These 9 lessons from Sun Tzu will prepare you for any challenge that life throws your way

In Philosophy & Culture
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Ever heard of Sun Tzu?

If not, he’s one of the most famous philosophers and military leaders in Chinese history.

Widely known for his book, The Art of War, his philosophy on military strategy was so logical and profound that his teachings are still taught to this day.

While none of us may be going to war, we all face challenges in our lives and Sun Tzu’s insights can help us respond to these obstacles in the best way possible.

Check out 9 tidbits of his unique but awesome wisdom here:

1) Choose Your Battles Wisely

This is a saying as old as time. It often is jokingly applied to marriage. It reminds us that there is a time to stand up for what we want and believe, and there are times when it is better to sit on the sidelines.

2) Timing is Everything

This is especially true in business, as well as the battlefields of war.

Looking for opportunities to bring products to the market, sell your home, get a divorce, pack up everything you own and moving across the country – timing is everything with these things. Patience plays a key role in success for many people.

3) Know Yourself and Your Enemy

It can be difficult to know what you are up against in life, but not impossible. Paying attention to those around you, opportunities that arise, gaps that exist, and sizing up the competition can help you get ahead when the time is right.

4) Make a Unique Plan

While deception has a negative connotation, positive and productive deception is also possible in conflict. Think of the last time you interviewed for a job: you put on your best face, right? Knowing what you are going to do ahead of time makes all the difference in success.

5) Camouflage Your Plans

Okay, so this is a little on the negative deception side, but the point is that if you keep moving and keep changing things up, your competition won’t know what hit ‘em when the time comes. This is why so many businesses kill themselves trying to be “first to market” so they don’t have to worry about what the other guys are doing.

6) Avoid the Fight if Possible

There is no point in fighting with someone or engaging in conflict when the issues can be worked out with respectful candor and words. Don’t push the competition to engage in “the fight” if there is another way to handle the situation.

7) Change is Good

The most successful people in life are open to change because they know it brings about opportunity. Seeing opportunities is just one piece of the puzzle; you have to be willing to seize the opportunity as well.

8) Success Brings on More Success

If you’ve ever experienced any kind of success in your life, you know how motivating it can be to keep pushing for more and more in life. Once you succeed at one thing, it can cause you to see opportunities everywhere.

9) No one Wins in War

Anyone who has actually been to war will tell you that after a while, they forget why they are fighting. The passion and the anger subside and the fear and the exhaustion take over. Even if a victory is declared, it came at a cost.