Robert Greene [Part 2]: Decoding the Laws of Human Nature | E44
#44: Decoding the Laws of Human Nature with Robert Greene [Part 2]
Decode the laws of human nature with fame author, Robert Greene! In this second portion of the interview, Hala and Robert dive into the laws of compulsive behavior, grandiosity, gender rigidity and death denial.
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#44: Decoding the Laws of Human Nature with Robert Greene [Part 2]
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[00:01:04] You're listening toYoung And Profiting Podcast, a place where you can listen, learn and profit. I'm your host Hala Taha. And you're listening to part two of my interview with famed author, Robert Greene, and the second portion of the interview. We're diving into the law of compulsive behavior, the law of grandiosity, the law of gender rigidity and the law of death denial.
[00:01:27] In my opinion, this is one of the best interviews I've ever had. And I hope you find it as valuable as I. Without further ado. I give you part two with Robert Greene.
[00:01:38] Something else. You're an expert on you've had interviews just on this topic is the dark side of people's personality, which I think relates to this narcissism topic.
[00:01:48] You call this also the shadow self. Could you explain to us what this dark side is and why we shouldn't repress these feelings and how we could spin it to be used in positive ways?[00:02:00]
[00:02:03] Robert Greene: If you can remember your own childhood, or if you've had children yourself, that children are like these complete self. They experienced all sorts of emotions. They experienced love towards their parents, and it can be very angelic and giving at the same time, they can be very angry and very selfish, very domineering, and they want everything for themselves.
[00:02:26] They can be very nice and sweet and they can also be incredibly aggressive and efficient. Even boys and girls, I included that they have aggressive impulses. They feel envious. They want the attention that the sibling is getting, and they're not sitting there managing their emotions. They're not trying to play a certain self to get what they want.
[00:02:50] They can't control it. It's who they are. They feel the, all of these certain emotions. They're a complete person. And then what happens as you get older, as you get five or six or [00:03:00] seven years old, is you being tired? That behavior isn't polite that isn't what you should be doing. You really need to tamp down those aggressive impulses.
[00:03:08] You need to get along better with people. You need to be sweeter and nicer and appear to be someone who's very cooperative. Who's very loving and giving. And so as you get older and you feel these pressures, all of that natural energy you have. Other than natural impulses that are built in that are wired into the human animal.
[00:03:29] You repressed because your whole goal in life is to please other people, as you get older, you want them to see you as this kind of perfect, great person. Who's not insecure. Doesn't have these problems. And so you craft a mask that isn't really who you are and you wear this throughout your social life and it can get you very far in the world, but those emotions that you have that you've repressed in childhood, they don't go away.
[00:03:58] There's lingering in you. [00:04:00] And what you'll discover even with you or other people in life is suddenly that dark side, that shadow will spring to life. When you will be suspected, you'll get angry and you don't even know why you get angry. You will fall in love with exactly the wrong kind of person for you.
[00:04:16] And you don't even really know where this came from. You will put all of your money. Some investment, because other people are doing it. You don't even really know why. And this is the dark side is coming out because you haven't come to terms with it. It's not part of you anymore. It's something you've repressed.
[00:04:32] It's a shadow and moments of stress or moments where you're not very happy. Or you're not completely feeling fulfilled that shadow will emerge and it will come out and it will cause all kinds of weird behavior. And so my point is, I want you to be aware of this dark side that everybody carries with them.
[00:04:52] It could be this dark side could be, you're an extremely competitive, ambitious person. I know I have that problem
[00:05:00] and you're not comfortable with it because you don't want people to think that you're doing. The scheming of the person, but I'm trying to tell you, you need to come to terms with it.
[00:05:10] You need to accept that part of yourself, that you repressed that child within you, that felt these strong emotions, and you need to look at it squarely, and you need to see that this shadow, this dark side actually contains incredible about the power. If you learn how to tap into it. I think a lot about great athletes for sure.
[00:05:30] I think if somebody like a Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan, these are people who are extremely competitive. And if they didn't do this competitive instincts in basketball, They might get involved in things that weren't very good or very productive. They'd be get a lot of trouble, but they channel all of that into something very powerful.
[00:05:51] So you can take that ambition and you can channel it into making it the best possible product into destroying all of your rivals in business and [00:06:00] making it yours, the number one seller for whatever it is or you can, I tell a lot of people who are interested in the arts using your anger, using your frustration.
[00:06:10] Using that dark side is really powerful to bring out in your music or the books that you write, because people are really excited by any expression of the dark side. Look at all the movies that we watch. Now, the television shows we're fascinated by Matthew Belly characters by the con-artist. But people who seem to get away with things, we're fascinated with it because it's a part of ourselves that we haven't come to terms with where we're pressing.
[00:06:40] So in your artwork or in your music, you need to bring that out. You need to bring out that edge in your own pursuits, in life, in your own ambitions, et cetera. So I give you a template for how to recognize your shadow, how to embrace. And how to use it in your life for productive purposes. [00:07:00] And the other thing is, if you look at people, we all admire certain actors or certain let's say rock musicians who are more completely.
[00:07:09] Who show more of their dark side, who seem to not be so repressed who are more comfortable with themselves. And I have maintained that getting rid of that kind of hypocritical need to be so saintly will actually make people more interested in you because you will see more human and more often.
[00:07:28] Hala Taha: That's a really good point.
[00:07:29] It's like Gary V who like curses and things like that, but people love him. So related to this in some capacity, is character, and the fact that you say. Character is a primary value that we should evaluate people on when it comes to working relationships and things like that. So how can we determine if someone has a strong or weak character and how is the law of compulsive behavior related to this?
[00:07:56] Robert Greene: It's one of the most important things in the book because throughout life, you're [00:08:00] going to have to choose people to work with. To be a business partner to hire, to help you work on a project, or you're going to be choosing someone to be your intimate partner at some level and making the wrong choice can destroy your life.
[00:08:15] It really literally can. If you choose somebody that has a toxic personality, do you choose a deep narcissist and get involved with them? It can take you years and years to ever recover from the experience and the reason that you fall for the people of bad character. Somebody who's a talker. Narcissist, for instance, not just one time.
[00:08:36] Toxic character. They don't go around announcing themselves with a big neon sign saying, Hey everybody, I'm a toxic narcissist people learn very well. How to disguise themselves, and narcissist can often be very charming and very carefully. Because they've learned very early on in life. They always need to get attention from other people.
[00:08:57] So they're very good at that. And you could easily fall [00:09:00] into their spell. It's very easy to misread people's character because what we do is we tend to take their appearances. For reality, if someone appears charming. They appear to like it, if they appear pleasant, we naturally assume that's who they are.
[00:09:16] And then a year later, whoa. Wow. I didn't realize this person was so aggressive. I didn't realize this person was actually a snake. They're actually there steal my business from me. Why didn't I completely misread it. They must've deceived me.
[00:09:33] So not being able to judge people's character and only looking at their appearances is a terrible fault that you carry along with you in life. And so I want you to be constantly judging people, not for their charm, not for their intelligence, not for their resume. Oh, for how much you liked them, but for their character and character is something that is deeply engraved in a person.
[00:09:56] It means these are the patterns that they have in life. This [00:10:00] is who they are. This is their nature, the deepest sense of this. And so I've talked about, there are people with strong character. And there are people with weak character and finding people with strong character, particularly in a business sense is the most important thing that you need to do.
[00:10:16] People of strong character. What are the parameters that kind of determined? The two, the biggest parameters is stress. So if somebody of weak character will tend to fall apart under stress, they'll get emotional. They'll act out, they'll become this kind of child. And you'll suddenly, wow. I didn't realize that person will have that problem.
[00:10:36] I hired them. I thought they were really smart and reasonable. And suddenly you realize that they're not like that. Whereas this person of strong character rises to the occasion. They keep their emotional balance. They're able to not react. There's relatively calm to the circumstance. So that's one barometer.
[00:10:54] Another barometer is how they treat other people when you're not looking. So a [00:11:00] person, a weak character. So pretend to be very nice to everybody around them. They're very nice to you, but behind closed doors there's as a whole to their secretaries, their assistance, people who work for them. So their spouse, they're two phase.
[00:11:16] They were one safe for you and another for the world. And you need to see that you need to see what people are like, but they're not necessarily around you. People of strong character don't need to do that. They're consistent with that. They treat everybody the same way. They treat us systems with dignity and they're not abusive.
[00:11:35] And you see that. The other thing is how well people can take criticism personally, a weak character. Can't stand the slightest bit of criticism and take that as if it's a judgment of who they are. And they crumble of where somebody will have strong character. You criticize them. They don't take it personally.
[00:11:53] Their first reaction. How can I learn from this? Maybe you're right. Maybe I can use that criticism to get better. I'm
[00:12:00] going to work on myself, that strong character, and finally how people work with others. So I'm going to have weak character can't work with other people. They can't delegate authority because everything has to be on their terms.
[00:12:12] Everything has to be according to their agenda. They're very weak and selfish. What is somebody who's strong character actually enjoy giving other people credit, enjoys working with other people, enjoys the team process. And so that's another sign of a strong character. I have other signs, knowing this language, how to read people's character.
[00:12:33] We'll save you so much emotional drama in your life. And we'll help you avoid the wrong choices. And believe me, I've worked as a consultant for people in business for over 20 years now. And that's the number one problem that they have is they hire the absolute worst business partner or the absolute worst lieutenants.
[00:12:52] And they realized that later. And boy has it caused them problems. So this is a very important chapter for people to understand.
[00:12:59] Hala Taha: [00:13:00] Yeah, something really fascinating to me is that you mentioned that character is partially genetic. What do you mean by that? And what do we do if we genetically have a bad character?
[00:13:11] Robert Greene: Nobody genetically necessarily has a bad character.
[00:13:14] Although you can't say that there are people who have psychopathic tendencies, that's true. And I don't know really what you do with that. You're not, people who are truly toxic, find it very difficult to be self-aware. But the genetic component is more like some people are born introvert and some people are born extroverts as pretty much established through science.
[00:13:37] That's a genetic thing that it's not your parents who made you an extrovert or introvert. That's the way your brain is wired. So I want you to be aware of who you are and that spectrum is very important. It's also important to know if let's say you're an extrovert you're naturally inclined to not like introverts to judge introvert negatively [00:14:00] and vice versa.
[00:14:01] This will help you get over that kind of pre-judgment, it's better to not have these kinds of snap judgments and to appreciate people no matter if they're not exactly like you. So these are some of the genetic components and other genetic component will be the level of aggression.
[00:14:16] It will be the level of how hungry you are for power. Some people are more what I would call greedy and a psychologist. One psychologist identified greedy babies. That they needed more attention from the mother than other babies. And, they can't almost not help it, but the whole point of this book is knowing who you are frees you up.
[00:14:40] So if you know that you have a genetic disposition to needing more attention to be ingredient, or that you are an introvert or that you are an extrovert, you now are more aware of who you are. You don't have to always constantly fall to these patterns in life. They're dominating. So the genetic component is one thing, [00:15:00] but even more important, are you earliest?
[00:15:03] Your parents and how they reached you has a huge impact on your character and will create patterns for you in life. And you're not even aware of how these patterns are dominating you, how they determine your choices in relationships, based on your relationship with your mother or your father, et cetera.
[00:15:23] So knowing your character, knowing the patterns that you have in life, and the reason I call them patterns. If you look at yourself and you're honest, you will realize that you're continually falling into patterns. You continually doing the same things over and over again. You're falling in love with the same type of person you, when you get into a job situation, you make the same kinds of mistakes.
[00:15:48] A pattern that I'm continually falling into is I started book. All right, Robert, this time you're going to make this book shorter and easier. You're not going to do as much research as you did. [00:16:00] And then I can't help it. It turns into six years and I'm like, whoa, why am I doing that? Why can't I control this?
[00:16:06] There's something probably negative in my past about that. It's a compulsion to please people it's supposed to do more than it's necessary. So you have to be honest with yourself. You have to look at the patterns that are pushing you into certain forms of behavior. What is elemental wisdom carved on the Oracle of Delphi in ancient Greece.
[00:16:26] It was no that I felt knowing who you are and knowing your nature is the source of all wisdom.
[00:16:33] Hala Taha: That's great advice. You keep mentioning that a lot of these habits and patterns they really come about while we're young and even baby. And so maybe a new idea is like good parenting and how to prepare somebody to be like a healthy, not narcissistic.
[00:16:50] Human might be a good idea for you.
[00:16:53] Robert Greene: I have a lot of people who read this book of who just had two kids. This book actually has [00:17:00] really opened my eyes to things, I don't want to do for my children. I don't want to be that kind of parent. I don't want to create that kind of pattern for my child and it has actually helped them a bit, but that's a very good idea to maybe.
[00:17:14] Hala Taha: I kept thinking about that as I was reading the book like, man, like we need lessons on how we're supposed to raise our kids. Let's move on to the law of grandiosity. Basically the law says that the more successful we get, the more superior we feel and we get disconnected from reality and The 48 Laws of Power.
[00:17:33] You wrote something that resonated with this. There is nothing more intoxicating than victory and nothing more dangerous. Usually people are very weary of failure and do everything to achieve success. However, success or victory can also be dangerous according to you. So tell us about this. Why do we need to be careful of feeling to superior?
[00:17:53] Robert Greene: Not only is success dangerous, but failure is a great thing. Failure is a great way to learn about
[00:18:00] yourself and it's a great way to improve. If you've ever tried to learn anything like a skill, like the piano or a sport, and you make a mistake or you do something wrong. A red light goes on and you learn, okay, this is what I have to improve without failure in life, you will never ever get to the point where you can actually begin to work on yourself and improve your own defects.
[00:18:21] So failure is great, failure is important, embrace failure. It's the best learning tool you'll ever have, success on the other end is extremely dangerous. And why is that? Whenever you have success in life, whether it's writing a book or starting a business or running for political office, because of various things that I've talked about earlier about our self absorption, et cetera, your first tendency is to go, wow, I'm great.
[00:18:49] I've got the golden touch. I really nailed it this time. People really like me. They really respond. It's amazing what I accomplished here, but the [00:19:00] truth is in any kind of success in life, there are contingencies, there are circumstances. First of all, there's luck. If I wrote The 48 Laws of Power in 1980 or in 2016, I don't think it would have sold nearly as well as it did when it came out.
[00:19:17] So luck and timing played a huge role in your success. Other people helped you a lot in this process. So it's not all you, it's not all about you. If I had met that man in 1996 produce my book. I don't know where I would be right now. Okay. And then also your education, your parents, all these other people who have influenced you in life, your teachers and et cetera, have helped shape you and giving you the skills that you needed, the masters that you have practiced for.
[00:19:43] So your success is contingent on all these other packages. It's never just about you, but what happens when you're successful is you tend to forget about it all. You want to take all the credit? You want to imagine that you did everything yourself. You're hungry for that kind [00:20:00] of self validation. You tend to discount all the other factors that went into it.
[00:20:05] And so I maintain that in daily life. All of us are, let's say two or three feet off the ground. And what I mean. We walk around with an opinion about ourselves, that slightly elevated from the reality and studies have shown that we tend to think that we're smarter and better. And more independent than an actual reality, but the discrepancy is never big enough for us to be insane for us to people go, that guy is delusional, that woman's delusional.
[00:20:36] Successwill slowly make you go five feet, 10 feet, 20, 30, 40, 50 feet off the ground. And you'll start losing touch with reality. And you'll imagine that no matter what you do, it's definitely success. And I looked at this when I worked on that book with 50 Cent. We talked about this. This was the bane of a lot of rappers and people who were coming from the hood.
[00:20:59] We had a [00:21:00] successful first album. I think it's like a drug, we got intoxicated. Cause they came from very poor circumstances. Suddenly they have adulation, they have attention to have money. And then they did their second album and it was a total flop, a disaster, a one hit one because they lost sense of reality.
[00:21:20] They didn't realize that it wasn't just about them. That a lot of it was timing, et cetera. Successful feed into these animal type properties that we have, that you will distance you from reality of who you are. And your second attempt, your next attempt will probably fail because you won't be so careful.
[00:21:40] You won't realize that maybe you don't have the golden touch. When I write a book, I've had a lot of success with my other books, but when I start my next book, I go back to square one and I go, this book is good. Yeah. I'm going to be homeless. No, one's going to read it on the terrible writer.
[00:21:58] I've really got to work [00:22:00] hard at this. I don't let that voice going on inside me say how are you committed? You can mail this in robbery, no matter what you do, it's going to work out. You've got to avoid that voice inside of you. That keeps seducing you to. That you can just mail it, you, that whatever strategy you used a year ago, you can repeat it, just like a magic formula.
[00:22:21] It doesn't work like that. So that's the idea behind that.
[00:22:24] Hala Taha: Yeah, that's super, super interesting in so many gems that you brought up. Is there any real life, maybe historical examples, Napoleon comes to mind, but I'll let you choose whoever you want to talk about of somebody let success get to their head and it led to their downfall.
[00:22:40] Robert Greene: I don't want to get too political, but we can look at our president right now because I feel like I'm sure he has a high degree of grandiosity. The chapter is about grandiosity and one simple example with him. He had a lot of pressure from the Mueller report cause he thinks the success, first of all, is winning the election 2016, which he did when it
[00:23:00] was contingent on a lot of factors.
[00:23:02] First of all, he was Stacey, Hillary Clinton, who was a very kind of weak candidate. In other words, timing and luck played a huge role in his success. Also he lost the popular vote by a very large margin at different before. And perhaps he had some help from, for disease that had some influence on, in other words, there were contingencies, there were factors that led to success.
[00:23:26] He hasn't considered that, but then in June of this year, the Mueller report finally comes in or earlier on like an April and he reads it or maybe in some degrees, it exonerates him. And then Mueller testified in front of Congress in June, and it's a flaw and the whole thing's sizzling and it's called wow.
[00:23:47] I'm great. I can get away with anything. Nothing I can do is wrong. And so in that moment, he then has the phone call like a month later or several weeks later with the president of [00:24:00] Ukraine in which he's now going to probably be impeached for, but in the house at least, He went way too far, The 48 Laws of Power, his victory, no one to stop, no one to stop.
[00:24:10] This was a total act of grandiosity. You believe that I can get away with anything. I can do anything I want, because look, I got away with that other thing. So the success that he had in that one is this could very well be his downfall and the ancient Greek set a name for it. They called it nemesis. When you are successful, the God of vengeance, the goddess, adventure, and emphasis is going to come and hunt me down and make sure that you failed the next time, because that's the nature of it because you have hubris, you have grandiosity in the book.
[00:24:46] I talk about Michael Eisner and Disney and how the incredible success he had with movies with Paramount, and then with this Disney. They have to believe that he could do anything, but he was just genius. [00:25:00] So he designed a new theme or Euro Disney, and he worked very heavily on the design and it was a disaster and it led to his downfall because he thought that his success, one area translated to another area, which is another example of grandiosity.
[00:25:16] There are many examples of that, I think to some extent. So the book is still out on that. We can say that Elon Musk's suffers from that a little bit where he thinks. Because the attention and all the logs that he thinks that he earned from PayPal and some of his other things, he has the golden touch in no matter what he does, he will succeed.
[00:25:36] You can piss off the investors on wall street. You can tell people in Thailand how they you can build a better machine to rescue those kids who are trapped in the cave. He thinks you can do anything. It was just a sense of his own limits and the element of luck and timing and circumstance that went into success.
[00:25:53] Those are three moderating example.
[00:25:56] Hala Taha: Yeah, that's great. Thank you for those examples. The next law is one of [00:26:00] those ones where I thought was so unique that I've never heard before. And it was the law of gender rigidity and how men and women think differently. Why do you suggest that we should channel both our male and female tendencies?
[00:26:14] Robert Greene: We're all a mix of both genders and have female hormones and have male hormones, obviously in different bounces and it depends on the individual. And then very early on in life for boys, for instance, we're extremely influenced by our mother for two years, 90% of our interactions are with a woman and it has a huge impact.
[00:26:37] We internalize her nature, her spirit for women, a lot of their energy. They're dealing with the father figure to them and they internalize a lot of experience now. As the gender gap between the mother and the child, because the father is usually not as involved, but it's still very powerful. And so we naturally have [00:27:00] these elements of both genders in us and they actually, as we get older, we feel the pressure to become one or the other for most people, for a man to be more rigidly masculine, and to repress that kind of more sensitive and pathic, side the emotional side that men naturally have.
[00:27:23] And for women, it will be to repress. They're aggressive, ambitious kind of hard energy, not to say that women don't have that naturally. They do, but there's a lot more of that. Maybe a father figure, et cetera. And so we, half of the person we repressed who we are, we repressed that natural energy.
[00:27:44] And if my point is, don't be afraid of that energy for a man, that female part of you, it's actually very powerful. It's not going to make you weak. And I don't mean to put this label weak on the feminine, because I don't feel that at all, my ideas that the [00:28:00] feminine is actually a lot stronger than the masculine, but men have this belief that it's we, and emotional, et cetera.
[00:28:08] And so you have to repress it and I'm saying no for a man. Being able to think in a sort of permanent style is what makes a lot of great scientists. What makes great artists, what makes people more creative and for a woman to have into that male energy is what actually will make you successful in life.
[00:28:29] Actually, there's nothing to be afraid of that, to be able to stand up for yourself. And to say, here's the limits. I'm not putting up with this kind of behavior because women are socialized in an early age to be more pleasing and to always do what will please other people. And so they're afraid of that more confrontational side of them.
[00:28:48] I would say, be around rounded person. Know how to use that other part of your character. I have a lot about that in my book, the artist's deduction, where I talked about women with a [00:29:00] masculine edge. Like a Marlene Dietrich or like a Madonna are incredibly seductive. Men are fascinated by them and find them incredibly exciting.
[00:29:10] And women are obsessed and fascinated by men. That's slide seven and edge Bill Clinton have that, or, rock stars like a Mick Jagger or whatever. So bringing that side of you will actually make you much more appealing in the public eyes. Interesting to bring out those mix of qualities. So instead of repressing them, see it as a source of untapped power.
[00:29:33] Hala Taha: Yeah, that's great guidance. So interesting. And something that you really often don't consider or think about for myself. It makes me want to channel my masculine side a little bit more. I think I'm really girly in terms of like my vanity and things like that. But I think that the things that I choose to learn about and my podcast and my entrepreneurial spirit is more masculine.
[00:29:55] Definitely can improve there. Thank you for the enlightenment. The [00:30:00] next law I want to cover is I believe the last chapter of your book, the law of death denial. And this one is an example of humans not facing reality. We avoid thoughts about death. We fear death. We're all in this death denial. Why do you feel that it's important to accept our deaths and how will our lives benefit by doing this?
[00:30:24] Robert Greene: What is real about politics, about whether, some people deny there's global warming, although that's ridiculous, but we can argue endlessly about things in the world, but there's, nobody can argue that death doesn't exist. It's the ultimate reality. I don't care who you are. You're going to die at some point and it could be tomorrow.
[00:30:42] It could be five minutes. So not coming to terms with that is like turning your back. What it means to be alive, to turning your back on reality, it's making you into a distorted person. You're not facing the ultimate thing that is [00:31:00] facing you in life, and it's causing you all kinds of problems. A lot of times you feel it like you feel anxious.
[00:31:07] About your life, about things going on about your decisions and you don't really know why you're feeling anxious. You have this kind of deep well of anxiety. A lot of that anxiety comes from the fact that you're not confronting your own mortality. It's eating away at you because if you try and repress it, all that happens that eats away at you in the form of this kind of nameless anxiety, where it's the other way of life.
[00:31:35] I was looking at it, squarely in the eye and saying my life is short. I'm in my twenties that I could be dead when I'm 30. I only have so much time in life. And this is the reality. Number one, it wakes you up. It makes you more urgent and desperate. I better get things done that I wanted to get to do.
[00:31:54] I better put that business together or procure my children's future. Now I better not. [00:32:00] Delaying things, I am on death ground. I better have that sense of energy and necessity at my heels. And the other part of it is that being aware of death will connect you to other people in a kind of grant or way everybody is mortal.
[00:32:15] Everybody that you know. So look at that person that you take for granted. It could be your spouse. It could be your friend. And imagine that tomorrow they're gone. And with that feeling suddenly your level of appreciation of them will be much more heightened, but look at yourself, tomorrow it could be all over.
[00:32:34] So the things that I appreciate now are much more beautiful, are much more heightened. That'd be the last time that I look out my window and see those trees and hear those birds. So life has a greater intensity. Colors are more vibrant. The world is more exciting and when you ,come to terms with this reality.
[00:32:53] And then I connected to what I call the blond we're humans are the only animal aware of our [00:33:00] mortality and it's the cause of so much of our problems in life. So many of our destructive impulses and our ability to actually look at death and come to terms with it and accepted it and see it as a beautiful thing.
[00:33:11] And it's something natural and wonderful is like the ultimate human trials. It's like becoming truly human. We take our natural fear, our greatest weakness, and we turn it into a strength. And I don't know if you know this, but this particular chapter is something personal to me because two months after I wrote that chapter, I suffered a stroke and I came within five minutes of dying.
[00:33:38] Or within a few minutes of having permanent brain damage and I survived. And so I can speak from real experience what it means to like actually go through death and come back alive and how it changes you. You don't have to go through that. That has happened too. With the point here, you can actually do it through your thinking through your daily [00:34:00] meditation and through confronting this reality, but it's not something to be afraid of.
[00:34:04] It's something to embrace and incorporate into your life.
[00:34:07] Hala Taha: Yeah. So it's almost like you're saying except your desk and kind of helps you like find your purpose, live life with a sense of urgency and appreciate the people around you and things like that's a beautiful message. It's it seems negative, but it's like a truly beautiful message.
[00:34:23] Thanks for sharing that. Staying on this topic, I know that you have an interesting technique when you meditate that samurai warriors also do that's related to this death denial. Would you share that with us?
[00:34:35] Robert Greene: It was before I had my stroke, I would imagine what it's like the last day of my life. I would visualize here I am in a bed.
[00:34:44] That's how I die. And this is what it's going to be like. This is how it's going to feel. These are the people that's going to be around. Or if it's an accident, something happened. These are my last second, my last bit of consciousness and it has a different [00:35:00] effects. One is it brings the reality close to home.
[00:35:03] It makes it very much a part of your blood in your brain. It's not just an abstract thought something very real. It also really makes you, as I said before, appreciate things that are around you. So as I'm there and I've got. Yeah. All the things that I take for granted, I shouldn't take for granted because this is what's facing me.
[00:35:24] It just brings it. It makes it very real, as opposed to just this kind of vague abstract thought, literally conceiving what it could be like, what it will feel like, what will happen to me. And, but it's not so bad. It's like a warm fall. It's not a negative thought. And the other thing that it does, like I said, this is probably the biggest effect.
[00:35:47] All right. Robert, in 500 years, you will have been dead for 480 years or something. What does it matter today that you're having this problem that you're worried [00:36:00] about this particular issue? It's all very petty, nothing matters compared to the fact that some days it's all gone. So it gives you a sense of really priorities of what really matters in life and what doesn't matter.
[00:36:13] And those the main effect.
[00:36:14] Hala Taha: Yeah I want to be respectful of time. So this is going to be the last topic that we cover. I thought it was a really big one that my listeners would find interesting. You talk about how the generation you're born into really shapes the way that you are and presents different opportunities for you.
[00:36:30] Back in the 14th century, the Egyptian historian had been called, suggested that generations run in cycles for different cycles to be precise. Could you share more about this with our listeners? Explain what these generational cycles are and how we can use them to our advantage.
[00:36:49] Robert Greene: This is what we call the psych guys.
[00:36:50] It's the spirit of the times. And what that means is every generation, millennials, boomers, et cetera, have what I call
[00:37:00] a personality. It's like almost like an individual and that personality is formed because all people who are millennials and a generation is 20 to 23 years. So obviously there's a bit of a difference between person born in the first year to generation for support at the end, but more or less, the people in that generation are experiencing the world in a similar way, different kinds of technology.
[00:37:26] They grew up with the digital world or even the younger generation. So you can more pronounced it's certain crises that occur for my generation. It was the Vietnam war and Watergate have a big impact. There are certain cultural things that a generation grows up with. And so you have a kind of a personality that had forms a lot of your values and your thoughts, and you become a kind of a product of your generation.
[00:37:52] And when you add in all the generations that are alive at one particular moment, you have the boomers, you have
[00:38:00] gen V, those four generations at one time, create what we will call the site guys, the spirit at the time, how they get along their conflicts, who is what's dominating, et cetera. And so design guides literally means the spirit at the time.
[00:38:16] And if you're a business leader, if you're creating a product or a book or anything, it's absolutely essential for you to understand this personality of your own generation. And at the time that you live in, because the people who are really the most powerful know how to anticipate where the world is going, they see the next trend on the horizon.
[00:38:36] Okay. There's a generation Z that's coming up now that will be empowered. In 10 years, it will be the dominant generation. I need to make something that appeals to them. I need to understand their spirit. So you have to be continually aware of how the times are changing, how the spirit is changing and not be mired in the past.
[00:38:57] And you also have to understand your own [00:39:00] generation. You have to understand that personality so you can appeal to it. So your product would be geared into what their spirit is. And I talked a lot of the books about how to do that, but ultimately the best thing is to transcend your generation to be someone who's free of that so that you can be someone.
[00:39:19] Who can see the larger trends that you're part of the future, because your generation nailed you into the past. And as you get older, you become more and more of a dinosaur kind of modern tool. The values that you have when you're in your twenties. And the best thing is to be able to stand outside of your generation and create who you are on your own without necessarily having to conform to the values and ideas and spirit.
[00:39:44] All the other people around you. So that's the main thing about this site guys it's an absolutely critical skill to be able to understand. The generation that you're born into in the spirit of the time, so that you are somebody who is not just [00:40:00] following trends is able to even set them because that's the most powerful position to be in, in life.
[00:40:05] Hala Taha: That's wonderful. What a great way to end the show. Robert, it was so wonderful to have you on you gave us so much insight. Honestly. I know we could go on for hours and hours, but where can our listeners go to find out more about you and everything? That you do.
[00:40:21] Robert Greene: Have a website, power seduction and war power production, and the spelled powerseductionandwar.com.
[00:40:29] And there you'll find links to my other books, to its Law, to Mastery, to The Laws of Human Nature. You'll find links to my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and. And emailing for emailing me any thoughts or ideas that you have.
[00:40:44] Hala Taha: Awesome.
[00:40:44] Thank you so much for joining Young And Profiting Podcast. We love to have you.
[00:40:51] Thanks for listening to part two of my interview with Robert Greene on Young And Profiting Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to write us a review on Apple Podcasts or [00:41:00] wherever you listen to the show. Follow YAP on Instagram @youngandprofiting and check us out at youngandprofiting.com.
[00:41:06] And now you can chat live with us every single day on YAP Society on Slack. Check out our show notes or youngandprofiting.com for the registration link. You can find me on Instagram @yapwithhala or LinkedIn, just search for my name Hala Taha.
[00:41:18] Top big thanks to the YAP team for another successful episode this weekend.
[00:41:23] A special shout out to Timothy Tan, Young And Profiting Podcast is gearing up to launch a podcast course. This upcoming November, Tim has been heads down working on course content, and we're so thankful to have him by our side. This is Hala signing off.
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