Greetings Barbarians! Long days and pleasant nights!
In case you haven’t heard, The Art of War series ended, and it deserves a proper round-up. It has been a great journey towards my own enlightenment. While I’m not sure if everybody agrees with my choice of reading, what I do know is that I keep on growing. We all have our paths to follow, regardless of how eccentric it may be.
The Art of War Round-up:
- The Art of War: Laying Plans
- The Art of War: Waging War
- The Art of War: Attack By Stratagem
- The Art of War: Tactical Dispositions
- The Art of War: Energy
- The Art of War: Weak Points and Strong
- The Art of War: Maneuvering
- The Art of War: Variation in Tactics
- The Art of War: The Army on the March
- The Art of War: Terrain
- The Art of War: The Nine Situations
- The Art of War: The Attack By Fire
- The Art of War: The Use of Spies
13 posts after, and now a bit wiser and has a bit more understanding of the nature of things. Some wisdom from the book may seem unconventional to modern taste, but it has its merits for me. I, for one, never felt to be the hero of my own story so I decided to reinvent myself. I always find it funny how some people say that your mistakes don’t define you were in fact, they do. It is through hardship we gain strength, and from our mistakes, we achieve wisdom. I pity a man who lived a coddled life.
Here are some of the important lessons I’ve learned from the book:
- Deception and secrecy – Not everyone has your best intentions in mind. There is no absolute way to know who does and who doesn’t. I used to believe that honesty is the best policy and I would talk to anyone who would listen. I am the kind of person who will incriminate himself because of honesty. Not that honesty is a bad policy, but there are certain things that should be kept in secret for the common good. Smile when you feel like crying, try even when you feel like quitting, and a lot more. It is not honesty to self, but it is a strength of character. It is in its basic sense: a lie or a form of deception and secrecy. It is a hammer – it can build and at the same time, destroy.
- Overreaching – Overreaching or “trying too hard” makes you look desperate. From trying too hard to impress the boss to trying too hard to woo a girl, we’ve all been there. Aside from looking desperate, overreaching also shuts you off of the things in front of you. The end should be kept in mind, but don’t spend too much effort looking far into the future. Work towards your goal and reach when it is near. Never attempt to take a walled fortress by siege, break down the walls first. Think of the future but live in the present.
- Pick your fights – let go of the need to address everything. Not only that it saps your vigor, but it also tarnishes your reputation. Always think of what to gain instead of acting on impulses. Saw something on the internet that you think is wrong? Ignore it, let them make a fool of themselves and kick them later when they do. But to be serious, they are not perfect and so are you – so why can’t you let go? Focus your attention on things that matter and don’t let petty distractions bother you. Conserve your resources and pick your fights.
- Attaining insight – Be an eternal student and a consummate adventurer. Insight can be achieved through learning and experience. I for one used to think that learning is enough to actually get by in life. I never get to experience much and that was okay back then until I found myself ill-equipped to handle things. Learning and experience matter, regardless if you fail or succeed. The more accumulated learning and experience you have, the better. Life is volatile and unpredictable; one must be better equipped to take on challenges.
- Delivering the “Killing” blow – One must be decisive in life. No one ever benefits in dilly-dallying and beating around the bush. Be active in your pursuit and spend your remaining hours in preparation. Imagine filling up a dam and releasing the water, imagine everything being washed away by it. You got to make yourself so good, that they can’t ignore you. You cannot drown someone with droplets of water. Be firm and be decisive.
There are countless lessons the book can offer, but the ones I’ve mentioned are the ones that made an impact. They’re the ones that I keep on hammering unto myself, and you can expect more things from me served The Art of War style! Though I’ll admit that there are things that are hard to wrap around my head into. But it has been an enlightening journey, to be honest, and I have learned a lot from it. I’d recommend everyone to read it.
To understand the book, one must think of metaphors. It continues to influence modern times with its uses in business, politics, and sports. I have learned a great deal of wisdom from the book and it continues to instill its lesson in me. It imparted with me the necessities to succeed in life. It conveyed wisdom to overcome adversities or challenges that I may face. It taught me how to care for both friend and enemy alike. Did it change me as a man? You bet it did. I could say it with pride that I already took the first step in conquering life itself.
To Courage and Freedom!
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