Hi friends, hope we’re all keeping well. Let’s do another book review this week, this time on ‘The Art of War’, by Sun Tzu.
😲My Discovery of the Book😲
What fascinated me a few years ago was, quite oddly, wars and battles. Though I suppose more specifically, war strategy and tactics. I think this is also what got me into chess much later on.
I had a massive interest in the lives of esteemed war generals, the most prominent battles in world history, and revolutions and rebellions (thus giving birth to my now favourite adjective: rebellious). I fell in love with Oversimplified videos on wars, and researched thoroughly how generals pulled off their brilliant strategic manoeuvres, like any normal 13 year old would, of course. It probably helped that I was also very into battle royale video games, like Fortnite, at the time too, and wondered if I could implement real war strategies into these games.
It wasn’t uncommon for this book to pop up in those Instagram book recommendation pages either, and it wasn’t long before I got the impression that it was pretty good, in the community’s opinion.
All this intrigue and curiosity eventually led me to find this highly praised book, and so I bought it at my local bookstore for a solid €10.
While this book is very much all about war strategy and tactics, I find it does also talk about leadership, motivation, and general life skills as well.
-A very prominent lesson I learnt was probably about deception. The art of making the opponent think you’re weaker than you actually are, or stronger than you actually are, fascinated me as a concept. This has many real world applications too, like in sports and board games. Conceal your state
– People will not follow you unless you’re an outstanding leader. Be stern, trustworthy, intelligent, courageous, and humane. But don’t over do any of these traits, as that will lead to rebelliousness, cruelty, folly, and weakness. The people must have the same aim as the leadership.
-The weak can control the strong by awaiting a change. One must be patient, and be able to adapt to the situation, like water. Wait for change, avoid slacking and humiliate the enemy when they begin slacking.
-Win with speed and know when to run away. Strike when schemes are being laid, attack their allies, besiege them. Essentially, attack and strike like lightning, but defend like ghosts in hush and hiding. Make the enemy come to you
– To win in a battle, you must be better in political leadership, military leadership, and have the environmental advantages. Win first in all of those areas before going to battle.
-Siege should always be treated like a last resort. Attack places where you know the enemy will run to defend. Ruin their plans, spoil supplies, and block their way.
-Make use of all the manpower you have. Employ the brave, the foolish, the smart, and the greedy. Everyone has their strengths.
-A surrounded army must be given a way out; a dead man has nothing to lose.
-With formation, be able to attack everywhere and defend anywhere. Set the enemy on the wrong track. Orthodox and unorthodox methods aren’t fixed; they go in a cycle. Attack with momentum, attack like stones being thrown onto eggs.
-“It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle”
❓Who would like this book?❓
-People who have an interest in wars and battles. This book gives you great insight into the minds and hearts of generals, leadership,and strategy. Some really interesting lessons on terrain and formation are also given in this book.
⭐️How this Book Changed Me⭐️
-Gave me some really cool insights as to what goes on before, during, and after a military battle, and helped me look into the mind of a general.
-I now have some nice little ideas and tactics if I was to ever start my own business, like ideas of deception, strategic assessments, and leadership.
-Taught me to know as much as possible about something, before taking any action on it.
Cool, that’ll probably do it for this week’s post then. Overall, I think the Art of War is one of the most unusual but interesting self-help books I’ve read in a while. Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for something different other than your typical book.
Thanks for reading this far, stay safe and I’ll see you guys next week 🙌🏼