The 50th Law by Robert Greene
One Line Summary
Fear is the ultimate dream killer
This is the final Robert Greene book I’ll probably be reviewing on this blog. It’s called The 50th Law, and it’s a bit of a switch up from the typical Greene style of book. The title is a play on words of his most popular work, The 48 Laws of Power, and the central subject of the book, the rapper 50 Cent.
The book follows 50 Cent’s rise to fame and analyzes what it was that made him different and allowed him to crawl out of poverty. In one sentence, the answer is the ability to not let fear win in the face of doubt and uncertainty.
Why it’s Awesome
In any wealthy family, at some point in history that family line was poor. That means that someone stepped up. Someone paid the tremendous cost to break the downward cycle of poverty and set the stage for future generations to come. Robert Greene calls this person “the New Prince” and classifies 50 Cent as one of these members.
This is an incredibly hard thing to do. For anyone who has visited or lived in poverty intensive areas, you probably know that poverty is a vicious cycle in which a lack of wealth leads to a further lack of wealth. But it can be done, and 50 Cent is proof of that.
According to Greene, what was the main cause of 50 Cent’s success was not his ability to rap, but his psychology. The man sees the world differently than most people.
This idea that any problems you have actually come from your own psychology and your way of thinking is an extremely bitter pill to swallow. It means that you can no longer blame anyone for anything, no matter what they’ve done to your. And it means that your life is entirely your responsibility, which is a very heavy burden. But it’s part of the process of becoming an mature adult.
For one thing, 50 Cent believed in himself and his personal destiny. He saw his success as his natural right, something he was born to achieve. This kind of belief structure is incredibly powerful because it gives you something to hold onto when things inevitably get hard. He never assumed that other people ultimately were capable of holding him back from what he wanted. They were just obstacles to be overcome.
50 Cent also had an incredible tolerance for the mundane and boring tasks that most of know we should be doing but resist. During his days as a drug dealer, 50 would often stand on one street corner, by himself 8-10 hours a day. Just a man with his thoughts. Say what you want about dealing drugs, but how many of you could actually do that day after day after day? I predict the vast majority of people would be crying for their iPhones after just 30 minutes.
That should tell you something about the current state of mind in modern culture. The ability to just sit with focused attention for long periods of time AND ACTUALLY ENJOY IT has been destroyed by 3 minute YouTube clips and phone notifications going off every second. If you want to regain this ability, meditation is absolutely key.
50 Cent also never got complacent. A drug dealer who gets complacent is either a drug dealer who gets killed or thrown in jail. 50 was able to bring that mindset into the music industry and business world. Never assume completion.
The book is really fascinating to read. 50 Cent’s life was insane and he will make you feel like a bitch for complaining about just about anything ever. The guy got dropped from his label the day he got shot by a rival and still came back strong. That is incredible will.
Why Does It Suck
50 Cent definitely did some morally questionable things to get to where he’s at. So if you’re someone who considers themselves a moral and righteous person, you’ll probably be appalled at some of the things in this book. So fair warning.
Also, like most Robert Greene books this book definitely is heavy on the cynical side of human nature. As always, make sure to balance this book about success out with others like Stephan Covey.
The Wrap Up
Amazing book if you’re interested in learning about 50 Cent’s life. This will definitely inspire you look at your own situation and probably show some gratitude. It will also give you some awesome clues to finding your own success.