In the realm of power, you must be guided by reason. When you attain success, step back. Be cautious. When you gain victory, understand the part played by the particular circumstances of a situation.
Success plays strange tricks on the mind. It makes you feel invulnerable, while also making you more hostile and emotional when people challenge your power. It makes you less able to adapt to circumstances.
Power has its rhythms and patterns. Luck and circumstance always play a role in power. Good luck is more dangerous than bad luck. Bad luck teaches valuable lessons about patience, timing and the need to be prepared for the worst; good luck deludes you into the opposite direction, making you think your brilliance will carry you through. Your fortune will inevitably turn, and when it does you will be completely unprepared.
The rhythm of power often requires an alternation of force and cunning. Too much force creates a counter reaction; too much cunning, no matter how cunning it is, becomes predictable.
In the realm of power, you must learn to judge your moves by their long-term effects on people.
The problem of trying to prove a point or gain victory through an argument is that in the end you can never be certain how it affects those under you. They may appear to agree with you politely, but inside they resent you” – The 48 Laws of Power