Summary of The 50th Law by Robert Greene and 50 Cent

  • Post category:Summaries
  • Post last modified:September 18, 2023
the 50th law book cover

Short Summary: 2 min

Summary: 26 min

Book reading time: 6h26

Score: 8/10

Book published in: 2009

Access the Summary Database


  • Fear was meant to keep you alive back to a time when lions and bears roamed around.
  • Yet despite we live in a safe society, fear has never been as high as now.
  • Normally, fear disappears when the danger disappears. This isn’t the case in this society.
  • We’re no longer super scared for a short time, but rather “low-scared” (anxious) about small things all the time.
  • When life is too comfortable, we come to fear everything.
  • The only way to deal with fear is to confront that which you are afraid of. Constantly.

Table of Contents

What The 50th Law Talks About

The 50th Law is a book written by Robert Greene and 50 Cent. It deals with ten rules related to fearlessness. Fear is a pervading feeling in our society, preventing people from reaching their true potential and keeping the status quo. This book shows how to be fearless in order to become successful.

I really enjoyed the beginning, and like most books, it uselessly dragged on towards the end.

The concept of fearlessness is simple.

  1. Know what you are afraid of.
  2. Be self-aware enough that you know when you are scared.
  3. Still do the thing that scares you.

No need for a whole book for that.

The parts of the life of 50 Cent were interesting. He never knew his father, and his mum was murdered when he was 8. He became a drug dealer at 10.

What were you doing at 10 years old?

I was climbing trees.

Massive respect for 50 Cent.


Get the book here.

Short Summary of The 50th Law

Just read the intro. It’s a wonderful summary.

Summary of The 50th Law Written by Robert Greene and 50 Cent

Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action.


In the beginning, fear was an emotion meant to keep you alive.

Despite that our environment is safer today (you will hardly get eaten by a lion), fear didn’t decrease, but increased.

Instead of a deep-seated feeling of fear for a short moment, we live under general anxiety constantly (we fear our status in society, the future, etc).


In the nineteenth century, journalists found out that fear was one of the best ways to attract our attention, and began to use it massively in the news by painting an image of a dangerous world that is in fact much safer than we believe it is.

Fear’s purpose is to get out of danger. Therefore, we should stop feeling it once the danger is gone.

Today though, we have a fearful attitude toward life itself. When things go well, that’s ok.

When things don’t go well, it’s not.

The best way to respond to adversity though is not to be paralyzed by fear, but to make courageous decisions, which fear prevents to some extent.

Fear is a self-fulfilling dynamic, hence the importance to see reality as it is, instead of fearing it.

image 9
Fear is a self-fulling dynamic.

Fear is the only thing you have to fear.

If you look at the world through fear, you won’t do anything. Eg: there are no crises, only challenges.

There are two ways of dealing with fear:

  1. Active: the enforcement of a fearful situation we must deal with: death of a loved one, getting fired, etc. Therapeutic, as we confront real, actual fear, and find strength in ourselves which we ignored.
  2. Passive: avoiding the thing that causes anxiety.

When the environment does not force you to actively react to fear, it’s because you live in comfort and become sensitive to the slightest risk as a result.

When the environment has too much fear, lots of people are crushed by it because they remain passive, but a few of them become stronger as a result of confronting it.

No one is born this way.

The only way to feel less fear is to voluntarily confront it.

When you actively do so, you become pro-actively fearless.

The 50th Law, which is the law of 50 Cent, goes like this:

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 you 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.

We cannot control most of what happens to us. The only thing that we can control is our mindset.

As we move toward fearlessness, we seem to control more of life, up until the point when we can create the circumstances that we want by ourselves.

We are social people, so one of our strongest fears is to follow our own path.

Fearless people can conquer that fear. This is why they fascinate us with how unconventional they are.

When something changes in our lives, we try to control it and become rigid. The 50th Law proponents don’t. They embrace the chaos.

They move with the flow and work at channeling it where they want it to be.

They turn negative into positive.

The way to do so is to always practice the active way of dealing with fear.

Do what you are afraid of.

And realize that your fears are always exaggerated.

You will at some point know reversal – overcoming a fear leads to something positive.

Chapter 1: See Things for What They Are—Intense Realism

It takes constant effort to carve a place for yourself in this ruthlessly competitive world and hold on to it. Your task is to resist the temptation to wish it were all different; instead you must fearlessly accept these circumstances, even embrace them. The firmer your grasp on reality, the more power you will have to alter it for your purposes.

The Hustler’s Eye

Fifty had a lot of ambition, and the only example he had of successful people around him were drug dealers. So he became one too. When he complained about how hard it was to another dealer, that guy told him that the only way to deal with it was to become intensely focused.

He told him that the greatest danger for them is their mind going soft.

So Fifty decided to get the following code:

  • Trust no one.
  • Conceal your intentions.
  • Always remain sharp and focused, always see reality for what it is.

He got arrested by the police and was sentenced to 9 months. He realized that his current career wouldn’t lead him far in life, so he decided to switch to music instead.

As he succeeded there, he noticed that the music business was as ruthless as drug dealing.

He never departed from keeping his eyes on reality.

The Fearless Approach

When danger decreases, so does our attention. When our attention decreases, so does our focus, and our progression in life.

Wake up.

Assess yourself, the people around you, and the direction in which you are headed in as cold and brutal a light as possible. Without fear.

What you see determines how you think and act.

Rediscover Curiosity—Openness

As we learn, we become increasingly close-minded and less willing to learn new stuff. Avoid that. Realize that even though you know more than before, you still don’t know much.

Know the Complete Terrain—Expansion

Observe, and learn with your own eyes as much as possible. Absorb all of the knowledge you can.

Don’t put up any barrier between you and people. Talk to everyone, all of the time.

Go to places you would never go to. Break your boundaries.

Dig to the Roots—Depth

When you do not get to the root of a problem, you cannot solve it in any meaningful manner.

Whenever you have a problem, you need to get to the root. Don’t just look at the surface of things. Never be satisfied with appearances.

Always question why this particular event has happened, what the motives of the various actors are, who really is in control, who benefits by this action.

People often fight for money and power.

See Further Ahead—Proportion

When people aren’t scared to think about the future, they’re busy dealing with the present. The more you think about the future, the more you will be able to shape it.

Look At People’s Deeds, Not Words—Sharpness

Don’t focus on what people say – focus on what they do.

In general, looking at people through the lens of your emotions will cloud what you see and make you misunderstand everything. What you want is a sharp eye towards your fellow humans—one that is piercing, objective, and nonjudgmental.

Reassess Yourself—Detachment

Take some time every few weeks to observe yourself. Look at what you have done, and how you could have done it better.

People who cling to their delusions find it difficult, if not impossible, to learn anything worth learning: a people under the necessity of creating themselves must examine everything, and soak up learning the way the roots of a tree soak up water.

Chapter 2: Make Everything Your Own—Self-Reliance

When you work for others, you are at their mercy. They own your work; they own you. What keeps you in such positions is a fear of having to sink or swim on your own. Instead you should have a greater fear of what will happen to you if you remain dependent on others for power. The ultimate power in life is to be completely self-reliant, completely yourself.

The Hustler’s Empire

When he got out of prison, Fifty worked for a day as a drug bagger, then realized that he lost his independence this way.

So he became a crack dealer instead, as he could both make it and sell it. He learned doing so that the only way to survive was to admit that you were alone. You simply cannot count on anyone.

He learned a similar lesson when he signed with Eminem’s label. The latter owned his music and he got cushy perks in return…but he also lost his liberty. So he quickly set up his own label.

The Fearless Approach

When you’re born, you own your time, body, ideas, and energy. As time passes by, you give it all away – to school, your employer, people you don’t want to spend time with, etc.

You need to reclaim these.

True ownership can come only from within.

Sometimes you can’t do everything yourself and have to join a group of people. Make sure it is temporary.

When you prove to yourself that you can get things on your own, then you experience a sense of liberation.

Keys to Fearlessness

As children, we craved the comfort and security our parents gave us. As teenagers, we sought freedom. When we confronted the chaos of adult life, most of us went back to the childish need of being taken care of again.

You must resist this impulse.

Our task as an adult is to take full possession of that autonomy and individuality we were born with.

If we succumb to the illusion and the comfort of a paycheck, we then neglect to build up self-reliant skills and merely postpone the day of reckoning when we are forced to fend for ourselves.

Here’s how you can reclaim your own ownership.

  1. Reclaim Dead Time: Time is our most important asset. When we work for others, we give them our time. Take a proactive role in your job and learn everything you can so you can set up your own business.
  2. Create Little Empires: start your own project, whether on the side, or within your company. Remember that the purpose is ownership. In the battle money VS responsibility, always choose responsibility.
  3. Move Higher up the Food Chain: never stop acquiring power, capital, etc.
  4. Make Your Enterprise a Reflection of Your Individuality: be yourself. Don’t copy.

People who are self-sufficient are generally types who are more comfortable with themselves. They do not look for things that they need from other people. Paradoxically this makes them more attractive and seductive.

By the same token, we don’t like needy people.

Beware of things you quickly and easily get – they’re usually low-quality.

The only way to gain self-reliance or any power is through great effort and practice.

Chapter 3: Turn Shit Into Sugar—Opportunism

Every negative situation contains the possibility for something positive, an opportunity. Do not let fears make you wait for a better moment or become conservative. If there are circumstances you cannot control, make the best of them. It is the ultimate alchemy to transform all such negatives into advantages and power.

Hood Alchemy

As Columbia was about to publish his music, an assassin shot 9 bullets into 50 Cent who became too dangerous to be associated with. He lost his contract and friends overnight.

Having touched rock bottom, he decided to re-record his album while being unapologetically himself.

His songs eventually reached Eminem who signed him.

The Fearless Approach

Events aren’t positive or negative. Your mind interprets them this way.

The fear in you interprets obstacles as fearful events. In such a negative mindset, everything becomes worse.

When you get attacked, the answer isn’t to retreat. It’s striking back. It’s having the courage and strength to turn that negative into a positive. It’s seeing the event as a blessing in disguise.

This is a common occurrence in history: almost all great military and political triumphs are preceded by some kind of crisis.

The fearless types require some kind of adversity against which they can measure themselves.

When things are going well, be concerned and vigilant. When things are going badly, be fearless.

Keys to Fearlessness

We place unnecessary limits on what the mind can accomplish, and that becomes our reality.

In a materialistic society, you need to realize that your power comes from your mind. You need to spot opportunities.

An opportunity is a chance to do some work and acquire money/power in return.

That work necessitates an extra “push” for us to release the energy to do it.

Real opportunists don’t need the opportunity to be driven: they constantly are.

Turn All Obstacles Into Openings

Negative energy is energy that can be transformed into positive energy.

Look For Turning Points

Opportunities exist in any field of tension.

Try to determine the cause of whatever important thing going on and see if there is an opportunity.

Look for any deep changes, as they signal opportunity. The media will often highlight deep shifts as decadence, chaos, or as something to fear.

One opportunity you can always bank on is that a younger generation will react against the sacred cows of the older generation. If the older set valued spontaneity and pleasure, you can be sure that the younger set will crave order and orthodoxy.

Move Before You Are Ready

Most people wait too long to go into action, generally out of fear. They want more money or better circumstances.

You must do the opposite, and move before you are ready.

Doing so, you’re making it slightly harder for yourself, which means you also release and invest more energy into the project.

Chapter 4: Keep Moving—Calculated Momentum

In the present there is constant change and so much we cannot control. If you try to micromanage it all, you lose even greater control in the long run. The answer is to let go and move with the chaos that presents itself to you.

The Hustler’s Flow

Fifty learned that the world is chaos, and that as soon as you try to impose some order, people revolt and it becomes dangerous for you.

Instead, you should embrace the chaos and go with the flow.

When he began to work with Eminem’s record label, he realized the execs there resisted change. Music was going digital and was destroyed by piracy. Yet the execs weren’t doing anything about it.

So he applied the lessons he learned in the street: he worked five angles at the same time until one stuck. He started new companies that were weird for a rapper (water vitamin, partnership with GM, etc).

The Fearless Approach

Our experience in childhood led us to negatively perceive chaos as it created surprises, and not always good ones. So we crave and try to establish it by simply imposing our vision of how things should be.

This is childish.

Since it rarely works, we instead hold on to ideas that give us some feeling of stability. As a result, we fail to adapt to whatever life throws at us, which creates lots of pain.

The harder we try to control things in our immediate environment, the more likely we are to lose control in the long run.

Hard power over things isn’t power. It’s weakness. Real power is fluidity.

Life is fluid and constantly changing. When you hold onto things, you fall behind.

Let go of this need to control everything. Chaos isn’t scary – it’s opportunity.

Strategy is the essence of human action—the bridge between an idea and its realization in the world. Too often these strategies become frozen into conventions, as people mindlessly imitate what worked before.

Keys to Fearlessness

Sometimes, things go well which gives us momentum and our life improves. Then we do something we shouldn’t have and the spell is broken.

Our life is getting worse.

Why? Because when we are winning, we are more open, more flexible, more relaxed, more agile. When we’re losing, we tend to retreat and become stifled.

Momentum in life comes from increased fluidity, a willingness to try more, to move in a less constricted fashion.

Practicing the following four types of flow will help you.

  1. Mental flow: In Leonardo DaVinci’s time, knowledge was split into compartments. People specialized in one thing and never mixed, say, art with science. Since he never went to school, Leonardo saw knowledge in general as one same thing. Learning one thing compelled him to learn another. Today, knowledge is once again stuck in the Renaissance time. Don’t fall into this trap. Seek connections between disciplines like Leonardo.
  2. Emotional Flow: We are emotional, but these emotions can sometimes destroy us. Don’t repress them, it’s useless. Instead, let them go. Forget about them. Counterbalancing is a great strategy. Eg: When you are fearful, force yourself to be bold. Don’t use anger to advance. The high is as powerful as the low.
  3. Social Flow: Many managers try to impose their own views and micromanage their team. They always fail to do so, as people need to be themselves in order to be productive. Embrace others for who they are, and play with their real identity – not with who you would like them to be.
  4. Cultural Flow: Culture evolves rapidly. When a trend dies, don’t hold onto it. Welcome the new one with open arms and see what you can do with it instead. Don’t become a social and cultural relic.

Chapter 5: Know When to Be Bad—Aggression

You must get over any general fears you have of confronting people or you will find it extremely difficult to assert yourself in the face of those who are more cunning and ruthless. Everyone operates with a flexible morality when it comes to their self-interest—you are simply making this more conscious and effective.

The Hustler’s Setup

When Fifty started his music business, he understood that most people have one or two hits then disappear. He didn’t want this to happen to him, so he began to do diss tracks about Ja Rule.

It worked.

The Fearless Approach

If you indicate you’ll do anything to avoid trouble, that’s when you get trouble.

Life involves constant battles. On one hand, we need to push people away to get our needs met. On the other, other people will always come and push us too. That will never change.

What has changed is people’s willingness to fight. In the past, they would boo actors at the theater if they didn’t like what they did. People use to actively direct their lives.

Today, it’s the opposite. We’re no longer willing to fight like we used to; we take everything more personally; and we’re more afraid to offend other people.

The culture tends to elevate as its ideal a spirit of cooperation; being democratic and fair means getting along with others, fitting in, and not ruffling feathers. Conflict and friction are almost evil.

As a result, we lost the capability to properly deal with conflict.

This capability depends on your inner strength on one hand, and fear on the other. If you feel weak, you won’t get into a conflict. Your main goal is to be liked. Most people try to get liked just because they are afraid of conflict.

This isn’t good.

Instead, you want to feel strong inside so you’re ready for conflict when you need to. The only way to do so is to be assertive, and get into “small” conflicts when you need to.

The more “conflicts” you get into, the more fearless you become.

When you submit in spirit to aggressors or to an unjust and impossible situation, you do not buy yourself any real peace.

If people feel they can take from you without consequences, they will. This is why you need to be strong.

When you please people less, they will be more likely to respect you.

Keys to Fearlessness

On one hand, we want to be moral and ethical. But on the other, we also need to do some “bad” things to advance.

Doing both isn’t the problem. The key is to know when to do each, and to what extent.

Here are scenarios you should be prepared for.

  1. Aggressors: don’t fight them head-on as this will be on their terms. Work behind the scenes to sabotage them instead.
  2. Passive Aggressors: these seem weak or nice but they are highly aggressive behind the scenes. Don’t be overly emotional as you will fall into their trap. Destroy them as soon as you can.
  3. Unjust situations: forget about fairness. Use any means necessary to make the situation fair.
  4. Static situations: disregard the rules completely and make your own thing.
  5. Impossible dynamics: when the relationship with someone just doesn’t work…leave.

Chapter 6: Lead From the Front—Authority

In any group, the person on top consciously or unconsciously sets the tone. Imbue your troops with the proper spirit through your actions, not words. They see you working harder than anyone, holding yourself to the highest standards, taking risks with confidence, and making tough decision. In these democratic times, you must practice what you preach.

The Hustler King

When you become successful at selling drugs, some people will eventually try to kill you. The only way to prevent it is to have a reputation as someone people shouldn’t mess with.

You get this reputation by being courageous, unexpected, or surprising.

The Fearless Approach

When I reached the top in business, I adjusted to my new position—I became bolder and crazier than before. And I listened even less to people who tried to slow me down.

50 Cent

When people rise to fame due to some innate talent or quality, they often get scared to be held accountable for the whole group. As a result, they over-delegate, poll everyone, and make no decisions at all.

And then some are the opposite: they seem like everyone else but make the best leaders when they rise to the top.

These people are fearless.

Any group tends to assume the spirit and energy of the person on top. If that person is weak and passive, then the group tends to splinter into factions.

There are two leadership styles:

  1. From behind: these generals hide from accountability and danger.
  2. From the front: these are the best ones.

Leaders who work harder than anyone else, who practice what they preach, who are not afraid to be accountable for tough decisions or to take risks, will find they have created a well of respect that will pay great dividends down the road.

Leading from the front is much better.

Only action carries weight.

Keys to Fearlessness

For it is a general rule of human nature that people despise those who treat them well and look up to those who make no concessions.

People are schizophrenic when it comes to following a leader. On one hand, they want to constantly “murder” him for the suffering they are going through; on the other, they desperately want to be a part of a project bigger than themselves.

So you must unify them around you at all costs.

Here are four roles that will help you do so.

  1. The Visionary: he knows the bigger picture and constantly reminds of it.
  2. The Unifier: the leader who embodies a cause anyone can relate to.
  3. The Role Model: you need a team to control a group. Give them a mission to achieve and let them do it how they want to.
  4. The Bold Knight: the bigger the group, the more it tends to be passive and depressed. Impose a rhythm to keep things moving.

Chapter 7: Know Your Environment From The Inside Out— Connection

Most people think first of what they want to express or make, then find the audience for their idea. You must work the opposite angle, thinking first of the public. Never lose touch with your base.

Hood Economics

At some point, drug addicts no longer wanted to buy from Fifty. He understood that was because he refused to take part in their world, he refused to get to know them.

So when he became a successful rapper, he created a website to make sure to keep in touch with his base and not lose his roots.

The Fearless Approach

We are naturally afraid of people from other tribes, people that are different, so we cut ourselves from them.

We should do the opposite instead and meet and know as many people as we can.

Keys to Fearlessness

Don’t be afraid to engage the public and get feedback on your idea.

Here’s how you can do so:

  1. Crush all distance: hang out with the people you want to understand.
  2. Open Informal Channels of Criticism and Feedback: if you cannot be close to your audience, get as many feedback channels as you can.
  3. Reconnect With Your Base: you experience success because you have ties with people. The success makes you lose touch with them and you stop becoming successful.
  4. Create the Social Mirror: look at how people feel about your ideas as a mirror of who you are.

Chapter 8: Respect The Process—Mastery

The fools in life want things fast and easy-money, success, attention. Boredom is their great enemy and fear. Whatever they manage to get slips through their hands as fast as it comes in. You, on the other hand, want to outlast your rivals. Your goal is to reach the ultimate skill level—an intuitive feel for what must come next.

Slow Money

Master the instrument, master the music, then forget all that shit and play.

Charlie Parker

Fifty had noticed that the drug dealers who wanted fast, easy money, often ended up losing it all, or getting killed. So he trained himself to move slowly, but surely.

The Fearless Approach

Most people can’t handle boredom. That means they can’t stay on one thing until they get good at it. And they wonder why they’re unhappy.

In the beginning, we were busy doing life, hunting, cooking, etc. As technology developed, we became bored as we had not much else to do. Boredom leads to anxiety, so we seek to get away from it at all costs with drugs, entertainment, etc.

But these are addictive, and we quickly crave new ones.

The alternative is to set a big, meaningful goal, learn the skills to reach it, and work at it every day.

When you do so, you feel happier because you are working towards something meaningful, and you get more pleasure because you are getting better at your craft.

To make this work, make sure you choose something you enjoy doing.

People with jobs lack all of this as they are not developing any mastery at any craft – they are merely wasting time at a job they endure most of the time.

Wake up, find a craft, and get better at it.

Keys to Fearlessness

We have always been impatient by nature, but the Internet has exacerbated this trait and led to people selling us scam courses on how to get things “fast”.

To reach the end of anything, to master a process, requires time, focus, and energy. When people are so distracted, their minds constantly moving from one thing to another, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain concentration on one thing for a few hours, let alone for months and years.

Understand: the real secret, the real formula for power in this world, lies in accepting the ugly reality that learning requires a process, and this in turn demands patience and the ability to endure drudge work.

As you master an art, what you really master, is yourself.

Here are five strategies to help you do so:

  1. Progress Through Trial and Error
  2. Master Something Simple: people that don’t know how to do anything feel weak and insecure. The only way to fight off this feeling is to learn something – simple, at first.
  3. Internalize the Rules of the Game: when you join a new group, there is a set of implicit rules and practices to learn to fit in. Learn them.
  4. Attune Yourself to the Details: It helps you slow down.
  5. Rediscover Your Natural Persistence: focus on one thing, and on one thing only; break things into smaller goals and reward yourself for them.

Chapter 9: Push Beyond Your Limits—Self-Belief

Your sense of who you are will determine your actions and what you end up getting in life. If you see your reach as limited, you will receive the little that you expect. Knowing this dynamic, you must train yourself for the opposite—ask for more, aim high, and believe that you are destined for something great. Your sense of self-worth comes from you alone—never the opinion of others. With a rising confidence in your abilities, you will take risks that will increase your chances of success. People follow those who know where they are going, so cultivate an air of certainty and boldness.

The Fearless Approach

Your opinion of yourself becomes your reality. If you have all these doubts, then no one will believe in you and everything will go wrong. If you think the opposite, the opposite will happen. It’s that simple.

As a child, you were born without ego and eventually developed a personality based on your experience of the world and based on what your parents told you to do or be.

You also became attached to the opinion of others, and did ( or not) things to get their approval.

That means that you are not exactly who you are.

The first thing to do is to untie yourself from the opinion of other people. That means: stop evaluating your value based on what other people say.

Instead of looking at yourself based on your limits, look at yourself based on your potential.

When you raise your opinion of yourself and what you are capable of, it has an influence on what you do.

You feel more at ease taking risks, which increases your energy.

Use people’s feedback, but don’t be dependent on it.

If you are dependent on their judgments for your sense of worth, then your ego will always be weak and fragile.

People will constantly attack you in life. One of their main weapons will be to instill in you doubts about yourself—your worth, your abilities, your potential.

Keys to Fearlessness

We feel free when we can independently satisfy our needs and desires.

Another concept of freedom is freedom of mind. Most of what we do is dictated by society.

We need to get rid of this to achieve complete freedom of mind and act proactively – instead of acting passively, that is, being told what to do.

Most people don’t act proactively because they’re scared.

Here are five ways you can do so:

  1. Defy all categories: do activities that aren’t related to one another at all. You can both do breakdancing and enjoy wine tasting.
  2. Constantly Reinvent Yourself by transforming your weakness into strengths.
  3. Subvert Your Patterns: Most of what we do is based on what we have done. Break this pattern and do new stuff instead.
  4. Create a Sense of Destiny
  5. Bet on Yourself: take risks, try new things, and expand when others retract.

Having supreme confidence makes you fearless and persistent, allowing you to overcome obstacles that stop most people in their tracks.

Chapter 10: Confront Your Mortality—the Sublime

If we can overcome the fear of death, then there is nothing left to fear.

The Hustler’s Metamorphosis

When Fifty got shot nine times, he almost died. He felt it. When he recovered, nothing but music interested him, and he began writing songs all day every day, focusing on his mixtape that eventually made him famous.

The key in life is to always be willing to walk away.

The Fearless Approach

Our intelligence also enables us to know we will one day die.

Death seems to cancel out all our efforts and make things meaningless.

So in order not to be driven to suicide, we:

  1. Came up with the concept of an afterlife.
  2. We bury ourselves “in the moment”.

The latter represses the fear of death and compels us to be neurotic in our lives.

The fear of death does not go away; it merely returns in smaller anxieties and habits that limit our enjoyment of life.

We shouldn’t repress the fear of death. We should embrace it.

We should accept the fact that we only have as much time to live, and that life involves pain and separation.

When you choose to affirm life by confronting your mortality, everything changes. What matters to you now is to live your days well, as fully as possible.

This helps you:

  • Achieve what really matters in life.
  • Get a sense of urgency.

Do this by looking at death as something you carry within.

This helps you release from non-important problems and anxieties.

The more you contemplate your mortality, the less you fear it.

With death in your mind, you can now teach yourself how to live well.

Keys to Fearlessness

In the past, people were dying everywhere all the time – death was much more part of life than now and religion played a much grander role, as a result.

Today, while death takes up lots of space in the media, we no longer have direct contact with it.

As a result, death haunts our subconscious instead of our conscious.

We are not really living until we come to terms with our mortality.

Here’s how you can open yourself to life-changing experiences that can help you live better.

  1. The Sense of Rebirth: do something “crazy”, dangerous, or completely unexpected to break the routine.
  2. The Sense of Evanescence and Urgency

There are two types of time:

  • Banal: limited in scope, dumb events become significant.
  • Sublime: a realization of the vastness of time and life. It makes us feel a sense of urgency to get things done.

3. The Sense of Awe: it can be created by something big, or beautiful.

4. The Sense of the Oceanic, the Connection to All Life: this feeling is the sense that we are all connected to one another.

Life and death work together. By cutting one off, we cut the other one too. Death isn’t this dark place we’re going; it’s an integral part of life.

Who is afraid of death, is afraid of life.

When the fear of death is gone, then nothing can bother you and nobody can stop you.

50 Cent

For more summaries, head to

Did you enjoy the summary? Get the book here!

Want more?

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter and I'll send you a list of the articles I wrote during the previous month + insights from the books I am reading + a short bullet list of savvy facts that will expand your mind. I keep the whole thing under three minutes. 

How does that sound?