What matters in the Sun-tzu universe are not positions of strength and power, but situations in which you have options, full of potential force.
Many people have an intense feeling about what they're best at. Too often, they're driven away from it by other people.
Everybody, to some extent, manipulates. Even children learn to cry when they want something. There are all kinds of subtle things we do to get others to follow our lead, not bother us, and so on.
If you're in business or politics, you need to have an intense understanding of what's going on around you.
Ethics and power are separate.
Ethics and power are separate. Ethics and morality. I think life would be miserable if there weren't some kind of code that people operated by, but history is full of many, many people who have gotten power by very unethical means, and people who were very ethical, who get no power, people who have the most brilliant, lovely, wonderful, nice intentions and bring about horrible things in the world because they don't know how to play the power game.
Plumbers can be masters, the guy who did my patio is a master, some people are masters at raising really great children.
The great thing about America is that you can come from the worst circumstances and become something remarkable.
The moment people feel they know what to expect from you, your spell on them is broken. More: You have ceded them power.
In the world today many people rightfully feel entitled to have success and the good things in life, but they usually understand it will require sacrifice and hard work.
To hold an idea and convince ourselves we arrived at it rationally, we go in search of evidence to support our view.
As social animals we humans are very sensitive to our rank and position within any group. We can measure our status by the attention and respect we receive.
Every couple of years when your book comes out then you have to go into these fights with the publisher and the publicist and then maybe I bring sort of my knowledge of power into play.
Your life must be a progression towards ownership -- first mentally of your independence, and then physically of your work, owning what you produce.
Anyone who would spend ten years absorbing the techniques and conventions of their field, trying them out, mastering them, exploring and personalizing them, would inevitably find their authentic voice and give birth to something unique and expressive.
Your greatest power in seduction is your ability to turn away, to make others come after you, delaying their satisfaction.
Never rush into the waiting arms of the first person who seems to like you. That is not seduction but insecurity.
Sexuality is extremely disruptive. The insecurities and emotions it stirs up can often cut short a relationship that would otherwise be deeper and longer lasting.
Any titles, money, or privilege you inherit are actually hindrances. They delude you into believing you are owed respect.
Once people are aware of your presence, and perhaps vaguely intrigued, you need to stir their interest before it settles on someone else.
In any court-like environment of power, you will inevitably find people who are drawn to those who are successful or powerful, not out of admiration, but out of secret envy.
We are often raised as dependents then given over to teachers. It's experience and exploration that can transform us and lead to mastery.
Understand: any phenomenon in the world is by nature complex. The people you deal with are equally complex. Any action sets off a limitless chain of reactions. It is never so simple as A leads to B. B will lead to C, D and beyond.
Often people become our friend or follower with an undercurrent of resentment in our having more success than they have. They secretly desire the opportunity to take us down a notch; they have a nose for any misstep on our part they can exploit.
Few are drawn to the person whom others avoid and neglect; people gather around those who have already attracted interest.
The authority you establish must emerge naturally from your character, from the particular strengths you possess.
The things that transfixed you as a child, that you found most exciting was not a passing fancy, but a message about what you're supposed to do.
In the normal flow of a conversation, our attention is divided. We hear parts of what other people are saying, in order to follow and keep the conversation going. At the same time, we're planning what we'll say next, some exciting story of our own.
What happens if you stick at something long enough, and study it for so long, you have a different kind of intelligence. It's not an intellectual thing. It's almost like an animal intelligence. I call it our form of instinct, almost how a lion knows exactly where its prey is.
If a subject excites us, if it stirs our deepest curiosity, or if we have to learn because the stakes are high, we pay much more attention. What we absorb sinks in.
When I was researching my book 'The 33 Strategies of War', I studied Napoleon extensively and I found myself wanting to ask Napoleon questions about things he did, and if was I interpreting his actions correctly.
The Nihilistic Troll might pretend to be acting in the service of some cause or leader, but don't be fooled. The cause and their supposedly strong convictions are simply a way to justify and provide cover for their abusive behavior.
People have more freedom to bring more of their personal qualities into the role they play once they have established themselves and their competence is no longer in question. But this is always within limits.
It was 1996 and I was at a crossroads in my career. I had been working in Hollywood as a writer and was very unhappy. I had pitched an idea for a book some six months earlier, and the book packager, Joost Elffers, wanted me to write up a treatment for it.
While still working for others, your goal at some point must be to carve out little areas that you can operate on your own, cultivating entrepreneurial skills.
A child wants things to be a certain way. When you get to be an adult, you just understand that some people are good, some are not, and you can't be naive.
Understand: as children and young adults, we are taught to conform to certain codes of behavior and ways of doing things. We learn that being different comes with a social price.
Everyone assumes I practise all of my own laws but I don't. I think anybody who did would be a horrible ugly person to be around.
A person who is truly authentic doesn't need to play a role in life, we think, but can simply be him -- or herself.
Transforming yourself into a deep listener will not only prove more amusing as you open your mind to their mind, but you will gain the most invaluable lessons about human psychology.
Pool, it became clear to me, is all about angles. First, there are simple angles, as you must hit the cue ball to either side when you are not straight on.
Passive aggressors who are adept at this will have trained themselves to remain calm, while you get irritated and emotional.
On a career level, I always advise people to look ahead and be open to changes in direction. That job that seems so good now can easily turn into a nightmare if you do not see the possible corners it can land you in.
Power is the measure of the degree of control you have over circumstances in your life and the actions of the people around you. It is a skill that is developed by a deep understanding of human nature, of what truly motivates people, and of the manipulations necessary for advancement and protection.
A master performer like Bill Clinton never lost sight of the fact that as president he had to project confidence and power, but if he was speaking to a group of autoworkers he would adjust his accent and his words to fit the audience, and do the same for a group of executives.
I'd done a lot of research in Hollywood and in academia. I love research and so I wanted to kind of ground the book in history, in things that I read that were universal and timeless and then kind of let my own experiences sort of filter through all of this history.
Her lips are roses, overwashed with dew.
Her lips are roses over-washed with dew, Or like the purple of Narcissus' flower; No frost their fair, no wind doth waste their power, But by her breath her beauties to renew.
The pain is kind of challenge your mind presents -- will you learn how to focus and move past boredom, or like a child will you succumb to the need for immediate pleasure and distraction?
Emotions are continually affecting our thought processes and decisions, below the level of our awareness. And the most common emotion of them all is the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.
You must never assume that what people say or do in a particular moment is a statement of their permanent desires.
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.
You cannot hit two targets with one arrow. If your thoughts stray, you miss your enemies' heart. Mind and arrow must become one.
No one's really taking it seriously enough, being more kind of careful and cautious in planning your life out and trying to reach a goal. It takes a great deal of effort -- and this cannot be taught.
You can't disengage yourself from that game if you are completely unaware of what people out there might be doing, you're just going to be tripped up, you're going to find yourself continually at a disadvantage.
Power works best when it is indirect -- never coercing people; instead, getting them to voluntarily align with your interests.
Never neglect the way you arrange things visually. Factors like color, for example, have enormous symbolic resonance.
Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once it slips, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable.
Truly creative people in all fields can temporarily suspend their ego and simply experience what they are seeing, without the need to assert a judgment, for as long as possible. They are more than ready to find their most cherished opinions contradicted by reality.
Mastery is not a function of genius or talent. It is a function of time and intense focus applied to a particular field of knowledge.
I was a little worried that young people would think the only game was being political and manipulative when really the bigger game is being so good at what you do that nobody can argue with your results.
We do not see people as they are, but as they appear to us. And these appearances are usually misleading.
Be brutal with the past, especially your own, and have no respect for the philosophies that are foisted on you from outside.
Cultures have norms that reflect centuries of shared beliefs and ideals. Do not expect to scoff at such things with impunity. You will be punished somehow, even if just through isolation -- a position of real powerlessness.
Ah, were she pitiful as she is fair,Or but as mild as she is seeming so,Then were my hopes greater than my despair,Then all the world were heaven, nothing woe.
Remind yourself that winning an argument or proving your point really gets you nowhere in the long run. Win through your actions, not your words.
The dreamers, those who misread the actual state of affairs and act upon their emotions, are often the source of the greatest mistakes in history--the wars that are not thought out, the disasters that are not foreseen.
Half of your mastery of power comes from what you do NOT do, what you do not ALLOW yourself to get dragged into.
Remake yourself into a character of power. Working on yourself like clay should be one your greatest and most pleasurable life tasks. It makes you in essence an artist -- an artist creating yourself.
A man grows bored with a woman, no matter how beautiful; he yearns for different pleasures, and for adventure.
I'm probably, if I might, if I stray I might write, go into screenplay or do something in film. Something like that but I think I'm pretty much going to stick to what I'm good at.
Along the way, a lot of filmmakers get rid of things that are messy or don't fit in some ways. To me, I want to work with serendipity and things we happened upon. That's our job, that's what the form demands.
If we experience any failures or setbacks, we do not forget them because they offend our self-esteem. Instead we reflect on them deeply, trying to figure out what went wrong and discern whether there are any patterns to our mistakes.
People expect your behavior to conform to known patterns and conventions. Your task as a strategist is to upset their expectations.
If you want to be a good strategist, you can never just go off a principle you read in a book. You need to adapt what you do to the situation; no rule of thumb is true all the time.
If you change and adapt your persona, you are seen as inauthentic; if you stay the angry young man, you fade from attention or seem tiresome.
It is occasionally used to imitate the court jester, who plays the fool but knows he is smarter than the king. He talks and talks and entertains, and no one suspects that he is more than just a fool.
The Vulture. Of all the creatures in the jungle, he has it the easiest. The hard work of others becomes his work; their failure to survive becomes his nourishment. Keep an eye on the Vulture -- while you are hard at work, he is circling above. Do not fight him, join him.
Everybody in life is struggling for power, and some people use morality and righteousness as a weapon, while others use different means, even passive aggression. From a distance, we are all fighting, and I am looking at this from a distance.
I went to an extreme for literary purposes because I felt all the self-help books out there were so gooey and Pollyanna-ish and nauseating. It was making me angry.
I remember I was flying home to Los Angeles one day. I was talking to the woman next to me and the flight attendant tried to tell me I was sitting next to somebody that I should know. I didn't recognize her but it ended up being Beyonce's sister, Solange Knowles.
I'm the kind of person that wants to analyze and I think having a background in, strangely enough, in like literature and languages, I'm always analyzing things.
I want to be able to write, that's my first love and I don't want to deviate from it even though I probably could have made a lot more money.
Female psychotic bosses can be particularly devilish. They will tend to mix in a lot of passive aggression, making you feel guilty for all kinds of things.
Remember: The best deceivers do everything they can to cloak their roguish qualities. They cultivate an air of honesty in one area to disguise their dishonesty in others. Honesty is merely another decoy in their arsenal of weapons.
It's okay to be kind of looking for what you want and trying out all kinds of different ideas and different course work, etc.
If you have millions and millions of dollars, you're living in a totally different world. You don't feel it anymore and you've got to feel it.
The point of the adversity is to toughen your mind so that you can handle difficult circumstances in life. Your mind, toughen just like you toughen your body. So it really depends on what you need. It really depends on the individual.
You're not going to be persistent and tenacious enough if you don't love what you're doing. If it's not something that excites you, that appeals to you deep down inside.
On woman Nature did bestow two eyes, Like Hemian's bright lamps, in matchless beauty shining, Whose beams do soonest captivate the wise And wary heads, made rare by art's refining.
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite -- inspire fear and insecurity.
We started filming with Brandy Burreand didn't really know, at first, what we were doing. Eventually, the thing just grabbed a hold of both of us and became what it is. But, yeah, we were very close before and we're even closer now.
Grand strategy is the art of looking beyond the present battle and calculating ahead. Focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it.
If a person is successful, we imagine they are probably also ethical, conscientious and deserving of their good fortune. This obscures the fact that many people who get ahead have done so by doing less than moral actions, which they cleverly disguise from view.
I didn't like writing just articles and things. So then I wandered around. I tried my hand at film and television and that was a worse fit because I don't really have a mind for that.
There was writing and foreign languages. I always had an ease with foreign languages. So the both are related, both language related kind of mind.
The real poetry and beauty in life comes from an intense relationship with reality in all its aspects. Realism is in fact the ideal we must aspire to, the highest point of human rationality.
Here in Beacon, I feel like this was the worst year yet. The entire town, like a lot of winter towns, just kind of holed up in the winter.
There's no more of an excuse for blaming other people or the world for at least not trying what you should be trying.
I have sort of issues with my claustrophobia where being on an airplane or if I force myself, to put myself in these circumstances that I kind of, am afraid of, that can be a way to toughen me up.
It's fortunately a kind of society we live in where we can be diverse. People can take different paths and not feel like they're doing something wrong.
Defeat Them in Detail: The Divide and Conquer Strategy. Look at the parts and determine how to control the individual parts, create dissension and leverage it.
The problem is the book business is changing so we're in a difficult moment now and if the business model is changing, I don't know if I'm going to have to look what's in store for me at that level but fortunately, I broke in earlier.
One of the things I've been talking about with my critical writing and my own work is that these movies are seen differently in a theatrical space. It's very important to me. I edit films to be seen theatrically, like fiction material I've worked on like Listen Up Phillip or other documentaries.
You could have a lot of money at your fingertips, the finest education and intellectual knowledge, but if you are governed by fear none of that will matter. You will remain tied to dead ideas and stale strategies. You will not be able to adapt. You will lose what you have.
You are facing death and danger and competition, but at any moment, you can decide to have a fearless mindset.
There are things that you study, classes you've taken, activities you've done that feel right, that feel like they're in your power zone. So it doesn't take incredible amount of effort for you to do it -- it just comes more naturally to you.
I often daydream about the future, thinking of the world in 100, 200 years, imagining what it looks like, feels like. I hope that my books are like ghosts that will inhabit this future.
I believe that everything happens for a reason, and what seems bad at first might in fact be something of a blessing.
I just do what I want to do without hurting other people and you know, I wish other people would do the same.
Do not envy those who seem to be naturally gifted; it is often a curse, as such types rarely learn the value of diligence and focus, and they pay for this later in life.
If you have the kind of intelligence and instinct that will point you in the right direction, playing the rebel will not be dangerous. But if you are mediocre ... you are better off learning from your predecessor's knowledge and experience, which are based on something real.
To be strategic in life is like any skill whether it's basketball or learning a language, it takes effort and practice and I think most people don't think that it's something that they could just do, you know, naturally.
Fear creates its own self-fulfilling dynamic- as people give into it, they lose energy and momentum. Their lack of confidence translates into inaction that lowers confidence levels even further, on and on.
People around you, constantly under the pull of their emotions, change their ideas by the day or by the hour, depending on their mood. You must never assume that what people say or do in a particular moment is a statement of their permanent desires.
A few years ago, for my birthday, Sean Price Williams said, I'll give you one free day of shooting. He shot Kati with an I and co-shot Fake It So Real. While we've always worked together, I didn't want him to do it for free, so he cashed in his birthday chip and came for this one day.
The envy elicited by Sir Walter Raleigh is the worst kind: It was inspired by his natural talent and grace, which he felt was best displayed in its full flower.
Mastery is not a function of I.Q. or natural talent or wealthy parents who can send you to the best school, but rather the result of going through a learning process, fueled by the desire to grow and the persistence to push past any obstacles.
If you love music and it requires hours of practice that can be boring, you can survive the boredom, you're not going to love it but you can survive the boredom because you're connected to something that excites you.
I make non-fiction partly because I'm not that good of a writer. My talent, if I have any, is in balancing, capturing and directing reality, rather than creating scenarios.
I just think there's something in the non-fiction form that allows you to see things clearly, if you're patient.
When there are no other options, people fight harder. If the choice is life or death they have nothing to lose.
You can never get rid of all of your fears. Some are necessary and a part of life. But most of our fears are illusory, based on risks or threats that exist only in our minds. Such fears constrain and make you miserable. The feeling of moving past a particular fear is one of liberation and freedom.
As a writer you know you don't have to deal with a lot of the crap that most people deal with, the political things. Every couple of years when your book comes out then you have to go into these fights with the publisher and the publicist and that's it.
Our times might emphasize equality, which we then mistake for the need for everyone to be the same, but what we really mean by this is the equal chance for people to express their differences, to let a thousand flowers bloom.
Most people are passive aggressive in this world. I have the idea that the human being is born with a kind of reservoir of aggression. We are inherently somewhat aggressive creatures and we either channel that in direct ways or we channel it in indirect ways and become passive aggressive.
Only create associations with positive affinities. Make this a rule of life and you will benefit more than from all the therapy in the world.
What will seduce a person is the effort we expend on their behalf, showing how much we care, how much they are worth. Leaving things to chance is a recipe for disaster, and reveals that we do not take love and romance very seriously.
In the world today, we humans have become more self-absorbed, more tribal and tenacious in holding on to our narrow agendas; we have become consumed by the barrage of information inundating us; we are even more fickle when it comes to leaders.
I've always been kind of a strategic thinking person -- I love sports for instance, but my interest in sports is 'cause I love watching strategy in action or playing it. I'm not into the drama so much, of the physical action. I'm interested in the coach and how he's strategizing.
I don't want to promote paranoia. It's not like wow, everybody is after me. You know that's not going to be very powerful. A person like Stalin was like that and he was powerful, but it ended up completely destroying him because he couldn't trust anyone.
The worst thing is to sit and whine and complain and obsess about money as if that were the only sign of your worth as a human.
Life goes by very fast. And the worst thing in life that you can have is a job that you hate, that you have no energy in, that you're not creative with and you're not thinking of the future. To me, might as well be dead.
You must keep raising this game to higher and higher levels, as on the pool table -- mastering eventually the psychological angles. Your playing is a pleasure, all the way to the end, to death, when the game is over.
If I could simplify the whole game of power and strategy in one equation, it would all hinge on the capacity to see events around you exactly as they are. The closer your mind is to reality, the better your strategies, your responses in life.
Because of my two films -- one was about my half-sister (Kati with an I) and the next one featured my cousin (Fake It So Real) -- I was hesitant to start with someone so close.
I like lecturing and going around the world and giving talks and I like doing consulting and helping people.
Humans cannot avoid trying to influence others. Everything we say or do is examined and interpreted by others for clues as to our intentions.
Understand: A person of power instills a kind of fear by deliberately unsettling those around him to keep the initative on his side.
Let me spell it out: with the psychotic boss, nothing you do is ever quite right. They set traps, asking you to do things, and no matter how hard you think of accomplishing it in their way, it is wrong and you are to blame. This tends to instill a lot of fear in you.
Obviously there's Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon and all these other outlets. Fake It So Real is now on Fandor, and I think people have actually seen it there, which is fine.
I've always been intrigued by fighter pilots and strategy because it occurs in like, milliseconds, you know.
Most people have no sense of self-awareness. They're not aware of what they really want. They knew it when they were younger but then as they get older they listened to parents, they listened to peers and they think that, for instance, money is the most important thing when it really isn't.
By wit we search divine aspect above,
By wit we learn what secrets science yields,
By wit we speak, by wit the mind is rul'd,
By wit we govern all our actions;
Wit is the loadstar of each human thought,
Wit is the tool by which all things are wrought.
We humans are self-absorbed by nature, and spend most of our time focusing inwardly on our emotions, on our wounds, on our fantasies.
There is a tremendous problem in modern culture. We have become used to everything coming to us with tremendous speed and ease. It is a culture where discipline and patience is almost impossible to develop.
Ah Franion, treason is loved of many, but the Traitor hated of all: unjust offences may for a time escape without danger, but never without revenge.
Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense.
Smooth functioning of social life has always depended on the recognition of certain basic limits to behavior. We cannot simply say or do anything we wish, or offend people, without paying consequences -- isolation, ostracism, etc.
Still uncertain as to our identity, we think that what matters in the work world is gaining attention and making friends. And these misconceptions and naïveté are brutally exposed in the light of the real world.
Mastery, I learned, was not something genetic, or for a lucky few. It is something we can all attain if get rid of some misconceptions and gain clarity as to the required path.
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.
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. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.
Movie theaters barely make any money. A movie can make a couple of thousand dollars, or could get lucky and make ten or fifteen thousand dollars, but theatrical releases don't really sustain the work. For me, it's the best sort of advertisement for anything else you'd want to do.
We humans for millions of years were nomadic. We associated freedom and well-being with the ability to move into open spaces, to find places more suited to hunting.
I want my movies to play in movie theaters. While festivals can fulfill a part of that, there's nothing like getting a week-long run for your movie. It's becoming increasingly difficult to get that.
The ideas get under your skin. I am honored and deeply excited by the thought that the next generation of writers, or whomever, are influenced by these books.
Sovereign of beauty, like the spray she grows;Compass'd she is with thorns and canker'd bower.Yet, were she willing to be pluck'd and worn,She would be gather'd, though she grew on thorn.
The world is full of people with different characters and temperaments. We all have a dark side, a tendency to manipulate, and aggressive desires. The most dangerous types are those who repress their desires or deny the existence of them, often acting them out in the most underhanded ways.
Ah! what is love! It is a pretty thing, As sweet unto a shepherd as a king, And sweeter too; For kings have cares that wait upon a crown, And cares can make the sweetest love to frown.
Even as a child, Muhammad Ali got perverse pleasure out of being different. He liked the attention it got him, but most of all he just liked being himself: odd and independent.
People want to feel united, they want to have that religious sense they want to feel like at a rave 10,000 people at the rave are feeling the same emotions, a very primal need that's not being fulfilled in the world today.
Compared to other animals, we humans enter the world remarkably weak and helpless. We remain relatively weak for many years before we can truly operate on our own.
Create a ladder of values and priorities in your life, reminding yourself of what really matters to you.
As most people when I entered the work world, suddenly people are playing games, being manipulative, being a little bit nasty, you get tricked or you're kind of naive and you do something and people come steal your idea.
To Sun-tzu and the ancient Chinese, doing something extraordinary had little effect without a setup of something ordinary. You had to mix the two -- to fix your opponent's expectations with some banal, ordinary maneuver, a comfortable pattern that they would then expect you to follow.
Most people are perpetually locked in the present. Their decisions are overly influenced by the most immediate event; they easily become emotional and ascribe greater significance to a problem than it should have in reality.
I really do think you shoot for that beautiful experience of showing your movie in a crowd or room full of people, or even just one person who happens to go to a matinee screening.
Kati with an I was a New York Times Critics' Pick and I was really happy that it got a run uptown in Harlem at the Maysles Cinema, which is a great space but isn't necessarily the most well attended for a week-long screening.
Remember: your bosses prefer to keep you in dependent positions. It is in their interest that you do not become self-reliant, and so they will tend to hoard information. You must secretly work against this and seize this information for yourself.
If you're meant to do something like writing and you end up going into banking or finance, your going to be miserable. You're trying to fit something into a square peg and a round hole. It's just never going to work.
Compelling spectacles are not to reach a niche market, it could be for reaching a niche marketing but on a grand scale. This is for grand marketing.
A lot of, a big problems that people have nowadays is that they can't stand moments of no stimulation in their life so they're constantly lurking, looking for entertainment, video games.
Things like reading a book or learning a language, or taking a walk -- they're not stimulating. Your mind has to sort of learn how to deal with that kind of stimulation on its own. So that's a very important form of adversity.
I've always loved black culture; I don't know any other way to put it. Since I was a kid I loved music and early jazz, Sly and the Family Stone.
I've always loved black culture; I don't know any other way to put it. Since I was a kid I loved music and early jazz, Sly and the Family Stone. I'm older -- I'm in my early 50s -- so you'll have to excuse me. That was always very exciting to me to connect to the culture on that level.
Your energy, your spirit are important considerations. Feeling petty and frustrated can have reverberating consequences for your ability to think strategically and reach your goals.
Even if it's a talking head documentary about a social movement or something along those lines, I've always thought of editing the timing and the sense of the piece for the theatrical experience.
As social animals, we are extremely susceptible to the moods of other people. This gives us the power to subtly infuse into people the appropriate mood for influencing them.
The Crown. Place it upon your head and you assume a different post-tranquil yet radiating assurance. Never show doubt, never lose your dignity beneath the crown, or it will not fit. It will seem to be destined for one more worthy. Do not wait for a coronation; the greatest emporers crown themselves.
If you're just letting the time pass at your job, it's just dead time and you'll never get it back. If at that job you're learning and you're observing and you're seeing about people and connections, it's suddenly alive time.
It's sometimes hard to talk about politics and art. Obviously, I have my core beliefs, but I think art is best when it's troublesome and pushes against stuff.
Why regret anything? Where does it get you to regret anything you've ever done in your life? It gets you nowhere. It's a pathetic emotion that you can wallow in.
Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others--that is too high a price to pay.
Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others -- that is too high a price to pay.
Our natural tendency is to project onto other people our own belief and value systems, in ways in which we are not even aware.
I think I can do whatever I want with fiction, but the more documentary it is, the better it will be because that's what I'm good at. I'm good at observing people's behavior and putting these unspoken things into movie contexts in ways that other people can sometimes miss.
Religion humanizes this universe, makes us feel important and loved. We are not animals governed by uncontrollable drives, animals that die for no apparent reason, but creatures made in the image of supreme being.
Most of us enter adult life with great ambitions for how we will start our own ventures, but the harshness of life wears us down. We settle into some job and slowly give in to the illusion that our bosses care about us and our future, that they spend time thinking of our welfare.
With colleagues in the work environment, we fail to see the source of their envy or the reason for their manipulations; our attempts at influencing them are based on the assumptions that they want the same things as ourselves.
Quotes by Robert Greene are featured in: