you in your place”?
They will try, and it may be uncomfortable for you initially, but you ignore that. It’s easier to get new friends who don’t know [the old you] than get current friends to accept [the new you.] As for family, they will come round eventually.
I am someone who used to be quite timid. In my not-so-humble opinion I am now very bold. After may months of slowly teaching myself how to speak my mind quicker and more forcefully, I finally came to realize that being bold pays off in spades.
One inspiration for me was a co-worker who is extremely bold — to a fault sometimes. Initially I had to learn how to get over the way he would intimidate me and dismiss my comments by talking me down. But I worked hard to become more and more forceful in my approach. He now treats me with much more respect, and we share ideas more, which eventually helps us both be more profitable.
Thanks again for another awesome article, IM. It really spoke to me.
I find the 50th law complementary to this one. Fearlessness, the ability to confront the fears that limit our range of action (death, a harsh reality, uncertainity, self-relience, learning when to be bad…) and triumph over them is the precursor of boldness. We cannot be bold with so much fear. I can observe too that a man with high levels of testosterone and who knows a martial art will be bolder since in the back of his mind he knows that if physical violence will broke he can defend himself and survive. That belief makes him go further than his colleagues that fear such an improbable event.