12 Quotes From “The Art Of War”

Sun Tzu wrote in China in the fifth century BC to help military leaders hone their warcraft, but you might be surprised at the truths you can apply to your life today. Check out my full book review by clicking here. 

“Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” 

“Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. (2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. (5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.” 

“Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” 

“The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” 

“That general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.” 

“Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy—this is the art of retaining self-possession. To be near the goal while the enemy is still far from it, to wait at ease while the enemy is toiling and struggling, to be well-fed while the enemy is famished—this is the art of husbanding one’s strength.” 

“Do not linger in dangerously isolated positions. … If, on the other hand, in the midst of difficulties we are always ready to seize an advantage, we may extricate ourselves from misfortune.” 

“The art of war teaches us to rely not 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. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: (1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction; (2) cowardice, which leads to capture; (3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame; (5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.” 

He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them.” 

“Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death. … If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose.” 

“Carefully study the well-being of your men, and do not overtax them. Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength.” 

“Keep your army continually on the move.”

Links & Quotes

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“The thing required is not to add to the good actions we have already done, but only to do that out of love to God which men of reputation and virtuous lives due from a principle of honor and regard of themselves. …  Let us do all the same honest and virtuous actions, but let us do them for the sake of Him Who made us and to Whom we owe our all.” —Françoise Fenelon

“If, when no one is watching us, we are building ourselves up in the Word of God, then, when a crisis comes, we shall stand; but if we are not building on the Word of God, when a crisis comes we shall go down, no matter what our wills are like.” —Oswald Chambers

“So the issue for us is: Do we eagerly long for the coming of Christ? Or do we want Him to wait while our love affair with the world runs its course?” —John Piper

For all of my pastor friends who have kids, this post from Pastor Dave Barringer is an important read.

Dr. Tim Elmore uses John Wooden as a great example to ask the question: Are You A Coach Or A Teacher?

Have you heard that there are fewer Christians in America? Check out John Stonestreet’s analysis of the latest reports.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell talks about the consistency and perseverance of the professional—

12 Quotes From “Poke The Box”

10-1080R1 PoketheBoxMechSeth Godin really shakes up the status quo in his book Poke The Box. I loved it! You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some quotes I especially liked.

“The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.”

“Imagine that the world had no middlemen, no publishers, no bosses, no HR folks, no one telling you what you couldn’t do. If you lived in that world, what would you do? Go. Do that.”

“Creative people or those with something to say believe that they have to wait to be chosen. … ‘Pick me, pick me’ acknowledges the power of the system and passes responsibility to someone else to initiate. Even better, ‘pick me, pick me’ moves the blame from you to them. If you don’t get picked, it’s their fault, not yours. If you do get picked, well, they said you were good, right? Not your fault anymore. Reject the tyranny of picked. Pick yourself.”

“The fact that it doesn’t work every time should give you confidence, because it means you’re doing something that frightens others.”

“Poking successfully also requires tact. You are trying to change things, not have people recoil in anger or fear from your poking.”

“Excellence isn’t about working extra hard to do what you’re told. It’s about taking the initiative to do work you decide is worth doing. … It’s a personal, urgent, this-is-my-call/this-is-my-calling way to do your job.”

“Not-allowed lists exist in school, in relationships, and in jobs. The park near my house doesn’t allow dogs, non-residents, or birthday parties. It’s interesting that the allowed list is harder to remember and to write down. I think we might be afraid of how much freedom we actually have, and how much we’re expected to do with that freedom. It’s comforting to live with a list of what’s not allowed. We remember it, we push against it, but ultimately we enjoy the confinement that the limits bring us. When revolutions appear, when the list gets much shorter, it’s surprising how long it takes for us to take action.”

“‘This might not work.’ Is it okay to say these four words? Is your work so serious and flawless and urgent that each thing you do, every day, must work? Change is powerful, but change always comes with failure as its partner. ‘This might not work’ isn’t merely something to be tolerated; it something you should seek out. … Try is the opposite of hiding.”

“Starting means you’re going to finish. … To merely start without finishing is just boasting, or stalling, or a waste of time. … If you don’t finish, it doesn’t really count as starting, and if you don’t start, you’re not poking.”

“Starting something is not an event; it’s a series of events. … Keep starting until you finish. … Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong. If you start, you’ve got a shot at evolving and adjusting to turn your wrong into a right. But if you don’t start, you never get a chance.”

“I believe that if you’ve got the platform and the ability to make a difference, then this goes beyond ‘should’ and reaches the level of ‘must.’ You must make a difference or you squander the opportunity. Wasting the opportunity both degrades your own ability to contribute and, more urgently, takes something away from the rest of us. … To do less is to steal from them.”

“Failure is an event, though, and with rare exceptions, is not fatal. The process of starting, regularly, and of seeking out opportunities to do it more often, is never a failure. The process is now essential for those who seek to succeed.”

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