Law 10: Infection – Avoid The Unhappy & Unlucky.
Law 10: You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as diseases. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.
This law perfectly exemplifies the current political situation in Nigeria where members of the PDP are decamping in droves to join the party in power – the APC. Suddenly the Goodluck gang have become the unlucky. Unfortunately in a clime with a less than fully developed political system, there are few if any loyalties drawn along party lines.
While this law may sound callous, it is an unfortunate truth. As the Americans would say, think first of number one. In other words, think first of “self”. It’s almost like we are advised in an airplane before take off where the often ignored cabin crew do their utmost to get their message of doom across – “in case of a drop in the oxygen level, pull the mask on your face first before helping your child”. This warning sounds just as callous as Law 10 of the 48 Laws of Power, but once again we are confronted with the harsh realities of life, none more so as it is in Nigeria.
There is truly no room for second place. The winner takes all. And the winner keeps all for all of four years, oft times, 8 years.
And so what exactly is the lesson here? To succeed in life, you need to be single-minded. Which means stay focused, chart your path, and avoid distractions. Of almost any kind. If it doesn’t get you closer to your goal, dump it. No sentiments allowed.
But is this really how truly successful people get to the top? We can debate this for a long time, but in truth, yes. It is for the most part exactly how truly successful people get to the top. Notice, it is usually after getting to the top that successful people start to “share”. They share of their time, of their experience, of their wealth even.
But on the way up, it’s sink or swim, and they were unlikely to have stopped to help drowning contemporaries for fear of drowning with them.