The 10 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Frank Underwood Of 'House Of Cards'


With Netflix releasing the second season of "House of Cards," today, fans of the political thriller rejoice in anticipation of resuming their collective love affair with the Congressman-turned-Vice President, Francis J. Underwood.

In anticipation of bunkering down for the weekend to binge on the excess of plotting, backstabbing and sweet decadence the new season will undoubtedly provide, we take a moment to look back at the ten most valuable life lessons that Frank Underwood taught us last year.

1. “Friends make the worst enemies.”

What could be worse than finding an adversary in someone who knows you intimately? This is an enemy who is able to identify your vulnerabilities and capitalize on your weaknesses more effectively than your typical opponent.

Nurture your friendships and avoid burning bridges. If you fail to heed these words, don’t be surprised when a former confidant leads the campaign to cement your downfall.

2. “I never make such big decisions so long after sunset and so far from dawn.”

When in doubt, sleep on it. Be it a new business venture or a momentous life change, it’s never wise to commit to a decision without first giving thoughtful consideration to every conceivable outcome.

People who avoid this tactic end up getting swindled into buying a timeshare in Barbados for $15,000 a year.

3. “Money is the Mc-mansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries.”

This isn’t to say that being rich and being powerful are mutually exclusive. However, those who aspire to craft an enduring legacy, move mountains with their words and accrue respect and admiration from the masses, must pursue power above all else.

Without influence, your ability to overcome obstacles in your path is compromised.

4. “A great man once said, everything is about sex. Except sex. Sex is power.”

Women have been capitalizing on this concept for centuries. From Helen of Troy, whose face “launched a thousand ships,” to your buddy’s girlfriend who won’t put out until he does the dishes, sex can be an invaluable tool in achieving your goals.

Is it unfair to exploit someone’s most primitive, intense craving just to get your way? Probably, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an effective strategy.

5. “Treading water is the same as drowning for people like you and me.”

If you want to be successful, never be content standing still. Comfort leads to apathy. Apathy kills ambition.

Without ambition, you’re on the fast track to being consumed by regret, forever wondering what might have been. Step outside your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to take risks.

6. “There is no solace above or below. Only us -- small, solitary, striving, battling one another. I pray to myself, for myself.”

The only person who you can unfailingly rely on is yourself. Ultimately, we are all pitted against one another in the battle that is life.

We fight to climb the hierarchical ladder, clawing our way past one another in pursuit of a higher status. You can’t depend on some benevolent entity coming to your aid.

7. “Insecurity bores me.”

Confidence is key. Confidence is what allows you to fully appreciate your skills and faults and use them to your advantage. No one wants to surround themselves with people immersed in self-doubt.

It comes down to optimism and pessimism. Do you want to be friends with the person who is consistently positive or the person who constantly seeks your validation of his or her worth?

8. “There's no better way to overpower a trickle of doubt than with a flood of naked truth.”

Having trouble finding that confidence to overcome insecurity? Fear not. Everyone falls victim to insecurity at one time or another.

In order to move past it, you need to accept things for the way they are, good or bad. Denial only propels the cycle of uncertainty.

9. “It's so refreshing to work with someone who'll throw a saddle on a gift horse rather than look it in the mouth.”

Choose to only work with people who are willing to work with you. There’s no point in forcing a partnership.

Leave those who resist your offers for collaboration behind and turn your focus to pursuing those who will readily join your ranks.

10. “There are two kinds of pain: the sort of pain that makes you strong, or useless pain; the sort of pain that's only suffering. I have no patience for useless things.”

Grief is both natural and necessary. It breeds integrity and resolve. You can’t allow the pain to come to define you; rather, you must turn the tables on the pain and define it.

Show the world you are able to overcome your suffering. Grow from the experience; don’t become consumed by it.

Honorable Mentions

“The nature of promises, Linda, is that they remain immune to changing circumstances.”

“They talk while I imagine their slightly salted faces frying in a skillet.”

“What a martyr craves more than anything is a sword to fall on. So, you sharpen the blade, hold it at just the right angle, and then... 3,2,1...”

“Remember this moment when you resisted me.”

Photo credit: Netflix