Victorious warriors win first, then go to war.

Cover of "Art of War"

Cover of The Art of War

In a quote that supports my principle for life, Sun Tzu wrote, “Victorious warriors win first then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war then seek to win.”  This is from the book The Art of War by Sun Tzu and was written two and a half thousand years ago. Sun Tzu’s thirteen chapters, specifically written about success on the battlefield, caught the eye of Ho Lu, King of Wu, who successfully used these strategies to win in war. Since then, Tzu’s work has become required reading for militaries worldwide. Granted, this quote is from a different time period and was used by the military, so the question becomes, “How can this 2,500 year old quote help me in my life today, in 2012?”

Let me translate: Win first then go to war = imagine your success, then go get it. See what it is you want first and then proceed to accomplish it. Plan your success and then succeed. Visualize what it is you want to accomplish and then go accomplish it. By “winning first” you’ve set the table for success by creating a blueprint in your mind that will lead you to your goal and see your success materialize. The “defeated warriors” didn’t have a plan, map or direction–they just went to war. In life we need to live by the same principle that was taught 25,000 years ago: Successful people win first then go to work, while unsuccessful people go to work then seek to win (the word “work” referring to working towards any goal and not specifically “work”, meaning your job).

We too must plan our success just as warriors were taught centuries ago. In our jobs, at home with our families, in our finances, etc. it’s necessary to have a plan for what it is you want to accomplish in the critical six areas of life; family, finances, personal, health & fitness, career/school, and spiritual. Know where you’re going and what it is you’re working toward. Make sure you have plenty of good reasons for accomplishing your goals so when you hit obstacles, you continue toward the target without hesitation. Without a will to succeed, you become unfocused, lazy and have a lack direction which could lead to challenges that become hard to overcome. Having goals and a direction builds discipline every day as you become more aware that everything you do is critical to your chosen goal.

Sun Tzu was a brilliant war strategist that wrote about how to be successful on the battlefield. He knew every situation that an army could be in and how to prepare for success. Use his brilliance as a guide for your life. Have a life you’ve always imagined, but first, imagine it!

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8 Responses to “Victorious warriors win first, then go to war.”

  1. Nigel says:

    Keep working ,remarkable job!

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  3. A very nice blog, obviously you have spent some time crafting it. Good job.

  4. Kim Amick says:

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.

  5. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  6. John Ashbee says:

    Just what I needed to start the week off the way I need too! Thanks for always helping me strive to make it happen.

  7. admin says:

    Thanks for the comment John, glad you could get some motivation from this post!

  8. для says:


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"Victorious warriors win first then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war, then seek to win." Sun Tzu

"The aim, if reached or not, makes great the life." Robert Browning

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." Albert Einstein
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