The Art Of War by Sun Tzu


Joseph Rodrigues


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the art of war by Sun zu so this book is thousands of years old and it is a very insightful book because it not only tells you about the different strategies and insightful ideas behind war and the aspects directly related to war however it contains within a lot of information regarding on how to carry yourself in life and how to overcome one of the greatest obstacles that you have which is your own ego and aspects of your mind and your character that you're essentially in battle with that keeps you away from doing the things that you know you have to do to produce the results that you want it also helps you with dealing with day-to-day life dealing with people areas like business and career so what I've done is I've pulled some points out of the book and I want to share with you my insights and perspectives on this and we're going to go through each point that I gathered from the chapters it's 13 of them and each chapter contains a different topic and what it does is it explains you know the contents within it there's a lot of Proverbs and insightful information no matter where you are in your life it's worth reading this book because it's very revealing it tells you about what is happening to you from areas that you're not aware of in life because one of the important quotes on this book is all warfare is fought on deception or is based on deception and everyone is trying to get your attention in this world and essentially your attention is really valuable advertisers pay a lot of money to get your attention this can be beneficial because they can offer to you very valuable products and services but it can also be disadvantageous if it takes you away from your purpose or your grand strategy what you're trying to accomplish so if you understand the aspects of war and the strategies and the concepts of war then it will give you a deeper multi-level understanding of reality and yourself a lot of people shy away from the subject of war and I've never been one to do that because I realized that just about any type of information that is available is valid in certain areas and we need to learn understand from different sources even if areas we don't necessarily agree with there's a lot of different nuances and understandings but the important thing is we have to make peace with what we're reading and who we are as a person and one of the best ways to do that is to study very polarizing subjects so if you're not a kind of person that studies war for example or you are opposed to war that's actually worth reading the war manuals because you'll gain a lot of insights to yourself there's a saying that goes what you resist persists so the more you try to avoid studying certain subjects like war the harder it is for you to overcome the certain aspects of yourself that the strategies of war and the concepts covered within this book can help you overcome so you can reach an even higher level so I'm going to start with the points the first is all warfare is based on deception so again I'm going to apply this to life in general I'm not going to apply this to war might make some references but because the concepts and strategies that are contained within this book are applicable for day-to-day life so that's we're going to talk about from that perspective all warfare is based on deception so to me it's essentially this world we live in where everyone is trying to take your attention away from what you're doing and put it into their space so advertising for example or social media or different people are trying to take your attention away not necessarily from a sinister perspective but because they believe they know what's best for you and they're trying to take you towards your direction now this can be advantageous or disadvantageous a lot of times with the distractions we have nowadays in the realm of work for example career in business they're not very advantageous and even though the other person will tell you it's advantageous you in your heart note it's not advantageous so what you have to do is you have to put processes and systems in place to prevent your attention from going in a different direction and part of that is the understanding that all warfare is based on deception so a lot of things that you're attracted to are not necessarily beneficial for you if you see a very attractive person someone that you're attracted to understand something that that's only the surface what you see there's probably a lot more to them and a lot more aspects to who they are that she might not be beneficial for you okay so this can be true and it can be false also but you've got to look at where you're being deceived from seeing reality from seeing the truth and it's usually the things that trigger our fears and insecurities that pulls us towards a negative direction or in a direction that's not favorable to us next attack him where he is unprepared appear where you are not expected so again when you look at software or certain kinds of apps and Facebook and things like that they really understand this concept and they're really trying to you can say attack your mind and get you to go in a different direction when you are unprepared so the key is to set up things in your environment to avoid distraction to place yourself in environments that motivate and encourage a high level of focus from prevent and preventing yourself from being around people that essentially are looking to exploit you in a way that's not beneficial for you when you are unprepared people are not going to attack you where you're strong your mind is not going to be penetrated where you're strong it's always going to be in your weak areas and it's going to appear when you are not expecting it to appear so the important thing to understand is to look at all the different scenarios and situations in your life where you are unprepared and where you're not expecting distractions and things that will move you in a different direction again based on deception and figure out how you can remove those so you can focus on what really matters to you if your opponent is choleric temper seek to irritate him pretend to be weak that he may grow arrogant so again one of the things that takes us away from what we are trying to do is emotions people target our emotions advertisers target our emotions everything is designed to target your emotions and one of the most powerful emotions is anger and irritation so if people are angering you or irritating you take a step back and understand that they may or may not be aware of what they're doing but the bottom line is that it's impacting you so that what you have to do is remove yourself from those situations again pretend to be weak that he may grow arrogant so another thing is that on the offensive side you want to be humble you want to be a kind of person that is very you know pragmatic and going about your day to day activities because then what happens is that those that are sinister and out to get you they're going to grow arrogant they're going to create a false sense of identity that they're winning and so forth and that's going to eventually take them down now that's actually a good thing because when somebody does not get results based on reality and they get results based on arrogance and egotistical reasons then that's not serving people and they need to go down and one of the ways that you can facilitate that in a way that doesn't necessarily cause you to fight a battle with them is to be humble hold out baits to entice the enemy fiend disorder and crush them again people are using bait to try to Lou you in a different direction now I'm not saying these things to make the world seem like it's a negative place that's not what I'm saying the reality of these things do exist and what we have to do is proactively be responsible for protecting ourselves or protecting our attention in different areas that are important to us and understand when we're being baited by the enemy because the bait is going to take you astray it's going to lead you astray next waging war in war then let your objective be victory not lengthy campaigns so this is applicable in a lot of areas of life for example in business one of the things that I see people do in business is they create these lengthy campaigns these lengthy business objectives that take forever to implement in projects that are very complex and it prolongs the victory or even if they get there they screw it up because there's so much complexity to it and they don't end up actually getting the victory they end up losing so the ideal scenario is quick campaigns that are designed to victory one of the quickest routes to the end result I remember I was at an event and I heard Daymond John speak who was the founder of FUBU and he said he tries to be one step away from the money which essentially what that means is that you know and he's an investor he's looking for businesses that are quick and efficient to produce the outcome okay so you see the application here and it's not about creating these lengthy processes and lengthy steps to get to the end result because that just adds unnecessary complexity but for looking for the quick end result through a short and efficient campaign now this doesn't mean get-rich-quick or something that is essentially a trick that is not sustainable there's a balance here but it does mean that you can simplify the process and it doesn't have to be as lengthy as it should next attack by stratagem thus we may know there are five essentials for victory he will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight so essentially what that means is conserve your energy live to fight the battles that are worth fighting don't give your attention onto things that when you win they're just for egotistical reasons they're not actually moving your objective forward he will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces so understand that some people are superior and some are inferior you need to be able to work with those energies to move your strategy forward again if you're focused on an objective outcome that is based on strategy and not based on egotistical reasons then you're going to see the possibilities and opportunities to work with these different superior and inferior forces when someone is superior to us we tend to put on a certain persona we try to impress them we end up doing things that don't necessarily move our objective forward when someone is inferior we try to take advantage of them we try to be the right one we try to be the lecturer instead of the person that works with them to move the objective forward he will win whose Army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks so when you're creating a team for example if you're building a business everyone needs to have that spirit anytime the spirit is broken you've got a weak link you have to be able to penetrate your organization with that same spirit if you can't penetrate the ranks and there's hierarchy in it understand something when it gets up to a certain level and that spirit is not there everyone who that poor person has as far as responsibility if that person is a leader anyone who is responsible to them is not going to have that same spirit because as it trickles down when it gets to that level where there's the inefficiency of thinking or the lack of spirit everyone under that person is going to have that lack of spirit because the information which comes in the top down is not going to be translated in a way where it's uniform and that becomes very weak it becomes cancerous to the organization and it can be resulting or it can result in taking down the entire operation and so forth he who will win he will win who prepared himself waits to take the enemy unprepared so you always have to be prepared you always have to be on this doesn't mean you can't relax but when you relax make sure you do in an environment where you cannot be persuaded and attacked you can be vulnerable but it's important to then place yourself in situations where you are prepared and where people can't take your taken advantage of you and you're able to read the signs you're able to become very present and know when you're getting pulled in a direction that is not favorable for you and when you're dealing with people and you have to move the strategy forward and you have to attack do it in a place where there is less resistance essentially when they're unprepared he will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign so next we move on to tactical dispositions what the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins but excels in winning with ease hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage so if you are a very skillful fighter and you're always win or you're in the state of mind of winning when you win it's not a big deal it's just a way of life it's just what happens from day to day that's how you know that you are in the ranks of someone great is when they're looking at the victories as just another step forward this doesn't mean that they are not appreciative of it it just means that they don't become arrogant and form an identity around their victories when you become arrogant and form an identity or you fee the ego around your victories that ego becomes your weak area you're no longer performing from the same place that got you the victories and then when you face higher challenges that ego is going to hold you back you're going to need to break it down thus it is war that is that in war that victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory so this is about controlling your emotions getting really present and understanding that you need to look at strategy and you got to see the end result and you got to go down the pathway that is statistically likely to produce the result that you want if you don't see the steps that lead to the outcome you need to figure out how to see the steps because if you don't see the steps then you're essentially going and fighting a battle when you don't necessarily know the outcome now there's going to be situations where the odds are not in your favor and if you have the opportunity to go in the direction another direction where the odds are in your favor and that can move your grand strategy forward why wouldn't you pick it so it's important to think like a strategist and understanding strategy is a massive subject it takes a lot of experience a lot of studying to really grasp the magnitude and it goes on forever the study of becoming a better strategist goes on forever it deploys both in the moment thinking and being present to the variables that are contained within the moment as well as long-range thinking so you can see the domino effect the trickle effect the pattern recognition the possible scenarios that can occur in the position that you're taking or in the environment that you're going in and knowing how to work with it when it shows up energy sons who said the control of large forces is the same principle as the control of a few men it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers so what this means is that you've got to create a system you've got to create a process and that system in process will allow it to scale to higher levels when you're building a team the same ideologies that you instill at a lower level with a few people are instilled as the organization grows and as the organization grows there are people there are processes and systems that are put in place to infuse the new people that are brought on board with the ways of how it works and the spirit and as it starts to increase the control is maintained through hierarchy and reporting and certain things in place that when a decision needs to be executed from the top down it flows through the entire organization and everybody executes in synergy now it's a lot simpler than it sounds because you're dealing with people and people can be rational and overly emotional and have their own agendas but you try to do it the best you can ok so next in the battle there are not more than two methods of attack the direct and the indirect yet these two combinations give rise to an endless series of maneuvers so think about in life when it's important to be direct when dealing with people and when it's important to be indirect sometimes when you're dealing with people you have to be direct because they can handle it or they can handle it in certain times or they require it to feel your trustworthiness but in other times it's important to be indirect because by being indirect you give them some space you help them understand things in a level where they figure it out on their own one of my favorite sayings is let the thoughts you are provoking come to them as if they were their own that's done through indirect methods through indirect methods you're not being manipulative but you're rather just being supportive you're stepping back and understanding that people are in different levels they have fears they have insecurities they have different agendas and goals and certain priorities and so forth and you got to be able to work with that in a way that might require being indirect energy might be likened to bending of a crossbow decision to the releasing of a trigger so energy is essentially a lot of presents a lot of awareness and a buildup a buildup of focus and then you are able to look at what you're trying to accomplish and releasing that build-up of energy you have to be able to feel it you can feel the energy a lot of people nowadays are not really becoming present to the energy of their environment the energy when it comes to dealing with people it's almost become kind of a far-out concept it really isn't you can feel when somebody has good energy charismatic energy negative energy you can feel it and you can get better at feeling it and within yourself when you've got focused energy or powerful present energy or energy that's very positive or it's purposeful you can allow that energy to build up so it intensifies and then when it's time to make your move you can release and infuse that move with your energy emit the turmoil and tumult a battle there may be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all amid confusion and chaos your array may be without head or tail yet it will be proof against defeat so when you look at an environment a marketplace life in general you'll tend to notice chaos you will see disorder things won't make sense understand something that within that chaos there is a process there is order your goal as a strategist is to be able to see order through the chaos not be pulled in through the chaos I know people that consider themselves to be strategists but they're not able to hold composure during tough situations or they might be at a level where they are not able to be a strategist so the way I look at it different different levels require different levels of strategic thinking different kinds of chaotic environments required different strategies someone who's a grand strategist when a really high level is able to maintain their presence of mind and see the process in the chaos and they're able to take what they see and translate it into the maneuvers that they get their team to do this is something that is very apparent in people that have a lot of experience there is a concept of German military term called finger spritzing befool essentially what it means it's fingertip field and essentially it's the ability to feel the environment that you're in and while you have a lot of different strategies in your mind while you have a lot of different tactics based on the environment and what you feel be able to deploy the right strategy to move it forward to move the objective forward this comes through experience those that were masterful war generals were said to have possessed finger spits and go full so what you need to realize is that you need to train yourself so that when you are in chaos you can maintain presence of mind one of the best ways to do it is to place yourself in chaotic situations a lot of people try to avoid chaotic situations but what you should do is systematically and strategically and intentionally place yourself in chaotic situations so you could see the process that exists within the chaos next weak points and strong sons who said whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy will be fresh for the fight whoever is second in the field has to hasten to battle will arrive and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him you have to be prepared organized and show up to your engagements and things that you do with a vibe and an energy of you controlling the dynamics if you show up with a vibe of not having control the dynamics and the other person shows up with a strategic clear thinking mind to control the dynamics then you are at the mercy of them because they will exploit your weaknesses they will exploit the areas that you're weak at now the key to this is to schedule things is to pre-plan things is to think long-range and look at all the possible different scenarios that could show up that could hinder what you have to do or that could throw you off and then plan accordingly you have to be able to show up and prepare for whatever it is the negotiation the meeting the discussion the business the whatever it is by preparing yourself for that interaction by doing things prior it could be like working out exercise eating healthy a lot of different things I don't know what the routine is for different scenarios it's different things but if you come prepared to play then you're going to be more advantageous than people that don't what I find in the business world is that people show up unprepared far more often than they should and they go unprepared not just because you know they might have liked them the minutes or whatever else the points the meeting but they're unprepared emotionally they get an argument with their spouse or boyfriend and girlfriend they're having road rage as are driving to the client meeting and so forth there's a lot of different scenarios that throw them off and that's part of the preparation you have to be prepared physically mentally emotionally and spiritually when you show up to the engagement an army may March great distances without distress if it marches through country where the enemy is not to me this is all about not fighting the battles that you don't need to fight if you are able to go to a destination and take a route that doesn't involve you fighting the battle or unnecessary friction why not take it when you get there you're better prepared you show up with the presence of mind now there are some situations like I said earlier where you want to put yourself in chaotic situations but it's not always advantageous to be in those chaotic situations prior to a interaction where you have to be your freshest now sometimes it can mix you up and get you out of your head and you should do that but the key to this is understanding that there are different kinds of avenues or pathways to get to a destination and if your enemy or enemy in this scenario can also be yourself because you can be triggered by certain circumstances in the environment throws you off when you get there you're just going to end up using your mental resources or whatever resources inefficiently rouse him and learn the principles of his or the principle of his activity or inactivity force him to reveal himself as to find out his vulnerable spots so essentially in the business world we're looking for different exploits that exist in the marketplace and in our competition so that we can position ourselves at that exploit and take that market share penetrate through that exploit and expansively take the market share over time there's a lot of them that exists we have to be able to deny our competition of these exploits so these vulnerable spots and we have to be able to find what these vulnerable spots are in the market place and with our competition this requires again direct and indirect methods I talked about this earlier direct and indirect methods to get the person to reveal now what's interesting is on the internet we have different tools and software and code and stuff like that that is able to spy on the competitor to be able to see what their vulnerabilities are and so forth but never underestimate the power of social engineering the ability to connect with people and get valuable data out of them to further your objective all men can see the tactics whereby I conquer but what none can see is a strategy out of which victory is evolved a lot of people are too tactical in their orientation in life they look at the few things that you do and they conclude that by you doing those few things that it produces a result they will fail to see your grand strategy the all the other things that happen in the background and the why you do those tactical things even if you win or lose because sometimes it's okay to strategically lose if it moves the objective forward they don't see the strategy and the reason why they don't see the strategy is because they're not strategic thinking a lot of people don't necessarily like thinking from a strategic standpoint because it actually forces them to really work the brain to really work the logical aspects the ability to recognize patterns an important aspect of human existence they're not necessarily motivated to do it you on the other hand need to become motivated to do it you need to become more strategic you can develop your strategic thinking by looking at different components analytical data so forth and looking for the insights and figuring out why things are why they are based on what happened and what happens if you try this other thing and what direction do you go on looking at optimization and things like that when you develop strategic thinking you can evolve your grand strategy you can create strategies that other people won't be able to understand because their mind is closed off to only seeing the tactics or not seeing the strategy you do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances finger spritzing good fool I talked about this earlier most environments that you place yourself in are going to be different actually every environment that you place yourself in that you fight battle or whatever it is you're trying to do is going to be different you have to be able to train yourself to not be too fixated on one methodology to get the results diversify the moves that you make so you can gain better understanding and the different aspects of what makes that environment the way it is the components that make up the whole and how the environment responds to the different moves you make not just the moves you make in a one-step way but in a multi-dimensional way in a sequential way in a way that combined the different patterns of possibility and you have to be able to do that so when you achieve victory in one area try to achieve victory in many different areas even outside of the realm of your craft so you can develop a more multi-dimensional mind which thinks more strategically that looks for more opportunities for victory when you are placed in certain scenarios water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe from whom he is facing therefore just as water retains retains no shape so in warfare there's no constant conditions again this goes back to my previous point you have to become like water as Bruce Lee said you have to be able to flow with the environment the different things to happen you can't be pissed off or offended that the environment didn't go the way that you want instead you've got a shape shift and go in a different direction and you got to be able to do it smoothly and quick and efficiently and gracefully like water does and water is a very powerful force because you cannot block the building up of water pressure over time it will break through unless you've got a wall or a dam that's strategically or not strategically but more powerful to hold it in but if the pressure builds up greater than that then it's going to break through so now the key to important aspect to understand is that if you become like water you essentially flow and what you're flowing is against the variables against the exploits against the competition and what people are trying to do to you and you're moving around it you're moving above that you're moving below it you're moving sometimes through it as you move as a force and you're okay with it you're not being offended when things don't go your way you're quickly collaborating or calibrating I should say to the environment and it's because of finger spritzing before we're not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar with the face of the country it's mountains and forests its pitfalls and precipices its marshes and swamps familiarizing yourself with the terrain and your environment as much as you can is very important this doesn't necessarily mean you overthink it and you dedicate all your time to familiarizing yourself before you take action but instead it's worth developing the ability to familiarize your self in the environment by taking action because there's way more dynamics at play sometimes the environment responds to certain actions that you take so what happens is by doing that action you stir up the environment and you see a certain kind of response so by analyzing the terrain and everything and then seeing how everything responds based on different kinds of actions you're able to come up with different combinations and permutations to deploy as far as strategies towards your objective outcome let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night and when you move fall like a thunderbolt so to put up unnecessary resistance or to remove unnecessary resistance work in the backgrounds reveal very little of what you're trying to do because that what you're trying to reveal to somebody or what you're revealing to somebody will be used against you too by your competition so when you work in the background you're being humble you're looking at your outcome and your focus on the outcome and you're not interested in what other people think of you or how you look to others instead you do your daily disciplines you do your work and it's done in silence in quiet and it moves forward what needs to move forward to make the outcome possible and what needs to be revealed is revealed so think about that for a moment what you reveal should be revealed for strategic reasons either for reasons to recruit more people into your objective or to reveal certain kinds of stimulus to the environment in which you you look at the response you get and you adjust from there or to create a form of deception for your enemies who try to take you out but the moves that don't need to be revealed happen in silence those are the ones that move everything forward and as they move everything forward essentially all the facade all that you know surface level stub is looked at the way it's supposed to be looked at and it appears even to your competitors and your enemies that you're not making any progress but it turns out that underground you're making a lot of progress now a soldier's spirit is keenest in the morning by noonday it has began to flag and in the evening his mind is bent only on returning to camp a clever general therefore avoids an army when its spirit is keen but attacks when it's sluggish and inclined to return this is the art of studying moods it's a very self explanatory we've already covered that variations in tactics there are five dangerous faults which may affect a general number one recklessness which leads to destruction cowardice which leads to capture a hasty temper which can be provoked by insults a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame so these are applicable in business when dealing with people relationships and so forth how many times do we act inappropriately or fail to act as a result of this you can use these as a checklist actually to understand your actions or lack thereof the art of war teaches us not to rely on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming but on our own readiness to receive him not on the chance of his not attacking but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable so essentially what this means is that you've always got to be prepared you've always got to be as efficient with what you do how you work with your team you're learning you're studying and essentially your ability to think logically and critically as well as being present to the moment understanding the forces and dynamics in play and essentially just educating yourself through real life taking and the results you get based on the actions you take from the environment and your competitors and so forth and not leaving things up to chance and not being slack on the areas that you need to improve on if you see weaknesses go to work and improve those weaknesses improve them right away prioritize and focus on the ones that produce the greatest output or the ones that have your greatest weaknesses that can be exploited focus on those first but make sure you address everything with time and try to do it as fast as you can because if you are ready you don't have to get ready when the enemy shows up when the enemy shows up they'll see how strong you are and they'll turn around and go away because a lot of times they're looking to fight you where you're weak if they know you can win on the flip side I mention this earlier you don't fight battles where you know you're going to lose if they know that they're going to lose they're not going to fight you and thus your preparation your discipline and everything will prevent a lot of attacks that would have possibly come to you how to result as a result or as a result I should say of all the preparation and proactiveness that you've taken in everything you do because I believe how you do one thing is how you do everything the army on the march if in training soldiers commands are habitually enforced the army will be well-disciplined if not its discipline will be bad consistency with your people is very important if you put a process in place until you actually say the process is going to end you have to be consistent with it because if you're not consistent with it they're not going to have any respect for you they're going to say that then this is a weak area this person has a weak area and they have probably way more weak areas and I don't see that person as a leader a leader goes for first and enforces certain commands and habits and put systems and processes in place to make sure it's consistent as much as possible the more there is consistently consistency the more respect there is but if there is slack the respect will be lost and the army will follow suit they'll think it's okay to not have self-discipline and the processes that they deploy don't matter either for the people that they deploy them to and it's going to be a chain of chaos and not in the type of chaos and I mentioned earlier that grows you but a chaos that essentially will bring your organization down if a general shows confidence in his men but always insists on his orders being obeyed the gain will be mutual so again having confidence in people is trusting but that doesn't mean you don't have reports and processes in place that keeps your finger on the pulse so you can understand what's going on and then based on what's going on you make decisions so your order is essentially are being obeyed but they're not doing in a way when it makes the person feel restrained you have to believe in them but you also have to understand that there's human nature and you have to put things in place to prevent the bad behaviors terrain if fighting is sure to result in victory then you must fight even though the ruler forbid it if fighting will not result in victory then you must not fight even at the rulers bidding so this is where you have to be able to use your own judgment sometimes you're going to have to break the rules that's okay if the breaking of the rule provides the victory then you should do it and if the breaking of the rule has no consequences then you should do it now there's many nuances to this but that's essentially what it's getting at sometimes the strategists might deploy a strategy out there and expect people to follow it if a person is out in the arena on the battlefield and they've encountered a scenario which they feel that most likely the person who gave the orders of strategist couldn't see it and they have to make a decision and they know that by making the decision it goes against the orders of the strategist but however it creates a victory then they should do it and the strategist should be able to empower his people or her people to be able to make decisions on their own if those kind of regards do show up regard your soldiers as your children and they will follow you into the deep valleys look upon them as your own loved sons and they will stand by you even unto death so this is important to treat people in your organization like a family you have to be able to create that in your organization and you have to have a lot of respect for them and compassion for them and you have to be really interested in them doing better than you have done and it's interesting because by having this kind of view where you want them to do their best this it's paradoxical because they might actually leave you but because you've risen up so much that you care for their well-being they probably won't leave you because they recognize that you are a inspirational source a person in their life that actually really cares about them and that's kind of rare in organizations because a lot of people who run organizations they don't want people to leave because then you know they'll put all these systems in place to prevent people from leaving its scarcity thinking essentially they just want to keep people there and that restrains them and they don't feel like they're cared for the people in the organization don't feel like they're cared for and then what happens is they do end up leaving and ends up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy however the paradox of wanting the best for your people even more so that if they leave you you will still be happy for them grows and builds the organization to such a high level that they can't leave you and if they do leave you they'll figure out some partnership with you in which both parties will win hence the same if you know the enemy and know yourself your victory will not stand in doubt if you know heaven and you know earth you may make your victory complete this is again about knowing what battles you should fight studying the components of your enemy your competitors etc and understanding where your strengths and weaknesses are and focusing if you're going to battle them on their weaknesses with your strings understanding what your weaknesses are and they're going to essentially attack your weaknesses with their strengths to put up defensive or deceptive methods to deflect the awareness on your weaknesses and put that awareness on your strengths they try to attack you with arrogance on your strengths but meanwhile you're strong there because you have essentially smokescreen them to go in a different direction that is all the kind of things that's important to understand prior to getting into battle prior to going into the environment now a lot of times you can't get all that data but the objective is to get as much of that data as possible and if you need to fight a battle try to put it more in your favor as possible and that comes as a result by knowing yourself your strengths your weaknesses your people and so forth that go to battle with you and that same of the opponent the nine situations throw your soldiers into positions where there is no escape and they will prefer death to flight if they face death there's nothing they may not achieve officer officers and men alike will put forth their utmost strength this is called the death round strategy and the death ground strategy is something we can actually do for ourselves we can take ourselves from the comfort and luxury of escaping out of the battle and actually place ourselves where we have to make out victorious we have to be victorious or we end up perishing now you could do this through accountability one of the things that I like to do is if I don't complete my list of tasks in my business for example by the end of day that have been outlined in the start of the day then I have to donate a certain amount of money to somebody a lot of different things that you can do that essentially causes you to feel the burn if you don't if you're not able to achieve the outcome and thus it'll motivate you and force you to do it and you can be very creative with this but we have to have something like that if we find ourselves constantly not hitting our objective prohibit taking the taking of omens and do away with superstitious doubts then until death itself comes no comity need be feared so one of the things that I like to do is avoid any type of superstitious doubts if something is superstitious is and it's going to help me think more empowered and it's going to move me forward then I'm going to accept it but if something says that I can't do what my grand strategy or my purpose in life is to be I'm not going to believe it the reason why I'm not going to do that is because it distorts the mind it's essentially a weakness when your brain is injected or infiltrated with a doubt or an idea that you can't achieve the outcome that you want by somebody else so the environment then what will happen is that you're going to look for ways to not get the outcome that you want so it's good to make sure that you only internalize the concepts that ensure you victory while being aware of the things that could hold you back or they could stand in your way but not becoming doubtful of yourself as a result of them next by altering his arrangements and changing his plans he keeps the enemy without definite knowledge by shifting his camp and taking securities roads he prevents his enemy from anticipating his purpose so essentially what this means is that you have to be able to constantly switch up the routine that you have in place if you're in a very competitive environment if you have a lot of people that are trying to take your position or if you have a lot of people that are trying to take you out not in a positive way then switching up your things that you do your routines your plans and everything like that will mix up your enemy they won't be able to figure you out and you might want to deploy some smokescreen strategies so that they think that they figured you out from a certain place only to have them be led astray and wasting their time essentially while you're actually making the moves that you need to make this goes back to what I talked about earlier where you have to be humble and not look for validation and certain kinds of approval from the environment and so forth you're essentially looking for objective data to help your strategy move forward and as a result of that you're going to have no need to one impress people and do things on in a environment people can see in a conspicuous way instead you're going to do it underground where people can't see and they're only going to know what you want them to know about you or what they need to know about you depending on what your strategic outcome is but your real grand strategy is done in silence and people can never figure you out even if they try their hardest they'll never be able to figure it out because when you know they're trying to figure you out you're going to give them certain information to lead them astray if the enemy leaves a door open you must Rush in so again when it comes to marketplace when it comes to competition your job is to exploit it and exploit it in a way obviously that's ethical but exploit it when it's open if you miss the opportunity you might not get it again every market or every competitor even yourself it's very unlikely that you're going to be a hundred percent spot on with everything you do like it's very unlikely so there are exploits there are weak areas you have to train yourself to be able to look for the exploits and the weak areas train yourself to do that in people and doesn't mean you actually act on the exploits and the weak areas but you study how to look for exploits in weak areas and if you need to act on them you do it if it's going to essentially hold you back if that person is trying to hold you back or if you need to so you can move the position forward again make sure that you're being ethical when you do this because there's repercussions in areas like business and so forth so the key here is understanding how to determine what an exploit is and where a door is left open and figure out how you can get in there in many different areas of your life and then knowing when to do it and when not to do it next the attack of fire move not unless you see an advantage use not your troops unless there is something to be gained fight not unless the position is critical you have time you have energy you have opportunity cost you have resources and you have be able to work with these if you don't know how to work with them you're going to exhaust yourself and you're not going to achieve your grand strategy same thing applies to business if you see an advantage then you move forward if you don't see an advantage why would you move forward in that thing when there's probably other things that you can do that there is advantage try to focus on things that have the advantage and then require as minimum input that can produce maximum output as possible again I talked about this earlier in the example when I brought up a Daymond John said about opportunity one step away from the money in the sense that you're looking for opportunities that are not like get-rich-quick but essentially opportunities that are arbitrage or that can easily be captured from the environment and executed upon instead of creating this complex process and all these different things you got to do just to eventually and inevitably hit the same outcome of the same level of profitability that you could have hit had you had shifted your thinking more into a different direction where you move only on advantages okay and again your troops and your people are valuable resources you have to be able to move towards an advantage as quick as possible so you can get that outcome so you can gather more resources so you can build your troops further and then the same applies to them you have to instill that philosophy in them and a lot of times fighting is not necessary you know sons who talked about this even though this book is about war essentially the the ideal goal is to win the war without any casualties or to win the war with the fewest amount of casualties not just you know brute force go at it this is strategy strategy's not done that way so you don't need to fight battles unless it's absolutely critical because those battles can be costly and you only fight the battles if you know you're going to win or the odds are in favor if you have to fight a battle and the odds are not in favor well then maybe what you've done is you've not preemptively and proactively figured out all the dynamics at plate that got you into that in a situation that could be too late but that's why it's important to start now and work with what you have most likely we're not in a situation where it's do-or-die and there's things we can do to prevent ourselves from being a situation where it's do-or-die so the key is to focus on that right now and place ourselves in as many situations where it's advantageous but also in situations that we don't find ourselves in a critical need to fight again if it isn't if it is to your advantage make a move forward if it's not stay where you are one of my favorite sayings that I got when I was 24 years old from very successful entrepreneur was I was around that age very successful he said when in doubt do nothing and I've been reflecting upon that for many years when in doubt do nothing and over the years I tend to implement it more and more and the reason why it took me so long to internalize it is because when you hear a very simple statement like that oftentimes we overthink it and we add more complexity to it and then we don't end up doing it but then as you move up to higher levels and you can handle a higher level of complexity in you place yourself in different environments and you study these philosophies and you see how they work in in the world and so forth you realize that those very simplistic truth are oftentimes the way to go so when you're in doubt there's probably some aspect of whatever it is that you want to do that you're not analyzing or figuring out or being aware of that essentially if you execute on it it's not going to result in a favorable outcome so what I try to do is I try to place myself in as many situations that if I execute upon them there's no doubt but if there is a doubt I don't execute upon it because in any given moment of time you can either go left or right okay they're you right now listening to this you can stop and do something else or you could do something outside of whatever else you were going to do is only like you know few choices that you can make but each of those choices have a trickle effect of other choice and so forth so there's no point in like doubting something and sitting on that doubt because it just burns the mental resources instead it's better to be analytical about it and think about what the what the implications are and so forth but just simply doubting something and executing upon it when there are things that you can execute upon that have no doubt that are no-brainers that will produce a result isn't it better to do that use the spies knowledge of the enemy's dispositions can be obtained from other men hence the use of spies of whom there are five classes local spies having local spies means employing the services of the inhabitants of a district inward spies having inward spies making use of officials of the enemy converted spies having converted spies getting hold of the enemy's spies and using them for your own purpose doomed spies having doomed spies doing things openly for purposes of deception and allowing our spies to note of them and report them to the enemy surviving spies surviving spies finally are those who bring back news from the enemy's camp so different kinds of spies and the spies essentially is designed to help you understand the enemy again know yourself and know your enemy you have to know yourself and you have to know who you're up against now there's also the enemy within yourself and figure out some creative ways to infiltrate the enemy within yourself which is your own ego study yourself and then study your external world that's how you know yourself that's how you know your external world that's how you know the people because just as we go back to the beginning of the book all warfare is fought on deception so that means most likely you're being deceived by the people in front of you and again it's not about being paranoid but rather being objective and focused and aware that these dynamics exist and it's a way of life and if you want to rise up to higher levels of success or you want to play in environments where there's high amounts of competition under stand that this stuff is being used don't be in denial about it and then figure out ways to work with it so you can come out advantageous the enemy spies who have come to spy on us must be sought out tempted with bribes led away and comfortably housed they will become converted spies and available for our own service so again know just as you are deploying methodologies to research your competition other people are doing the same to you and there's many different ways of working with the people that they sent to you so that they can give them misinformation or give you information from your competitors and so forth hope you enjoyed this video this is a lot of information contained within this book and I'm not doing it any justice by just sharing these high-level points as you can see we've been discussing for about an hour and we've only covered like a handful of points here and essentially this book is something that you need to refer to as much as possible in different stages of your life to give you deeper level insights there's a lot more of insights if you go and study this book and again like I mentioned in the beginning studying war might not be in the top of the list for people but however I think it should be because it reveals an important aspect of human nature war does exist the war exists you know not just like traditional war what we actually consider war but competitiveness in business environments career social environments etc and the war in our own mind with our own ego and things like that do exist so we have to be able to study it understand it and apply it and be aware of the different aspects and refer to something like Sun Tzu's Art of War for insights and revelations for pieces that we might not have figured out yet because that's what this book is really helpful for if you want to copy this mind map it's in the bottom of this video in the link in the description thank you very much for watch this video I hope you enjoyed it I'll talk to you soon take care