For most of my life, I have relied on the laws of physics, mathematics, and strategy to explain phenomena and influence how I engage with the world. These laws, theorems, and concepts influence our thoughts and decisions. Once internalized, the physical and technological worlds can most often be explained simply and logically. Our studies of first-order principles establish the foundation for clear, true, and rational thinking.
But, success and fulfillment in life require relationships and collaboration with people both personally and professionally. Every human is unique, and often irrational, making it challenging to explain behavior or how best to engage with someone for mutual success. It is well documented that social intelligence is as important or even more important than the intelligence quotient (IQ) in life. Just as the laws of science are explained in physics books, we would all benefit to learn the laws that explain human nature.
Robert Greene’s latest book, The Laws of Human Nature, is a masterpiece for helping you become a better person and learning strategies for engaging with the right people while avoiding others. From the opening chapters on irrationality and narcissism to meditating on your mortality, it’s a book that will change your life. It will likely provide frameworks and answers to aspects of your life you could not explain. I highly recommend this book to anyone that can relate to the five value propositions outlined on the back cover above. Understanding these laws, are an essential complement to the expertise that you have developed in your specific field of study.
Ryan Holiday interviews Robert Greene on the background and writing of his latest book. In the interview, Robert Greene highlights that many people don’t know who they are. Ten years ago when I began running career strategy workshops at Microsoft, it became clear that this indeed was the case for most of the people I worked with. I too was challenged with an identity crisis at various stages of my life. People lacked an inner understanding of who they were now, why they behaved in a certain manner, and how to collaborate with a wide range of personalities and cultures.
This intent of the “Know” part of the career strategy framework is exploring deep into “knowing” as much as we can about ourselves. It’s a never-ending journey as we navigate through different phases of our life. The “Connect” part of the career strategy model outlines principles and virtues for interacting with people to achieve success and fulfillment.
The Laws of Human Nature book has been added to the recommended reading list that aligns with the Know and Connect domains. Just as a new pair of glasses sharpen vision, internalizing these laws will adjust your mental model of how you carry yourself and see the world.