Three things I learnt from ’50th Law’ by Robert Greene and 50 Cent

Chris Lovejoy

Develop the ability to control your opposite emotions

50 Cent describes how he did so by actively forcing his emotion into the opposite state of what he was at that time. If he felt mellow, he would deliberately think his way to being angry and fired up. If he felt unhappy, he’d focus on the opposite. This control over his emotions proved useful.


Successful people have a strategy, even if you can’t see it on the surface

It’s easy to look at people who’ve ‘made it’ and oversimplify how they got there. “They worked hard”. “They got lucky”. “They’re gifted”. But often there is a lot of strategy in the background.

Early on, when 50 Cent was making music, he used many tactics to learn what type of music his audience wanted. For example, he would upload a song onto his website suddenly, look at the comments it got, and then take it down. This enabled him to try different styles of music and see how receptive people were to them without having to officially release them and risk failure in the public domain.

Donald Trump is another example. Just from observing him, you may get the impression that he’s making things up as he goes along and doesn’t necessarily have a big game plan. However, he is actually very well-read and is a master at certain types of communication and power games.


Pain creates power

I have a theory that those with the greatest motivational drives later in life are those that experienced the greatest psychological difficulty during their formative years.

Within rap, many of the most successful artists are those who had great struggles growing up. In an interview, Jay-Z said “when you come from that kind of environment, the hunger is unbelieveable.”

In ‘I am not your guru’, Tony Robbins talks about how he was abused by his mother at a young age and says “From that pain… comes unbelievable f***ing strength.”

In an alternative society, striving towards achievement and the need to ‘be somebody’ could be seen as a form a weakness or mental illness. People with the greatest drive are those most likely to make positive contributions to society, so our society tends to regard them highly.

I believe that working hard to achieve something can be an adaptive response to being in a difficult environment. It can be harmful but it can also