30 Quotes by Sun Tzu to inspire you

We can learn a lot from military men, and women. So, let’s explore some quotes by Sun Tzu.

Sun Tzu was a Chinese military general, strategist, philosopher, and writer who, we believe, lived during the Eastern Zhou period (771–256 BC).

Sun Tzu is credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and East Asian philosophy and military thought.

I have the greatest respect for those who served in the military, and, in my experience, such people have a great deal of wisdom to impart, if we’re willing to listen.

So here are 30 quotes by Sun Tzu to inspire you today. We’re all fighting our own battles every day, so we can learn if we’re open to doing so.

Quotes by Sun Tzu. (1-10):

Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.

If your opponent is of choleric temper, irritate him.

He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.

A good commander is benevolent and unconcerned with fame.

If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.

Invincibility lies in the defence, the possibility of victory in the attack.

The enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general is full of caution.

He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.

Quotes by Sun Tzu. (11-20):

He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.

Victory usually goes to the army, who has better trained officers and men.

Know thyself; know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.

If ignorant of both your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.

There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited.

Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy.

He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.

Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

Know your enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.

Quotes by Sun Tzu. (21-30):

Secret operations are essential in war; upon them, the army relies to make its every move.

When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.

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

All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.

To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.

If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even though the ruler forbids it; if fighting will not result in victory, then you must not fight even at the ruler’s bidding.

Of all those in the army close to the commander, none is more intimate than the secret agent; of all rewards, none more liberal than those given to secret agents; of all matters, none is more confidential than those relating to secret operations.

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