Books that Inspire the GP – “The Art of War”

Title: “The Art of War”
Author: Sun Tzu

“The Art of War” is the ultimate guide for men (and women) on how to deal with the many challenges of life. Although written for military purposes back in the 6th century BC, the principles discussed in the book transcend their original intended purpose. From effective ways to dealing with office politics to understanding how people behave, Sun Tzu has it covered.

One of my favourite quotes from this book is “To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” Now if we were to relate this to the dating arena, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that there a lot of people out there who are just genuinely afraid to open up (yes, there are times when it’s not your fault). Now the date might as well end there because your verbal slashings at her inability to come up with something interesting to talk about have failed. However, if you are able to ask the right questions that specifically targets her interests then the wall of resistance that she has put up will eventually break down. If you’re able to do this, you wouldn’t have to say another word because she’ll be doing all the talking. Hence, this is what I consider to be “supreme excellence”.

Since the original text was written in Chinese, there have been many interpretations of Sun Tzu’s work. With that said, it is imperative that you pick up a copy that gives you multiple interpretations from different people who have studied and applied these principles. Multiple interpretations equates to a more complete understanding of Sun Tzu’s original text. For this I recommend the work of Thomas Cleary who in addition to providing his own interpretations has commentaries from other key military strategists from Sun Tzu’s era.

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