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With the launch of our very first Graduate Diploma in Chinese Strategic Thinking in just 15 days, application of Sun Tzu’s Art of War strategies in life may be a concerning factor amongst students. In today’s article, we’ll be going through how understudying Sun Tzu’s wise historical strategies and analysis will be beneficial in our daily lives.

About Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient china. Commonly known as a wise leader, Sun Tzu’s strategies and analogies for managing conflicts and winning battles were pieced together to create The Sun Tzu Art of War. Due to the practicality of his philosophies, it quickly gained popularity in the Western society.

If you are a millennial reading this article, you may have shunned the validity and concept from the Art of War strategies at a point of your life. Upon reviewing some of his famous quotes and approach to hurdles in life, his wisdom resonated with me. With an enlightened point of view, here are some of the quotes that can help to enhance the quality of your life.

  1. Opportunities multiply as they are seized.

Similar to the idiom, “Strike while the iron is hot”, seize every opportunity that is presented to you. Every opportunity executed well will create more opportunities for yourself. Although uncertainty from this opportunity may be daunting or force you out of your comfort zone, it will expand your experience and allow you to venture into different areas.

  1. Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

We all have our personal goals in life that we would like to accomplish before a certain amount of time. Without the proper steps taken to reach our destination, it will be a long and slow journey before we can strike it off our list. However, without a clear direction, executing mindless actions will lead you nowhere in life. While tactics are important to get you to your destination, your operation will still fail without a defined strategy.

  1. A leader leads by example not by force.

“The General must be possessed of wisdom, honesty, benevolence, courage and discipline.”

A leadership role has many responsibilities to take on. To successfully lead a team and gain loyalty, a leader must first prove his competency by inspiring others. An incompetent leader who coerces his subordinates into completing any task will not be able to obtain the best results. With a strong charisma, you will be able to overcome any difficulty your team will encounter.

  1. In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity

“In armed struggle, the difficulty is turning the circuitous into the direct, and turning adversity into advantage.”

For every grey cloud, there is a silver lining. With every opportunity, it also comes with risk. Do not despair in difficult times and perceive it optimistically as an area for growth. Engage the situation with the mentality of creating a new opportunity for yourself and the future. For instance, if you failed at a task you did not do well, take it as a learning opportunity and experience gained.

  1. If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.

With a strong determination, we can overcome any obstacle that may otherwise be perceived as extremely difficult. This is why we often prize the brain as the most powerful organ in our body. Most recovery and success stories are based on the determination and brain power to accomplish goals set for themselves.




Image source: Water rabbits and logs: The nature of Sun Tzu’s war, reexamined