The Art of War is a wonderful book authored by Sun Tzu.
He was a famous Chinese military general apart from being a successful military strategist. Though this book may be of greater interest to those who are from the army, even ordinary people may have reasons to find this book interesting.
In short, should you read The Art of War?
My objective is to list down a few reasons that make this book so popular and famous amongst millions of ordinary people.
I am reasonably sure that after going through the reasons mentioned over the new few lines and paragraphs, many of the readers would be keen to get hold of a copy of The Art of War and find out the reasons why it may make a very good read.
Without wasting too much time, let us straight away go into the subject matter that will help readers to get answers to the question should they read The Art of War.
Why People are so obsessed about this book?
According to me there could be many reasons why this book is so hugely popular and is sought after as a must-read book.
The book focuses on various aspects of battles and fights between armies and it has some of the finest strategies that are from a brain that thinks just beyond the obvious achievements in the battlefield.
His book talks about the need to be clear when to get into fighting mode and when not to. Though this has been said keeping the army and military in mind, this also has a lot of meaning and significance as far as our daily lives are concerned.
Many people are obsessed with this book because according to Sun Tzu, armies should engage with the enemies only when they are doubly sure about the invincible advantage that they face.
The same applies to battles in our real life. A child may start his journey in life and fantasize about becoming a famous sportsperson, an astronaut, a CEO or even a successful politician all in one go.
However, as we start maturing, aging and gathering experiences in our lives we understand that there are many resources and time constraints that may restrict the size of our dreams and the levels of success that one can achieve.
His books are popular because it teaches us to be dreamers but at the same time also teaches us how to be realistic about it. If you wish to be successful in life, this book could be a good tool.
It teaches us to be realistic about our strengths and weaknesses. Identifying these will help us to focus in one particular area or at the most two.
This will increase the chances of success quite significantly compared to those who could try to become jack of all trades without being master even in one.
While having diverse skill sets certainly can help, this book teaches the readers to choose the skill sets carefully instead of dabbling on everything that comes along the way.
This also could be one of the main reasons why this book continues to be hugely popular amongst dreamers, achievers and those who are ready to find their way forward in life.
When it comes to running a business successfully, it is quite obvious that there will be negatives to overcome, and tough situations to negotiate.
There could be the need for negotiations, understanding the mind of the competitors, vendors and customers. All these require skills and you should know when to hit the rod and make sure that the rod is hot when you hit the object.
It is quite evident from the above there are many things that are practical and associated with real life as far as this book is concerned. Many people like it not because it looks at many things from the military perspective but because what is mentioned in each page of the book has a lot to do with real life in more ways than one.
Is the art of war overrated?
No, it would be completely wrong to mention that The Art of War book overrated or is more about hype than anything else.
This is because of a few simple reasons. The book may have been written many centuries ago keeping in mind the situation as it existed at that point in time.
However, it would also be pertinent to mention here that the book continues to be relevant even today’s modern times. Though the book was written perhaps from the military perspective, it would be wrong to read and judge the book from that prism alone.
This book teaches many valuable lessons that are applicable in our daily lives. Hence, when all the above factors are taken into account, it would be wrong to consider that this book is overrated.
How long does it take to read The Art of War?
If you want to complete reading The Art of War in one sitting, it should not take more than 40 minutes.
However, I would like to make a few things clear here.
The meaning, objective and essence of this book cannot be fully understood. If you are really on assimilating the whole gist of the book, it may require a few readings. I would recommend that you should read the book slowly over a few days once you have gone through it once.
Read each chapter carefully and repeat it if necessary. This will help you to absorb the finer points quite well and you will be able live the points that are a part of this book and which have stood the test of time.
7 great reasons to read “the art of War”
I am quite confident that there is a wealth of information as far as this book is concerned. There are many important takeaways as far as this book is concerned.
I am happy to list down 7 of the top reasons as to why it makes a lot of sense to go through The Art of War. As mentioned above, I would strongly recommend the following.
Skim through the book the first time around and spend 40 minutes for it. If you are really serious about imbibing the contents of the book, it would be better to read through each chapter carefully because you will get a number of useful takeaways.
Here are the most important ones that I feel are worth mentioning.
· The importance of timing.
This book does offer some wonderful information with regard to the importance of timing. Choosing the right timing will catch the opponent unawares in a battlefield and from a military perspective.
The same logic also applies to daily lives. Whether it is education, career, jobs and business timing of decisions is extremely vital. In a competitive world, there is a need to catch opposition off guard and this is where timing matters.
· Knowing yourself and the enemy.
This is another important point to keep in mind when taking on competitors in life, business and even in one’s life. Getting into a competition without knowing your strength and the enemies’ strength is wrong and this is well brought out in this book.
· The book also stands out because it lays emphasis on having a unique plan.
It talks about the importance of deception and this of course works extremely well in war scenarios. These could also be used in businesses and also when it comes to out maneuvering somebody in a situation that is considered important and vital.
· The importance of disguising plans is one more tip that one could learn from this book.
In business, competitors must also be razor-sharp when it comes to gauging and predicting the movement of opposition and in such situations, having the plan disguised carefully may make all the difference between failure and success.
· Stay away from direct fights.
Many battles and big wars have been fought and won without a bullet being fired. The Great Cuban Missile Crisis was avoided just by flexing military muscles.
This could also come in handy when you have a fight in hand as far your business is concerned. Fighting direct battles with competitors could be a huge drain on resources and this can be avoided by attacking them indirectly. This is another wonderful tip that one can learn from The Art of War.
· Don’t fight change.
Yes, this book talks about the need to understand the importance of change. The only thing that is permanent in life is change and those who resist change have almost everywhere perished. If there is a chaotic situation somewhere, it should be considered as an opportunity.
· Success is equal to success and this another wonderful takeaway from this book.
Opportunities often come unannounced and when they come, they come in the form of hard work. Those who are alive to this reality are the ones who succeed in life and also on the battleground.
To sum up, there is little doubt that there are many wonderful, practical and daily implementable takeaways as far as The Art of War book is concerned. It would not be right to look at this book from a war perspective because the author had other things in mind while penning this book many centuries ago.