The Art of War (I)

“Although we have heard about such a thing as stupid haste in war, intelligence has never been seen associated with long delays.”

Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”, Chapter II: Conducting War

This is another example of a classic work of literature that offers no easy answers, yet reminds us of a fundamental principle: balance in everything.

As the Jewish proverb says: “Measure seven times; cut once. ” Preparation and accuracy should be at the forefront of any plan, and are essential to success.

But what Sun Tzu points out is that, at some point, we have to be confident that we prepared as best as we could, and move on to action. The perfect plan doesn’t exist – if only because any encounter with the enemy always necessitates changes.

To pursue perfection, then, is to plan until the enemy is knocking at our door, having surrounded our position.