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1

Forward
In the end, this is a book about a particular philosophy of life. How can it be summarized?

Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.

2

What's the introductory quote by Malcolm X?

"So over you is the greatest enemy a man can have and that is fear. I know some of you are afraid to listen to the truth - you have been raised on fear and lies. But i am going to preach to you the truth until you are free of that fear." -Malcolm X

3

The Fearful Attitude
In the beginning, fear was a basic, simple emotion for the human animal. We confronted something overwhelming - the imminent threat of death in the form of wars, plagues, and natural disasters - and we felt fear. As for any animal, this emotion had a protective function - it allowed us to take notice of a danger and retreat in time. For us humans, how did it serve an additional, positive purpose?

We could remember the source of the threat and protect ourselves better the next time. Civilization depended on this ability to foresee and forestall dangers from the environment.

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The Fearful Attitude
Out of fear, we also developed religion and various belief systems to comfort us. Fear is the oldest and strongest emotion know to man, something deeply inscribed in our nervous system and subconscious. Over time, however, how did something strange begin to happen?

The actual terrors that we faced began to lessen in intensity as we gained increasing control over our environment. But instead of our fears lessening as well, they began to multiply in number.

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The Fearful Attitude
The actual terrors that we faced began to lessen in intensity as we gained increasing control over our environment. But instead of our fears lessening as well, how did they begin to multiply in number?

We started to worry about our status in society - whether people liked us, or how we fit into the group. We became anxious for our livelihoods, the future of our families and children, our personal health, and the aging process.

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The Fearful Attitude
What is the Fearful Attitude which we have developed?

Instead of a simple, intense fear of something powerful and real, we developed a kind of generalized anxiety. It was as if the thousands of years of feeling fear in the face of nature could not go away - we want to find something at which to direct our anxiety, no matter how small or improbable.

7

The Fearful Attitude
In the evolution of fear, how did a decisive moment occur in the nineteenth century?

People in advertising and journalism discovered that if they framed their stories and appeals with fear, they could capture our attention. It is an emotion we find hard to resist or control, and so they constantly shifted our focus to new possible sources of anxiety.

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The Fearful Attitude
People in advertising and journalism discovered that if they framed their stories and appeals with fear, they could capture our attention. It is an emotion we find hard to resist or control, and so they constantly shifted our focus to new possible sources of anxiety: the latest health scare, the new crime wave, a social faux pas we might be committing, and endless hazard in the environment of which we were not aware. What is the net effect?

With the increasing sophisticationn of the media and the visceral quality of the imagery, they have been able to give us the feeling that we are fragile creatures in an environment full of danger - even though we live in a world infinitely safer and more predictable than anything our ancestors knew. With their help, our anxieties have only increased.

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The Fearful Attitude
With the increasing sophisticationn of the media and the visceral quality of the imagery, they have been able to give us the feeling that we are fragile creatures in an environment full of danger - even though we live in a world infinitely safer and more predictable than anything our ancestors knew. With their help, our anxieties have only increased. How is fear not designed for such a purpose?

Its function is to stimulate powerful physical responses, allowing an animal to retreat in time. After the event, it is supposed to go away.

10

The Fearful Attitude
With the increasing sophistication of the media and the visceral quality of the imagery, our anxieties have only increased. Fear is not designed for such a purpose. An animal that cannot let go of its fear once the threat is gone will find it hard to eat and sleep. What's the truth?

We are the animal that cannot get rid of its fears and when so many of them lay inside us, these fears tend to color how we view the world. We shift from feeling fear because of some threat, to having a fearful attitude towards life itself. We come to see almost every event in terms of risk. We exaggerate the dangers and our vulnerability. We instantly focus on the adversity that is always possible.

11

The Fearful Attitude
We are the animal that cannot get rid of its fears and when so many of them lay inside us, these fears tend to color how we view the world. We are generally unaware of this phenomenon because we accept it as normal. In times of prosperity, we have the luxury of fretting over things. But in times of trouble, this fearful attitude becomes particularly pernicious. Such moments are when we need to solve problems, deal with reality, and move forward, but fear is a call to retreat and retrench.
How does fear create its own self-fulfilling dynamic?

As people give in to it, they lose energy and momentum. Their lack of confidence translates into inaction that lowers confidence levels even further, on and on.

12

The Fearful Attitude
"So, first of all," Roosevelt told the audience, "let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." How is what Roosevelt sketched out in his speech the knife's edge that separates failure from success in life?

That edge is your attitude, which has the power to help shape your reality. If you view everything through the lens of fear, then you tend to stay in retreat mode. You can just as easily see a crisis or problem as a challenge, an opportunity to prove your mettle, the chance to strengthen and toughen yourself, or a call to collective action. By seeing it as a challenge, you will have converted this negative into a positive purely by a mental process that will result in positive action as well.

13

The Fearful Attitude
We face certain challenges as well. The world has become more competitive; the economy has undeniable vulnerabilities and is in need of reinvention. As in all situations, how will the determining factor be our attitude, how we choose to look at this reality?

If we give in to the fear, we will give disproportionate attention to the negative and manufacture the very adverse circumstances that we dread. If we go the opposite direction, cultivating a fearless approach to life, attacking everything with boldness and energy, then we will create a much different dynamic.

14

The Fearful Attitude
We are all too afraid of offending people, of stirring up conflict, of standing out from the crowd, of taking bold action. For thousands of years our relationship to this emotion has evolved - from a primitive fear of nature, to generalized anxiety about the future, to the fearful attitude that now dominates us. What is the height of realism?

As rational, productive adults we are called upon to finally overcome this downward trend and to evolve beyond our fears.

15

The Fearless Type
There are two ways of dealing with fear - one passive, the other active. Describe the passive mode.

In the passive mode, we seek to avoid the situation that causes us anxiety. This could translate into postponing any decision in which we might hurt people's feelings. It could mean opting for everything to be safe and comfortable in our daily lives, so no amount of messiness can enter.

16

The Fearless Type
There are two ways to dealing with fear. In the passive mode, why do we seek to avoid the situation that causes us anxiety?

When we are in this mode it is because we feel that we are fragile and would be damaged by an encounter with the thing we dread.

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The Fearless Type
There are two ways to dealing with fear - one passive, the other active. Describe the active mode.

The active variety is something most of us have experienced at some point in our lives: the risky or difficult situation that we fear is thrust upon us. It could be a natural disaster, a death of someone close to us, or a reversal in fortune in which we lose something.

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The Fearless Type
There are two ways to dealing with fear. In the active mode, what is it that we feel?

Often in these moments we find an inner strength that surprises us. What we feared is not so bad. We cannot avoid it and have to find a way to overcome our fear or suffer real consequences. Such moments are oddly therapeutic because finally we are confronting something real - not an imagined fear scenario fed to us by the media. We can let go of this fear.

19

The Fearless Type
In the active mode, such moments are oddly therapeutic because finally we are confronting something real - not an imagined fear scenario fed to us by the media. We can let go of this fear. The problem is that such moments tend to not last very long or repeat themselves too often. They can quickly lose their value and we return to the passive, avoidance mode. Why does this occur?

When we live in relatively comfortable circumstances, the environment does not press on us with obvious dangers, violence, or limitations to our movement. Our main goal, then, is to maintain the comfort and security we have, and so we become more sensitive to the slightest risk or threat to the status quo. We find it harder to tolerate feelings of fear because they are more vague and troubling - so we remain in the passive mode.

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The Fearless Type
Throughout history, however, there are people who have lived in much tighter circumstances, dangers pressing in on them on a daily basis. These types must confront their fears in the active mode again and again. Countless people grow up in or with such circumstances and their spirit is crushed by adversity. But a few rise above. They are toughened and hardened to the point of steel. What is essential to understand about this?

That no one is born this way. It is unnatural to not feel fear. It is a process that requires challenges and tests. What separates those who go under and those who rise above adversity is the strength of their will and their hunger for power.

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The Fearless Type
No one is born this way. It is unnatural to not feel fear. It is a process that requires challenges and tests. What separates those who go under and those who rise above adversity is the strength of their will and their hunger for power. How do the fearless types develop?

At some point, this defensive position of overcoming fears converts to an offensive one - a fearless attitude. Such types learn the value not only of being unafraid but also of attacking life with a sense of boldness and urgency and an unconventional approach, creating new models instead of following old ones. They see the great power this brings them and it soon becomes their dominant mind-set.

22

The 50th Law
What's this chapter's quote by Fifty?

"The greatest fear people have is that of being themselves. They want to be 50 cent or someone else. They do what everyone else does even if it doesn't fit where and who they are. But you get nowhere that way; your energy is weak and no one pays attention to you. You're running away from the one thing that you own - what makes your different. I lost that fear. And once i felt the power that i had by showing the world i didn't care about being like other people, i could never go back." -50 Cent

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The 50th Law
The 50th Law is based on the which premise?

That we humans have generally little control over circumstances. People intersect our lives, doing things directly and indirectly to us, and we spend our days reacting to what they bring. Good things come our way, followed by bad things. We struggle as best we can to gain some control, because being helpless in the face of events makes us unhappy. Sometimes we succeed, but the margin of control that we have over people and circumstance is depressingly narrow.

24

The 50th Law
The 50th Law is based on the following premise: We humans have generally little control over circumstances. People intersect our lives, doing things directly and indirectly to us, and we spend our days reacting to what they bring. Good things come our way, followed by bad things. We struggle as best we can to gain some control, because being helpless in the face of events makes us unhappy. Sometimes we succeed, but the margin of control that we have over people and circumstance is depressingly narrow. How does the 50th Law overcome these hurdles?

The 50th Law states that there is one thing we can actually control - the mind-set with which we respond to these events around us. And if we are able to overcome our anxieties and forge a fearless attitude towards life, something strange and remarkable can occur - that margin of control over circumstances increases. At its utmost point, we can even create the circumstances themselves, which is the source of the tremendous power that fearless types have had throughout history.

25

The 50th Law
What is it about those who follow the 50th Law that makes them so powerful?

And the people who practice the 50th Law in their lives all share certain qualities - supreme boldness, unconventionality, fluidity, and a sense of urgency - that give them this unique ability to shape circumstance.

26

The 50th Law
Why do those who practice the 50th Law practice supreme boldness?

A bold act requires a high degree of confidence. People who are the targets of an audacious act, or who witness it, cannot help but believe that such confidence is real and justified. They respond instinctively by backing up, by getting out of the way, or by following the confident person. A bold act can put people on their heels and eliminate obstacles. In this way, it creates its own favorable circumstances.

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The 50th Law
Why do those who practice the 50th Law adhere practice unconventionality? 1/2

We are social creatures, and so it is natural for us to want to conform to the people around us and the norms of the group. But underneath this is a deep fear - that of sticking out, of following our own path no matter what people think of us. The fearless types are able to conquer this fear. They fascinate us by how far they go with their unconventionality. We secretly admire and respect them for this; we wish we could act more like they do.

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The 50th Law
Why do those who practice the 50th Law practice unconventionality? 2/2

Normally it is hard to hold our attention; we shift our interest from one spectacle to the next. But those who fearlessly express their difference compel our attention on a deeper level for a longer duration, which translates into power and control.

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Q. The 50th Law
Many of us respond to the shifting circumstances of life by trying to micromanage everything in our immediate environment. When something unexpected happens, we become rigid and we respond by employing some tactic that worked in the past. If events change quickly, we are easily overwhelmed and lose control. Why do those who practice the 50th Law practice fluidity?

Those who follow the 50th Law are not afraid of change or chaos; they embrace it by being as fluid as possible. They move with the flow of events and then gently channel them in the direction of their choice, exploiting the moment.
Through their mind-set, they convert a negative (unexpected events) into a positive (an opportunity).

30

The 50th Law
Why do those who practice the 50th Law have a sense of urgency?

Having a brush with death or being reminded in a dramatic way of the shortness of our lives, can have a positive, therapeutic effect. Our days are numbered and so it is best to make every moment count, to have a sense of urgency about life. It could end at any moment. The fearless types usually gain such awareness through some traumatic experience. They are energized to make the most of every action, and the momentum this gives them in life helps them determine what happens next.