"This is the real world, muchachos, and you are in it."— B. Traven
1. Rarely make an important decision if you are not Ru, which means to be calm, dispassionate and unhurried. (Ru, "the master key" of many talents is partially explained on the Ru page of the preview guide).
2. Before making an important commitment, check, probe, "test the waters." Essentially, "when in doubt, become a scout."
3. To fulfill one's plans and desires an exchange price is demanded in time, commitment, mental and physical life force.
4. The power of a secret is a secret kept close! This writer will share an unappreciated secret now, when it may have an early impact (See Aerobics for health and brainpower, at the top of page 235).
5. There is merit in doing nothing when lacking a favorable position, time or information, particularly if one can sustain and accept a reversal or loss.
6. There is merit in doing something to gain a favorable position, time or information, particularly when faced with an intolerable, unacceptable reversal or loss. This is risky, perhaps desperate, and usually avoidable at an earlier stage.
7. One should recognize the transcendental importance of internal (personal) and external (impersonal) reality in all planning and decision making. Always, no matter how brilliant one's concept, argument or plan, it is internal and external reality that will decide true merit.
8. If you have troubles, real friends will stand by you; all others will either flee the contagion or look to self-interest. This occasional, sometimes strong reaction of others to one's personal troubles occurs when similar, emotionally upsetting mind patterns are remembered by others. The lesson is that it is better to keep one's troubles to oneself.
9. There is advantage in attack over defense. An attacker has the element of surprise (in time and point of attack), plus the ability to bring more force to an attacking point than the defense can oppose in the time available. Of course, one should know the case for the defense. Defenders know their territory well, they often have hidden resources, an attacker is often in an overexposed position allowing counterattacking possibilities, et cetera.
10. The one positive aspect of mistakes is to learn from them. Moreover, take the risk of making minor mistakes and you will learn to avoid the major mistakes that truly matter (stated differently, to get something right; you may have to get it wrong first). Also, it is far easier to forgive oneself small mistakes of experimentation than those of serious import.
11. Common sense dictates employing appropriate means to a desired end. This also means to avoid under- or overreacting to a person, situation or event.
12. There is continual value in exercising flexibility with regard to mind patterns, attitudes, actions and plans. The one inviolable line is your conscience, your principles.
13. To increase the possibility of success, build on one's inherited evolutionary potential. Discover and develop your natural abilities and assets. Note: Whatever you most enjoy doing points to a natural ability and asset.
14. Be familiar with your weak and strong points, gradually broadening your inquiries to other people, ideas and systems.
15. Personal success, as a rule, depends on one's character, ability and luck in that order.
16. Among many people, especially those who are doing well, there is the complacent delusion that their future life will be much like the present, varying only in minor degree. The root causes are preoccupation with present time (the frozen here and now), and in lacking real awareness of the transient nature of time. To see the big picture, and for better survival, an awareness of present and historical events and the transitional nature of time may be crucial. Guide To Power & Skeptic's Guide To Power will later help immeasurably. For now, take warning from the people deliberately sacrificed on the alter of power on 9/11, the Enron debacle, and the people washed away in the New Orleans hurricane and Far East tsunami tragedies.
17. For an individual to become fixated on nearly anything is both so easy and so limiting. The ancillary principle is that people find it very easy to believe what they most fear or desire. Fixated people tend to think in the channels of extremes i.e. politically left or right, right or wrong, black or white, an all or nothing mentality (see Reversal & Extremes pages 120-121).
Note: Guide to Power and the Skeptic's Guide to Power can generate 10,001 ideas of power, which is not a fanciful construct, but built on combinations and variations of a theme. For example: Power, the Basic List items presented above, can be considered as themes subject to variation created by combining one or more of the above items, through personal emphasis, or de-emphasis of an element within the individual items, and the personal interpretation that is given to a specific element, whether considered in whole or part (an elaboration on this subject is presented in the Creative Thinking Keys in the full Guide to Power manuscript).
*Note: A further fifty-six precepts of power are in the unabridged Guide to Power (See also Power, the Basic List in the free .pdf preview, on the left column).