Your Enemy and You – Art of War no.4

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Sometimes we fight very hard but despite our best efforts, victory over our goals does not seem to come.

In starting a new business, you may be making all the right moves and meeting all the right players. Months roll by and you don’t seem to get anywhere.

When applying for new jobs, you may be working around the clock to have the perfect CV, to send out as many emails and to go to as many offices in person. But a month or two pass and you get no responses or a few rejections.

The same can be in your love-life. You can be pumping iron in the gym, eating the right foods, working on personal and social skills, actively work on your dating apps and try to meet women wherever you go. But some time passes and nothing real happens.

Then, all of a sudden, BAM. You get an interested investor. Then another, then business starts to pour in.

You hear nothing from potential employers and then BAM, you get 20 emails asking for a prompt interview with you to be followed by multiple job offers.

You chase so much tail and nothing! Suddenly, BAM your dating profile matches with tens of girls. The girl at the cafe, the library and at work all call to ask if you’ll take them for that date you mentioned.

Does this sound familiar?

Sometimes we can do our best but we seem to be get nowhere. Many are discouraged at this point and give up. In the Superman series we explore this as the ‘testing point‘. Sun Tzu refereed to this as ‘waiting for opportunity‘.

According to the general, we must first concentrate on ourselves, our abilities and our positions.

If we prepare for every eventuality, put in secret plans and follow them then we put ourselves beyond the possibility of defeat”


The other player

Unfortunately we are never the only players in any game. In the business world, investors, competitors and even clients are our ‘enemies’. They are stumbling blocks in our way to ultimate victory.

In the world of employment, potential employers are our ‘enemies’. In the world of women, potential girls are our ‘enemies’.

These enemies are not something we hate or wish to destroy, like competition for example. They are only stumbling blocks which we want to conquer.

Now the last chapter makes more sense. Ultimate victory is about winning without actually going into battle on the field. It is winning by taking the enemy whole and converting them to our cause.

So our victory never only relies on us. In order to win at anything, we must act to the best of our abilities but the key is to wait for opportunity.

“…the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself… Hence… One may know how to conquer without being able to do it”

If your investor or potential employer or a girl drive a hard bargain, they will play hard to get or will negotiate to break you down.

At this point you must maintain your strength. Fight, defend and protect your position at all costs.

Your ‘enemy’ will do the same. If you worked well on your defence you will be able to resist and so secure your safety.

Your ‘defence’ can hence go on indefinitely. During this time you must look for the chinks in the armour of your opponent.

The investor will buckle under the potential of losing out, the employer will buckle under the need to find the help they have been craving and the girl will buckle under the jealousy of missing out on a great man to another girl.

At this point, after playing defensively, you will be able to strike, you will take the offensive.

You will offer the investor a deal to your advantage, you will negotiate with the employer for a great salary and you will attract the girl to the point that she is bound to you.

Have you ever seen those incredible boxing matches between equally matched opponents?

Both will square up on the ring. As soon as the bell goes they will batter each other to kingdom come.

Round after round will pass and they will still be at it.

Neither will give an inch, both aim to conserve their energy whilst tiring and confusing their opponent.

Towards the final rounds, both are a bloodied mess. Eyes are puffy and nearly shut, noses broken, bodies tottering.

But they persist.

Finally, one makes a mistake. He takes a moment more of breath.

He reveals a moment of weakness to his opponent.

BAM, the offensive comes and he is mashed into the ground.

Victory is won in that last second by the persistent who waits for the moment the enemy lets him win.


Defend vs Attack

Football makes the mistake of teaching us that there are two distinct and separate tactics you can take.

It states that you are either defence or offence. You are either defending the goal or you are seeking to score goals against the opposing team.

The problem is that in life you can play both imperceptibly. You can be defensive for a while but as soon as the opportunity comes you attack ferociously.

What makes life more interesting is that, unlike in football, you can trick your enemy using these two tactics that form two sides of the same coin.

Sun Tzu said:

“Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength”

Wars are won by deception. If you mislead your enemy, they do not have correct information on your plans and hence cannot harm those plans. If you on the other hand, manage to get hold of their plans due to their mistake, you can break them.

How can we deceive at the very start? We play defence as offence and offence as defence.

Hence the tactics of ‘attack is the best defence’ and ‘Bluffing’ in Poker.

When you are weak, show that you are strong, be overly confident, attack and let the enemy confuse it for strength and defend himself.

When you are strong, act defensively, lure the prey in and engulf them when they come for the attack.

If the investor has the upper hand, you need their money to progress and they don’t really need you, show them the other offers you receive, make a commotion, go in to their office and tell them they are wasting your time and you need to make a move somewhere else.

If the girl is playing tricky but you are in a strong position to date others, withdraw, go on dates with others and make her chase after you.

Practice and you will learn the best tactics in the right situation. Jumping into things means your knowledge is limited and as we learned information is the ultimate weapon. Concentrate of eliminating mistakes on your side. Look at your ‘enemy’ and wait for their mistake. Then attack.

“…the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victoryhas been won”

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