The Key to Power, Money, Fame, and Sex

power

A few days ago, I finished a book called: Power Money Fame Sex: A User’s Guide. (What a titillating title!) I expected to learn how to acquire power, money, fame, and sex. But sadly, I finished it with disappointment.

The book started out really well, with a very accurate description of power …

What is power? You express your will, and someone else executes it.

To get power, first assert yourself over your own situation. Take charge and take responsibility for decisions within your ambit. Seize control of your time — it’s a badge of powerlessness to punch a time card, to apologize for leaving early, to get docked for your absence.

After achieving power over yourself, extend your reach over more people, actions, and ideas, until finally you’re shaping the future.

But after such a powerful start, the book did not meet my lofty expectations. It was too general to be of any real use. I guess this is what you get when a book tries to cover too many things at once.

A Quick Overview of Power Money Fame Sex

True to its title, the book is divided into 4 parts: power, money, fame, and sex.

1. The power section basically focuses on networking and developing relationships. Then it goes into the stupid ways people demonstrate that they have power. For example …

Hollywood powerhouse Dawn Steel warned a prospective employee, “The last [assistant] left because I called her a cunt. Would that be a problem for you?”

I hope you know that being in power allows you to get away with a lot of your faults. But that doesn’t mean you should indulge in them. The last thing the world needs is another middle manager with a power trip calling her subordinates “cunts.” Besides getting people to hate you, what do you really accomplish by being a dick?

2. The money section does not teach you how to get it money. It merely shows you why people spend money. Useless.

3. The fame section is the only worthwhile part of the book. It actually shows you how to get famous. (Too bad that this is the only good part, since I couldn’t care less about fame.)

4. The sex section is very, very basic. It has some general pointers for men who want to attract women, for women who want to attract men, and for gold diggers. If you have any experience with seduction, you probably wouldn’t learn anything new.

The Key to Being Charming (and How It Will Unlock Whatever You Want)

I must admit though, reading Power Money Fame Sex was not a complete waste of time. There was one small part that caught my attention, the part on how to be charming …

Charm in conversation

1. As William James pointed out, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” Ask questions that show not only that you remember where your interlocutor works, but that you know all about her recent triumph; or that you think his opinion is particularly worth seeking out. “You’ve traveled in Russia, John. What do you think of the current situation?”

2. Talk to people about themselves, and they’ll listen for hours. Look people in the face (avoid eye stray) and pay attention. Find a way to be genuinely curious, because if you’re like most people, you can’t successfully fake interest for long.

3. Don’t monopolize conversations. Guard against launching into a long story with no particular point, or including too much detail. “So then in December of 1995 — or was it January of 1995? I mean, January of 1996. No, it must have been, actually, November of 1995, because I remember it happened just after my aunt had to go to the hospital, and that was the day before Thanksgiving. So anyway …”

4. Have something to say. Keep up with current events, both momentous (peace-keeping missions) and frivolous (Emmy Awards). Cultivate some specialty — you’ll find that a single, narrow interest (skiing, fishing, the Civil War) has surprising broadening powers.

5. Poke fun at yourself. Put others at ease by laughing at your own mishaps — forgetting to bring identification to the airport so you missed the crucial flight; tripping over a curb into a full sprawl in the first five minutes of an important date; being the only man at a wedding who didn’t realize that you’re supposed to know to wear a tuxedo to a 7:30 P.M. ceremony without any instruction on the invitation.

6. People find nothing more charming than being proven right in a disagreement. Be quick to admit that you were wrong. “Yes, yes, I remember now. You’re right, for a while Chris Rock was a regular member of Saturday Night Live.”

7. People are sucks for flattery. A perfunctory “I love your dress” isn’t as effective as a more thoughtful comment, however. “You sound like you know a lot about it. Do you have a background in the field?” “Did you play sports in college?” Laugh at other people’s jokes.

Charm in presence

1. Exude energy and good spirits. Don’t brood over past insults or slights. People are inclined to like anyone who seem to like them, so adopt a friendly attitude.

2. Cultivate sprezzatura, an easy manner. Don’t get flustered over petty uncertainties — who should pick up the check, who should sit next to whom around a dinner table, making introductions. Don’t yell at a waitress or a policeman.

3. If nothing else, make sure you’re well groomed. Brush the dandruff off your shoulders, suck on a breath mint, wash your hands frequently if you have a moist, sticky handshake. And, although this seems obvious, don’t indulge in any disgusting habits — if your dinner companion isn’t giving each bite of food a loud, suspicious sniff before putting it in his mouth, don’t do that yourself.

If you revisit the list above, do you notice a common theme? Look closely, because this theme will be the key to fulfilling your dreams. Seriously, take 5 minutes and let me know what you notice.

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Ready? So what is the common theme about charm?

The answer is …

Make the other person feel good.

Don’t make him feel small. Don’t intimidate him. Don’t disgust him. Don’t put him in an uncomfortable situation. But rather, make him feel good.

That is why when I interact with people, I don’t memorize and rummage over each and every step. I don’t carry a checklist to remind myself that I should be lighthearted, be easy-going, and say pleasant things. All I have to remember is to put the other person at ease. Everything I do will revolve around that.

Frankly, it doesn’t just apply to being charming. It also applies to power, money, fame, and sex. The key to the 4 coveted goals (without using threats and force) is to satisfy the other person.

Be the source of knowledge.

Be the source of fun.

Be the source of opportunities.

Be the source of love.

Be the source of health.

Be the source of security.

Be the source of hope.

Want power? Want money? Want fame? Want sex? Then be the person (and hopefully, the only source) who can satisfy what the other party wants.

Remember … It’s all about what you can do for the other person. If you can be the one to satisfy the wants, needs, and desire of others, you can have anything you want.

P.S. Don’t Forget About Self-Confidence

You can be the most valuable person on the face of the Earth, but do not forget about yourself. Do not forget about self-confidence. The following paragraph (with my emphasis in bold) is the last good thing I’ve gleaned from the book. Enjoy …

SELF-POSSESSION

Charisma is the rarest source of power. When presence drives inward instead of outward, it assumes the more common and obtainable shape of self-possession — which , although it doesn’t evoke charisma’s violent attraction, is nevertheless magnetic. Self-possession encompasses self-knowledge and self-control. You recognize your strengths and limitations, and you have command over your own nature. Soon you have an air of distinction, of being destined for great things; others defer to you.

Self-possession protects you. Without it, you’re easily consumed by vanities, insecurities, and “needs,” and it’s no trick for someone to outmaneuver you. Remember: The fewer your apparent needs and desires, the freer you are from others’ machinations.

Self-possession liberates you from affectation, intrigue, and posturing. You don’t try to safeguard your position by surrounding yourself with weaklings. Maybe you fail as a number-cruncher, or as a savvy politician, or as a glad-handler. “Fine,” you say to yourself, “I’ll hire someone else to do that for me.” You’re not threatened by the capable people around you, and so your power grows. You’re not agitated by the need to dominate. Because you have control of yourself, you can consider the feelings and thoughts of the people around you: this understanding of your colleagues will enhance your power.

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Comments

  1. Great Post Alex!
    There are so many books that try to explain to the layperson on how to achieve power and everything else that comes with it. I believe we all have that power within us its just that most people never tap into it.

    I usually say “Hello” and then smile. I noticed that when you smile the other person will smile back and from there i start to introduce myself. And always keep your eyes on their face and nod your head up and down while they talk like that they notice that you are paying attention.

    For me it is usually easy for me to meet people because i find people interesting. Also for some reason or another i could be standing in line or in the elevator and out of no where the stranger will start a conversation with me. I do not know why that happens i guess i have a friendly face or personality i don’t know but it happens.

    Its true though its all about making the other person comfortable without them feeling uncomfortable. These skills are becoming a lost art as smart phones are destroying our face to face communications with each other.

    Tap into the power of charisma! Great Post!

    • Hey Jose,

      You’re absolutely right. People are getting worse at face-to-face communications because they are so isolated through their smart phones and Facebook. Being charming is being good at communication — knowing what to say and what not to say, knowing how to say it. I’ll write about being a good communicator later on, because it is one of the most important and everlasting skills.

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