House of cards- Lessons to learn from Frank Underwood

House of cards- Lessons to learn from Frank Underwood

Like millions around the world, I have been glued to Netflix watching season 3 of David Fincher’s epic depiction of the power brokers in Washington, the quite frankly brilliant House of Cards. 

This show has taken the medium of Television to a whole new level of brilliance with an incredible level of detail and stunning performances from Robin wright and Kevin Spacey as the machiavellian scheming Francis and Clare Underwood.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers ( Believe me this is one show I would not want to ruin) but for anyone who is like me and prone to a bit of introspection from time to time you will find things to learn from and maybe apply to your own life. Although I certainly would not condone replicating some of the deplorable behavior that occurs in Fincher’s dramatized Washington.

Here are some stupendous quotes from the shows lead character Frank Underwood. Who knows perhaps you might even learn from his self-centered philosophy.

‘ Congress is a game of chess and you must never let your opponent see your pieces’

Leaving out the congress part (Unless you happen to be a congressman) it is in many ways easy to understand this idea in terms of how people go about their lives. In certain instances sometimes it’s better not to let people know your true intentions from the outset. Whether courting a nice girl; trying to pitch for new business or even going for a job interview it’s important not to say too much at the beginning. In many way’s  it’s better to bide your time when striving for a goal. This can be far more effective and lead to a better outcome.

‘ Sometimes the only way to gain your superiors respect is to defy him’

I would say tread water here very very carefully. Defying your boss or superior may well lead to you being given an immediate dismissal . However, if you speak to this person constructively and tell them where they might be going wrong then this could work in your favor and you may, in fact, gain respect. I certainly would not go around undermining your superior anytime soon. Sorry Frank some of us need our jobs.

‘ I’ve always loathed the necessity of sleep. Like death,  it puts even the most powerful men on their backs’

Unfortunately whilst some of us might think we are omnipotent we all need a good amount of sleep to live productive and fulfilling lives. Contrary to the views of Mr Underwood this is not a sign of weakness. In today’s busy interconnected society, where people want instant news all the time, we can forget the benefits of just simply shutting down. You are more likely to perform poorly at work and not manage your social life properly without a decent amount of sleep each night.

If we never did anything we shouldn’t do, we’d never feel good about doing the things we should’  

This is something that I can wholly agree on with the Gaffney born congressman. All of us make errors in our lives and do things against our better judgment. No one is in infallible and no one is perfect no matter how much we try to appear that we are. Doing something, not for yourself but for the greater good of others, is important. It’s not only for the beneficiaries but for the way you may view yourself.  This is why the notion of charity is such an important pillar of the three Abrahamic faiths and not just celebrities looking for PR opportunities. If all we did was good things we would never appreciate them. Frank makes a valid point here.

‘ Even though I am an adult man, I enjoy video games’

People by their nature get older and (mostly) will mature. However (in the view of yours truly) it’s important to hold on to your inner child. Don’t do away with a hobby because people deem it to be immature. If it feels good and makes you happy keep doing it. We only have a finite amount of time in this life so it’s too short to take yourself too seriously. if it works for the narcissistic Frank underwood then this can work for you.


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