Overview of Art of War by Sun Tzu – 25 Messages of Self Growth

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We have had gone through several business manuals and self help books. Be a leader, rule the world, the titles vary. But eventually they all come down to the same preset principles. While I was reading Art of War by Sun Tzu, I was reveling in the marvelous craft and left unhinged to know how a book written in Chinese in the 6th Century BC about war, is so relevant in 21st century in all walks of life. Hence taking 25 core life lessons from The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
Art of War by Sun Tzu

  1. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
  2. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.
  3. The leader of armies is the arbiter of people’s fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.
  4. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy, and neither is his supply wagons in war loaded more than twice.
  5. I war, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.
  6. To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
  7. The skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.
  8. When the army is restless and distrustful trouble is sure to come from the other feudal princes. This is simply bringing anarchy into the army, and flinging victory away.
  9. If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of hundreds of battles. 
  10. The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat and waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.
  11. To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence. 
  12. What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins but excels in winning with ease.
  13. A victorious army opposed to a routed one is as a pound’s weight placed on the scale against a single grain.
  14. In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.
  15. The good fighter will be terrible in his onset, and prompt in his decision. Energy developed by good fighting men is as the momentum of a round stone rolled down a mountain thousands of feet in height.
  16. Carefully compare the opposing army with your own, so that you may know where strength is superabundant and where it is deficient. 
  17. He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain.
  18. When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate for too hard.
  19. When an army is overthrown and its leader is slain, the cause will surely be found among these five dangerous faults. Let them be a subject of meditation.
  20. Peace proposals are unaccompanied by a sworn covenant indicating a plot.
  21. If a general shows confidence in his men but always insists on his orders being obeyed, the gain will be mutual.
  22. If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete.
  23. Walk in depth defined by rule and accommodate yourself to the enemy until you can fight a decisive battle. 
  24. The enemy’s spies who have come to spy on us must be sought out, tempted with bribes, led away, and comfortably housed. This they will become converted spies and available for our service. 
  25. Only the enlightened ruler and the wise general will use the highest intelligence of the army for proposes of spying and thereby they achieve great results. 
The book is full of more helpful ideas and tips. Grab a copy to dive deeper.

The post is a part of BlogchatterA2z 2023

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