Lessons from the Art of War

by | Jul 24, 2020 | AncientYogi

The warrior mindset might seem like something of an anachronism. Is there really a call for warriors in this day and age? Do we really need to learn to become hard and tough, when our biggest challenges tend to involve office deadlines or money management?

The answer is yes. Mental toughness, discipline and motivation are things that can help you to excel in any aspect of your life regardless of the circumstances. These are traits we should all look to cultivate and we should all covet.

And if you need more proof of this, then you need only look to the Art of War. The Art of Waris a powerful, ancient text from author Sun Tsu that was written as a military treatise in the 5th Century. This is a book of tips for military leaders in the 5th Century but it could not be more relevant today. This book is still recommended for business professionals, lawyers, artists and many others because of the relevance of the tips within. This is the perfect proof that the warrior mindset is as important than ever. So, what can we learn from this text in particular? Here are some of the best quotes from the book and some ideas as to what they might be teaching us.

There is No Instance of a Nation Benefiting From Prolonged Warfare This tells us of the folly of war and of the importance of finding a swift resolution to our problems. These are both lessons that are very true today in a range of scenarios. In particular, prolonged stress is incredibly bad for our health and for our psychological well being, while any kind of struggle – whether it’s the slow breakdown of a relationship or a battle of office politics – is likely to cause more collateral damage the longer it goes on.

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. So how does one shorten a battle and reduce unnecessary bloodshed, cost and damage? One of the most important answers is to plan ahead and to be well prepared.

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Better yet is to avoid a confrontation entirely. This way, you can conserve your resources, avoid damage on either side and maintain the moral high-ground. Consider Bruce Lee’s ‘art of fighting without fighting’ in the film Enter the Dragon. If you can subdue a situation without struggle, that is an example of being a true warrior.

The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.

This lesson describes what it is to have the warrior’s mindset: to be able to put aside your personal whims and needs and to instead focus on something greater than yourself. And when you work toward a greater cause, that is when you can become a greater individual.

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