Use the wisdom, knowledge, and hard work of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, but it will also give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten, and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.
Many harbor the illusion that science, dealing with facts as it does, is beyond the petty rivalries that trouble the rest of the world. They believe science has nothing to do with politics and claim not to care for fame and riches. Not associated with any particular discovery, they can’t attract no investors to their many ideas. While they may be pondering great inventions for the future, others stole their patents they have already developed and get the glory for themselves. They want to do everything on their own, but merely exhausted and impoverished themselves in the process.
Other people are polar opposite. They are not much of a scientific thinker or inventor; they are mainly people spotting the trends and the opportunities that are out there, then hiring the best in the field to do the work for them. If they have to, they will steal from their competitors.
The lesson is twofold: First, the credit for an invention, creation or idea is as important, if not more important, than the invention or idea itself. You must secure the credit for yourself and keep others from stealing it away, or from piggybacking on your hard work. To accomplish this, you must always be vigilant and ruthless, keeping your creation quiet until you can be sure there are no vultures circling overhead. Second, learn to take advantage of other people's work to further your own cause. Time is precious and life is short. If you try to do it all on your own, you run yourself ragged, waste energy, and bum yourself out. It is far better to conserve your forces, pounce on the work others have done, and find a way to make it your own.
The world of power has the dynamics of the jungle: There are those who live by hunting and killing, and there are also vast numbers of creatures who live off the hunting of others. These latter, less imaginative types are often incapable of doing the work that is essential for the creation of power. They understand early on, though, that if they wait long enough, they can always find another animal to do the work for them. Do not be naive: At this very moment, while you are slaving away on some project, there are vultures circling above trying to figure out a way to survive and even thrive off your creativity. It is useless to complain about this, or to wear yourself ragged with bitterness. Better to protect yourself and join the game. Once you have established a power base, become a vulture yourself, and save yourself a lot of time and energy. This is the essence of the Law.
Learn to get others to do the work for you while you take the credit, and you appear to be of godlike strength and power. If you think it important to do all the work yourself, you will never get far. Find people with the skills and creativity you lack. Either hire them, while putting your own name on top of theirs, or find a way to take their work and make it your own. Their creativity thus becomes yours, and you seem a genius to the world.
There is another application of this law that does not require the parasitic use of your contemporaries' labor: Use the past, a vast storehouse of knowledge and wisdom.
We all know how few of today's politicians write their own speeches. Their own words would not win them a single vote; their eloquence and wit, whatever there is of it, they owe to a speech writer. Other people do the work, they take the credit. The upside of this is that it is a kind of power that is available to everyone. Learn to use the knowledge of the past and you will look like a genius, even when you are really just a clever borrower.
Writers who have delved into human nature, ancient masters of strategy, historians of human stupidity and folly, kings and queens who have learned the hard way how to handle the burdens of power, their knowledge is gathering dust, waiting for you to come and stand on their shoulders. Their wit can be your wit, their skill can be your skill, and they will never come around to tell people how unoriginal you really are. You can slog through life, making endless mistakes, wasting time and energy trying to do things from your own experience. Or you can use the armies of the past.
EXCEPTION TO THE RULE
There are times when taking the credit for work that others have done is not the wise course: If your power is not firmly enough established, you will seem to be pushing people out of the limelight. To be a brilliant exploiter of talent your position must be unshakable, or you will be accused of deception.
Be sure you know when letting other people share the credit serves your purpose. It is especially important to not be greedy when you have a master above you. Take credit for the work of those below you while graciously giving credit for your own labors to those above. That is the way to play the game.
Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l., ll.m.
J. Michael Dennis, ll.l., ll.m.
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