Law 25: Re-Create Yourself

The 48 Laws Of Power Summary Series

Judgement

“Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define it for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions — your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.”

Observance Of The Law II

In 1831 a young woman named Aurore Dupin Dudevant left her husband and family to move to Paris. She wanted to be a writer; marriage, she felt, was worse then prison. Soon after Dudevant had to confront harsh realities. That to have any degree of freedom in Paris you had to have money. For a women, money could only come through marriage or prostitution.

No women had ever come close to making a living by writing. When Dudevant first showed her writing to an editor he told her, “You should make babies, Madame, not literature.” She had an extremely challenging path ahead of her if she was going to make it. Dudevant decided that to excel and win at this game she would play the part of a man. About a year later a publisher accepted Dudevant’s first major novel, Indiana.

She had chosen to publish it under a pseudonym, “George Sand”. She had always found men’s shirts and riding breeches more comfortable; now, as a public figure, she exaggerated the image. She added men’s coats and heavy boots to her wardrobe. She smoked cigars and in conversation expressed herself like a man. This strange “male/female” writer fascinated the public, and unlike other women writers, Sand found herself accepted into the social groups of many male artists. This male persona protected her from the public’s prying eyes. Out in the world, she enjoyed playing the part to the extreme; in private she remained herself. She intelligently realized that the character “George Sand” could grow stale or predictable, and to avoid this she would dramatically alter the character she had created every now and again by meddling in politics and leading demonstrations. No one would dictate to her the limits of the character she had created.

Interpretation

In her journals and to her closest friends she confessed she had no desire to be a man, but was playing a part for public consumption. “What she really wanted was the power to determine her own character. She refused the limits her society would have set on her. She did not attain her power by being herself; instead she created a persona that she could constantly adapt her own desires, a persona that attracted attention and gave her presence.”

Our culture despises being lied to and deceived while authenticity is heralded. Well that’s what they say, and often what we say and what we do are two very different things. In order to excel in a particular field you may have to morph your character to fit within the reality of your circumstances, as Dudevant did. Dudevant did not moan and complain about the lack of women’s rights within her society, she did not let the current state of her reality dissuade her from pursuing her ambitions. Instead, she conformed to the cliche, “if you can’t beat them, join them”. In order to excel in some area’s you must mold your character and adapt. It’s not about creating a “fake persona” and trying to harm or be destructive to your environment. It’s about understanding the current state of culture and becoming a chameleon to your circumstances.

Many may believe we have never lived in a time that is so “fake” and “disingenuous” with a ever growing society of “fake entrepreneurs” and ‘20 page marketing click funnels’ trying to pursued us to believe the dream and buy the product. The internet has given everyone a platform to communicate and mold their own unique character. Some will try and manipulate and adopt a nefarious attitude with the intent to take, other’s will forge new identities in an effort to give themselves the opportunity to be virtues and give. It’s up to you to be able to tell the difference and conversely pick who you wan’t to be.

“Your new identity will protect you from the world precisely because it is not ‘you’; it is a costume you put on and take off”

Keys To Power

We have the power to create ourselves and define our own identity.

“As Diederot said, the bad actor is the one who is always sincere. People who wear their hearts on their sleeves out in society are tiresome and embarrassing. Those who cry in public may temporarily elicit sympathy, but sympathy soon turns to scorn and irritation at their self-obsessiveness — they are crying to get attention, we feel, and a malicious part of us wants to deny them the satisfaction.”

Reversal

“There can really be no reversal to this critical law: Bad theater is bad theater. Even appearing natural requires art — in other words, acting. Bad acting only creates embarrassment. Of course you should not be too dramatic — avoid the histrionic gesture. But that is simply bad theater anyway, since it violates centuries-old dramatic laws against overacting. In essence there is no reversal to this law.”

Originally Posted

Self reflective writings & book summaries on philosophy, psychology and human behaviour. youtube.com/emmanualalexander

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