8 Pearls of Wisdom From Ancient China’s The Art of War

By | June 29, 2018

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War has been called one of the greatest works of military strategy ever written. This Chinese military handbook dates back to the 5th century BC and contains 13 chapters, each dealing with a certain aspect of war. The advice for military tactics and leadership strategies has inspired military commanders, world leaders, business CEOs, and athletic coaches, from Norman Schwarkopf to Bill Belichick to Jeff Bezos. With its pithy and memorable quotes, the words of Sun Tzu can easily be adapted and applied to all aspects of modern life. Here are 8 take aways from The Art of War

test article image

1) “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles”

We often shorten this to just say “know your enemy”. It is all about sizing up the competition. If you can gain information about your opponent, you can use that knowledge to your advantage. In war, it may be discovering your enemy’s weakness. In sports, it may be learning the style of offense the other team uses. In business, it may be learning about the next big innovation the competitor is inventing. 

test article image

2) “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.”

Choose your battles. Some are not worth fighting and some are unwinnable. In war, sports, business management, and in life, it is worth asking yourself if the potential outcome is worth the fight. Sometimes not engaging in a battle is the swiftest way to victory.