The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Published sometime in the 5th century BC
This is probably one of the most debated book in the world minus the Bible and I, for one, am not as qualified to review the book as some other scholars or philosophers out there. That being said, I’m still going to put my thoughts out there and my own personal views of this book. All I can say for right now is that I’m extremely glad I decided to read (hear) this book via an audiobook otherwise I would have given up on it within a few minutes. But the audiobook allowed me to sit back and relax while listening and it definitely helped me to better understand the book.
The Art of War is a book that cannot be 100% understood and comprehended in one or even two reads – it’s certainly a book that can be read numerous of times and you can still find new and practical concepts that can be applied. There were a lot of lists in the book such as the list of grounds to fight on, how to win, different kind of leaders, etc. and almost all of them can be applied to the daily life. I think the reason why it’s so highly debated and discussed about is the fact that this book does not only apply to the art of war – it is really about the war that is life.
Every day you encounter obstacles whether it is something benign like a deadline to a project due or something more serious such as a life-threatening disease or whatever. Does that not count as a war? You are always fighting for your life – of course, some people are literally fighting for their lives in the war in the Middle East or they’re fighting for their lives in a hospital and other people are simply fighting to live day by day. Regardless, there are so many applicable principles in this book.
While this book is completely out of my comfort zone (anything non-fiction, really), I still appreciated some of the learnings I had received from it. There were a few lists and lessons that seemed obvious such as the more prepared you are, the better your chances for succeeding. But, at the same time, it’s a good reminder.
I probably should re-read this book or at least re-listen to it and this time, I should probably jot down some notes for myself. However, at the end of the day, I’m still going to pick up my fiction books over this one. Maybe one day when I have some time, I’ll pick up this book again.