Sun Tzu (孫子; pinyin: Sūnzǐ) is a honorific title bestowed upon Sūn Wu (孫武 c. 544-496 BC), the author of The Art of War (孫子兵法), an immensely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. Sun Tzu believed in the use of the military sciences to effect outcomes that would result in peace.
Let this list of 62 quotations by the Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu lead you to an inspirational day. Recharge yourself with motivational enemy, victory, general sayings, and satisfy your hunger for a better life.
What are the best Sun Tzu quotes?
We've made this hand-picked collection of quotes to show you what is Sun Tzu truly willing to say and leave for generations. Whether an inspirational quote or a motivational message about giving your best, we can all benefit from the wisdom, captured within these words.
It is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who will use the highest intelligence of the army for the purposes of spying, and thereby they achieve great results.
There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.
Secret operations are essential in war; upon them the army relies to make its every move.
He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
Victory usually goes to the army who has better trained officers and men.
It is essential to seek out enemy agents who have come to conduct espionage against you and to bribe them to serve you. Give them instructions and care for them. Thus doubled agents are recruited and used.
If your opponent is of choleric temper, irritate him.
For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.
Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.
Balk the enemy's power; force him to reveal himself.
Therefore the skilful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting;
he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.
If we know that our own men are in a condition to attack, but are unaware that the enemy is not open to attack, we have gone only halfway towards victory.
He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.
He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited.
O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands.
If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.
Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.
Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.
Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.
If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.
The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.
Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack.
The enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution.
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and you know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and you know Earth, you may make your victory complete.
The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself,
you will succumb in every battle
Quickness is the essence of the war.
If fighting is sure to result in victory, than you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it; if fighting will not result in victory, then you must not fight even at the ruler's bidding.
Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.