Sun Tzu : preparation is the key to success

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

Sun Tzu

Who is Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is known as a general and thinker. This strategist lived during the sixth century BC in the actual China. He is well-known for his book The Art of War, even if some historians debate if he was really behind this book. Nevertheless, The Art of War is still considered as one of the main books relating to strategy.

What is behind this quote

The quote is divided in two parts, one first part is what you should and the other part is what you should not do if you want to succeeded in your plans.

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war” To understand this sentence in a wider context, you can change the word “warriors” by “people” and the word “war” with “confrontation”: “Victorious people win first and then go to confrontation». It slightly changes the meaning, but can be adapted to different context. It means that if you want to win the confrontation before it even begins, you have to be prepared so well that you cannot be defeated. No eventualities should be ignored. It is only when you did this work that you are ready mentally and physically, to the confrontation. If you talk to someone with the assurance that you know everything this people could say, you cannot be defeated with unexpected information.

“While defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win” The second part explain the wrong state of mind. We can change the sentence in the same way. “While defeated
people go to confrontation first and then seek to win
“. This mean that if you expect on luck, adrenaline or other people to help you to win, you will never feel confident at the beginning of the confrontation, you will always be in the expectation of something that may or may not happen. This will lead you in an inferior position, and if the other one is prepared enough, you will surely be defeated.

How to win

How to win depends on the circumstances. If you are a boxer, of course you should train your body, and be strong enough to not be surprised by the strength of your opponent, you cannot count on the adrenaline to give you more strength and win. You should also observe the videos of his previous combats, see what are his favorite moves, how he defends himself. So, there is two different levels of understanding.

If you run for a presidency, you should as much prepare your plan as the plan of your opponent, knowing what he could do, on what he could attack you and how you can response to it. Once again, there are two level, you cannot only focus on yourself to win and expect a mistake from him to take the advantage.

If you are in a company and want your idea to be heard, you should have a strong defense of your idea first, and defend it. The use of the critics of the other one should be used in last resort, because it can be misinterpreted. So, you should not attack directly, but still, knowing the forces and weakness of both plans will give you the upper hand in a talk.

2 thoughts on “Sun Tzu : preparation is the key to success

    1. It is an interesting quote too that can be applied to different situations in business and life. I will surely explain this quote soon. I already have some articles to finish, but I’ll write an article about that. Stay tune and subscribe to not miss it.


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