These 48 Laws of Power quotes reference three thousand years worth of wisdom about success and power.
Written by Robert Greene, 48 Laws of Power, is a compilation of teachings from powerful people across multiple cultures. The book is full of wisdoms inspired from the philosophies of those such as Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Henry Kissinger, and P.T. Barnum.
The values in this book teach the importance of confidence, warn about the judgements of others and how to manipulate their views about you, and motivate you towards success.
These frank and honest 48 Laws of Power quotes will inspire you whether your goal is to defend your business, play the game, or reach the top of the chain.
48 Laws of Power quotes about success
1. “When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity… you cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others” – Robert Greene
2. “If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution.” – Robert Greene
3. “Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.” – Robert Greene
4. “Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness.” – Robert Greene
5. “To succeed in the game of power, you have to master your emotions. But even if you succeed in gaining such self-control, you can never control the temperamental dispositions of those around you. And this presents a great danger.” – Robert Greene
6. “Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others’ experience.” – Robert Greene
7. “If, for example, you are miserly by nature, you will never go beyond a certain limit; only generous souls attain greatness.” – Robert Greene
8. “Little about your work, tease and titillate with alluring, even contradictory comments, then stand back and let others try to make sense of it all.” – Robert Greene
9. “Power is a game, and in games you do not judge your opponents by their intentions but by the effects of their actions.” – Robert Greene
10. “The key to power, then, is the ability to judge who is best able to further your interests in all situations. Keep friends for friendship but work with the skilled and competent.” – Robert Greene
48 Laws of Power quotes about money
11. “Despise the free lunch judgement. What is offered for free is dangerous-it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation.” – Robert Greene
12. “What has worth is worth paying for.” – Robert Greene
13. “By paying your own way you stay clear of gratitude, guilt, and deceit.” – Robert Greene
14. “Be lavish with your money and keep it circulating, for generosity is a sign and a magnet for power” – Robert Greene
Also read these Machiavelli quotes on power, morality, and more.
48 Laws of Power quotes about appearances
15. “Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others—that is too high a price to pay.” – Robert Greene
16. “When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended and sphinxlike.” – Robert Greene
17. “All masters want to appear more brilliant than other people.” – Robert Greene
18. “Hide your intentions not by closing up (with the risk of appearing secretive, and making people suspicious) but by talking endlessly about your desires and goals-just not the real ones.” – Robert Greene
19. “If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior. It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness.” – Robert Greene
20. “Never be distracted by people’s glamorous portraits of themselves and their lives; search and dig for what really imprisons them.” – Robert Greene
21. “He who poses as a fool is not a fool.” – Robert Greene
22. “Today we face a peculiarly similar paradox to that of the courtier: Everything must appear civilized, decent, democratic, and fair. But if we play by those rules too strictly, if we take them too literally, we are crushed by those around us who are not so foolish.” – Robert Greene
48 Laws of Power quotes about relationships
23. “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” – Robert Greene
24. “Keep your friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent” – Robert Greene
25. “Lord, protect me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies.” – Robert Greene
26. “The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him.” – Robert Greene
48 Laws of Power quotes that teach a life lesson
27. “Never Appear Too Perfect. Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies.” – Robert Greene
28. “Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or less important than you are.” – Robert Greene
29. “Many a serious thinker has been produced in prisons, where we have nothing to do but think.” – Robert Greene
30. “There is nothing more intoxicating than victory, and nothing more dangerous.” – Robert Greene
31. “An emotional response to a situation is the single greatest barrier to power, a mistake that will cost you a lot more than any temporary satisfaction you might gain by expressing your feelings.” – Robert Greene
32. “A person who cannot control his words shows that he cannot control himself and is unworthy of respect.” – Robert Greene
33. “If you lead the sucker down a familiar path, he won’t catch on when you lead him into a trap.” – Robert Greene
34. “Sometimes any emotion is better than the boredom of security.” – Robert Greene
35. “The human tongue is a beast that few can master.” – Robert Greene
You might also like our list of the best Genghis Khan quotes to bring out the warrior in you.
48 Laws of Power quotes to make you wiser
36. “The mighty lion toys with the mouse that crosses his path—any other reaction would mar his fearsome reputation.” – Robert Greene
37. “When you meet a swordsman, draw your sword: Do not recite poetry to one who is not a poet.” – Robert Greene
38. “You cannot repress anger or love, or avoid feeling them, and you should not try.” – Robert Greene
39. “You choose to let things bother you. You can just as easily choose not to notice the irritating offender, to consider the matter trivial and unworthy of your interest. That is the powerful move. What you do not react to cannot drag you down in a futile engagement. Your pride is not involved. The best lesson you can teach an irritating gnat is to consign it to oblivion by ignoring it.” – Robert Greene
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of engagement quotes about the power of commitment and love.
40. “By acknowledging a petty problem, you give it existence and credibility.” – Robert Greene
41. “Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good.” – Robert Greene
42. “Any momentary triumph you think you have gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory: The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion.” – Robert Greene
43. “It is not much good being wise among fools and sane among lunatics.” – Robert Greene
44. “Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes from disenchantment.” – Robert Greene
48 Laws of Power quotes to motivate you
45. “Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.” – Robert Greene
46. “Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life’s artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist.” – Robert Greene
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of gossip quotes that will help you eliminate rumors from your life.
47. “Do not accept the roles that society foists on you.” – Robert Greene
48. “A small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone.” – Robert Greene
49. “Never take your position for granted and never let any favors you receive go to your head.” – Robert Greene
50. “Image: An Oak Tree. The oak that resists the wind loses its branches one by one, and with nothing left to protect it, the trunk finally snaps. The oak that bends lives longer, its trunk growing wider, its roots deeper and more tenacious.” – Robert Greene
Also check out these Mastery quotes by Robert Greene that inspire creativity towards success.
Do these 48 Laws of Power quotes make you feel powerful?
While the book is the center of some controversy, it is sometimes accused as ruthless and self-serving, there is no denying that Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power is a smart, honest, and fascinating collection of centuries old philosophy.
Whether you are in business or choose to apply these philosophies towards your personal life, these 48 Laws of Power quotes will teach you the rules of the game and how to succeed and defend yourself from your competition.