Saturday, November 26, 2022


Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher, lived circa 500 B.C. He wrote The Art of War, a ground-breaking text on how to manage conflicts and win battles.

Centuries later, his wisdom continues to inspire millions of people around the world. I’ve chosen ten of his most powerful principles to help you achieve spectacular success!

Remember: lessons come from everywhere – you don’t have to be a military strategist to learn how to execute your life plan with accuracy and precision. Follow these simple rules and you too will achieve greatness!

One – To win 100 victories in 100 battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence.

Who, or what, are you fighting against? The truth is: much of the conflict in our lives today could be avoided. We can all live in more harmonious environments; and enjoy better relationships, if we use the power of our minds to subdue any enemy without fighting.
Everything starts first as a thought in the mind – picture yourself happy; and at peace with the world. When you cultivate inner peace, that peace will be reflected in your outside world. Use the power of your own mind to win your battles.

Two – It is a doctrine in war that we must rely on the fact that we have made our position invincible.

Become invincible by forming a clear and focused intention about what you want. Don’t be deterred by temporary set-backs; trust that what you want will come to you.

Also, don’t allow self-doubt, or the negativity of others, to keep you from success. Accept that you can achieve anything you set your mind to; that makes you invincible!

Three – Know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles with no danger of defeat.

Be self aware, especially of your strengths and abilities. Don’t obsess over your weaknesses.
When you find yourself a little low on confidence, enhance your feelings of self-efficacy by taking stock of all your achievements. List all the odds you’ve had to overcome to arrive where you are today, then you should have no doubt as to how truly remarkable you really are.

Further, be clear about the goal you are trying to conquer or achieve. Think about it; read about it; and speak to people who’ve achieved the same goal. Gather intelligence until you’ve mastered it in intimate detail, then you cannot suffer defeat.

Four – It is the business of the general to be quiet and thus assure depth in his deliberation.

Meditate; and quiet your mind often. It is one thing to learn from others, but what’s right for another may not always be right for you. We each have our unique path. Be silent and commune with God to determine the best path for you.

Key insights about our plans come to us when we meditate; ensuring the depth of our deliberation. Listen to your soul for answers to the important questions in your life.

Five – The principle of military administration is to achieve a uniform level of courage.

Be courageous. Do not allow fear failure to stop you from acting. If you never try, you can never win. Or, to use the words of another famous general, Wavell: “a bold general may be lucky, but no general can be lucky unless he is bold.”

Be bold in the pursuit of your dreams!

Six – The commander must create a helpful situation over and beyond the ordinary rules.
Be innovative. Today’s leaders are leading through their creativity. Everyone is creative; you no longer have to depend on dull routines to get you by.

Starting today, whatever you do, think outside the box. See the advantages in situations that other people don’t. Move beyond the ordinary by contemplating the extraordinary.

Seven – When the troops are united, the brave cannot advance alone, nor can the cowardly retreat.

Nobody does it alone; not even brilliant, wonderful you! Cherish your strengths, but also recognise the strengths in numbers; not to mention the fun in working with other people! Don’t isolate yourself; work with others for mutual benefit.

Remember: “Four brave men who do not know each other will not dare attack a lion. Four less brave, knowing each other well, sure of their reliability and consequently of mutual aid, will attack resolutely. This is the science of organization of armies in a nutshell.” Ardant du Picq
Eight – To win battles and capture lands and cities, but to fail to consolidate these achievements, is ominous and may be described as a waste of resources.

To the extent possible, articulate each important milestone beforehand. This will help you leverage and capitalise on successes along the way to create even more success. It will also help you ensure that your objectives are not conflicting, but mutually reinforcing.

Nine – Pay attention to the soldiers’ well-being and do not fatigue them. Try to keep them in high spirits and conserve their energy.

Practice kindness, it goes a long way. Even if you don’t right now, some day, you will need people to be kind to you.

Our humanity is what makes us human ÔÇô Do not dehumanize, or step on others, to reach your goals. Uplift and encourage them; and don’t forget to do the same for yourself.

Ten – There are neither fixed postures, nor constant tactics, in warfare.

Don’t hold steadfastly to tactics or strategies that have passed their sell-by date. People grow and change all the time; and what worked for you before may not work today.

Be flexible and ready to adopt a new posture when the occasion calls for it.

Have a great week!

*Primrose Oteng is a Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) and the Founder of the Positive Peace Project, an organization dedicated to creating positive change through personal empowerment. For more information regarding how we can help you, please contact [email protected]


Read this week's paper