Wise words from Sun Tzu

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What does this quote mean exactly? It means don’t go into conflict without knowing what you’re getting into. So many people pick fights, or “Defend” something, or even respond to a post online without actually knowing all the facts. Here’s some examples of what I’m referring to:

A friend says they got fired, and you only hear their side

Someone bad-talks your friends/family

You post an opinion online and you notice someone posted negative comments regarding your contribution

Video game tournaments

“Love at first sight”

Health related issues

An art-related commission

Taking a test in class

A jealous person tries to entice you to respond

A lawyer and a client

Doctors and/or other health practitioners

A child/pet misbehaving

These are some examples of what happens semi-daily. While enemy in these categories can be metaphorical, the idea is still there. So what does it mean to know the enemy and know yourself? It means you have to know all the facts, know the entire situation, and know the outcome before going into something. We are all human, so there are times where the heat of the moment will kick in, and sometimes logic and reasoning will not exist; we still have to remember logic, reasoning, and timing will win every time.

I’ll provide some examples where this quote is 100% accurate in every day life:

Yourself – Type 2 Diabetic (like me); Enemy – Carbs (sugar). As long as I avoid carbs and/or sugar, I win every time I eat (the battle).

Yourself – Artist; Enemy – self doubt. Know what you’re skilled in before taking an art commission. If you’re stuck on a part, instead of “avoiding” certain parts/areas, practice them. Show progress so the person hiring you can verify you’re going the right way, and has the expectation of you coming through with your part.

Yourself – a helpful friend; Enemy – loud-mouthed people. If someone runs their mouth, let them. As long as you stay quiet, and don’t talk back, they look stupid in the end because all they’re doing is talking trash for no reason. Try to understand why said person/people are running their mouth, and improve your reasoning to those listening. I was in this situation with a former roommate, and they ended up apologizing in the end because I kept quiet and learned the actual, real reasons why they were jealous.

Yourself – gamer; Enemy – gaming tournament. This is one area I get sick of hearing “I’m not watching X and Y, I want to go in blindly and see for myself how good they are.” You’re able to watch for a reason; take the opportunity to know and study how your opponent(s) play and strategize. Otherwise, if you win, it’s also a loss because you didn’t take the time to plan ahead. If you still lose after playing against the other player(s) after watching them, then you weren’t prepared for the match itself. Is it a bad thing? If you trained, watched the competition, and still lost, no it’s not a bad thing because you put in 100%. If you refused to watch, and you did train, yes it is your fault because you didn’t utilize your resources.

Yourself – Martin Luther King Jr.; Enemy – racism. He almost bankrupt the bus system because he knew bigotry was their main focus, and money is the one thing the companies wanted. So, hit them where it hurts – their pockets. Because of this, the bus system caved in and allowed anyone to sit anywhere at any time.

Yourself – attractive person; Enemy – common sense. Just because someone caught your eye, they are still human at the end of the day. Know the person before you pursue something beyond friendship. You will be amazed on how many sob stories, s/he is crazy, divorce, and/or unplanned families could have been avoided had the people took the time to learn who they were wanting to get involved with.

I bring this up today because it’s a quote I currently live by after understanding the actual meaning behind it. A lot of people assume the quote doesn’t pertain to them because it’s written in a book they don’t read. It’s the principle of the quote itself that can help anyone through any situation. If you know the situation, and you know exactly how to get out of a negative moment, you’re in the clear/green. Just because someone else didn’t take the quote to heart doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either.

Remember: Know the entire situation before going into something. If something doesn’t sound right, stay out of it until you have all the facts. It’s better to stay out of an unfamiliar situation temporarily than to look stupid and waste your energy and resources in the end.

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