Learn how to use your enemies. Not friends.
An Enemy doesn’t expect. A Friend does.
Friends love you or they don’t. One face for your presence and the another for your absence. Truth being that friends can deceive you. The thing about friendships is — expectations. Next time a friend helps you or vice versa it may be out of expecting something in return, and not because you or they deserve to be helped.
When I started writing, I asked almost all my friends to give me a constructive and honest feedback. ‘It is great’, ‘I read it. I loved it.’, ‘I really liked it.’, and such others compliments that I received. And I do appreciate the comments. But a few among them who didn’t even reply. Perhaps too busy. Perhaps not.
A lesson learned. As Robert Greene says,
Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies.
The ones who didn’t reply, or said to reply later but never did, are the friends that Robert Greene is talking about. Maybe they ‘expected’ something in return. A favor. Money. I don’t know. Enemies don’t expect anything from you and neither do you. Instead, they are the fuel and motivation for your hustle and success.
When you give with expectation in return you lose. — Gary Vaynerchuk
What Robert Greene suggests is to learn from enemies.
If you have no enemies, find a way to make them. It’s better to have a known enemy than an unknown friend. More enemies you have, more successful you are (Don’t punch a random person). If there aren’t any haters you are not working right.
After the fall of Han dynasty, China was involved in a series of bloodbath and conspiracies. Enemies everywhere. An emperor would rise to power and would be replaced by another in a few years. For a long time this masquerade and murders continued. In A.D. 959, General Chao K’uang-yin became emperor Sung.
He knew that in a year or two his murder will fill the position again. Soon after he became emperor, Sung ordered a banquet to celebrate the new dynasty and ordered all the powerful commanders to join him. After they had drunk much wine, he dismissed the guards and everybody else except the generals. He addressed to them about the current situation of living in fear and greed. So he offered each, wealth and beautiful estates in return of their resignations. Choosing the lavish life of wealth and girls they decided to let go the life of anxiety and struggle.
Sung dynasty ruled for 300 years. Sung knew that the conspiracies will never end and benefit anyone and that it was better to change his enemies into friends. He chose to act differently. His ‘friends’ would have had him dead in a year or so. But he chose to let his ‘friends’ stay away.
Friends should be for friendship, work with the competent. Well, of course, it is your choice. And both are right. You can choose to be miserable and predictable or powerful and mysterious. We cannot live without friends in this world. But enemies are equally important.
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Thank you for reading. Happy Life. :)