In “The Art of War,” Sun Tzu dispenses easy-to-digest advice regarding military tactics and strategies. Although specific to warfare, his ideas have endured, as they are frequently applicable to life outside of military confrontation. Whether mentoring someone at the office or teaching your kids how to rule the playground, Sun Tzu is there for you.
What is less known is how he influenced Joel Osteen and his iteration of the prosperity gospel. As it is written, “All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is we are able to share it with others on Christmas and every other day of the year.”
Yes, we can. We can see those tactics and we can share. Not always literally, but we can share nonetheless. We can win. Our time is too valuable, our destiny too important to go through the day weighed down by offense. Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack.
It's like people don't drink blood from the skulls of their enemies anymore.
Well, not literally anyway.
— Darla (@ddsmidt) April 9, 2016
The enemy will try to label you with everything you’ve done wrong, so let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
I'm not clever enough to orchestrate anything, let alone spell it without autocorrect.
— Marlebean (@Marlebean) April 14, 2016
If your opponent is of choleric temper, irritate him. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises your marked moments are on their way.
Whatever doesn't kill me makes my drinks stronger.
— Pugnado (@LuvPug) May 7, 2012
You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, “There are roads which must not be followed, armies which must not be attacked, towns which must not be besieged, positions which must not be contested, commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.”
This sounds like a terrible idea. I can't wait!
— Revveler (@NotARatsAss) April 7, 2016
In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity
My son just explained how he wants to make a necklace out of my hair which is totally normal & doesn't at all concern & terrify me.
— Valerie (@ValeeGrrl) April 7, 2016
We are set in our ways, bound by our perspectives and stuck in our thinking.
Adult: Watch the bubbles! *blows bubbles*
Child: *eyes go all black* HOW DO YOU PRODUCE THESE, SORCERER
— pat tobin (@tastefactory) April 2, 2016
The key to living in victory is to learn how to get up on the inside.
I wore a poncho & infinity scarf, at the same time. Apologies for causing the Earth to tilt on its axis.
— Mrs. Fitz (@PFitzpa) April 11, 2016
There is a lot right with you.
My neighbors filed a noise complaint from all the screaming in my head.
— Aimee Helene (@AimeeHelene1) April 12, 2016
Have you ever considered that you cannot change what you tolerate?
"Do whatever you want," she said, as she continued to clean her rifle.
— Stabbatha Christy (@LoveNLunchmeat) July 29, 2014
Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
Are you both still alive?
-me, from the other room, after hearing my kids fighting
— Vodka n Tots (@Vodkantots) April 11, 2016
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
Me: I squashed a poisonous spider in my house
WebMD: Serial killer
— Bécca (@AddledPixie) April 12, 2016
What you receive is directly connected to what you believe.
By "clean eating" do you mean I shower first or…?
— Krispy (@P0tterhead_394) January 7, 2016
Be extremely subtle even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.
Guy: Can I get your number?
Me: I kill plants for fun
— Ya-Ya™ (@macchiatonumb) January 6, 2016
Some things you can only learn in the struggle.
House 4 Sale: older home w/ character & charm. Lovely bookshelves. Ignore Matthew McConaughey, we don't know how he got trapped in the wall.
— Cat Friendship Club (@iLikeCatShirts) April 11, 2016
He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.
Hi, little spider. I see you on the wall by my bed. You're kinda cute in spindly-legged way.
Stay away from my mouth and no one gets eaten.
— WhimsiKel (@k_lli) April 11, 2016
Often, out of our greatest rejection comes our greatest direction.
*Hamburglar returns home with bag of hamburgers*
*his wife, holding a crying baby, slaps the bag out of his hands*
"WE NEED MONEY, DAMMIT!"
— huntigula (@huntigula) December 26, 2013
If you learn to pray bold prayers, it allows God to do big things in your life.
Your giraffe hates you.
— Scubavelli™ (@ScubavelliDeux) April 10, 2016
If your thinking is limited, then your life is going to be limited.
Requirement for my funeral: everyone has to get up and say something stupid I did.
I'm expecting it to last at least a month.
— Father With Twins (@FatherWithTwins) April 13, 2016
Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.
I like my whiskey how I like my whiskey: whiskey.
— Wendy S. (@maughammom) January 13, 2013
You weren’t created to simply exist, to endure, or to go through the motions; you were created to be really alive.
I wanna start a third political party. In my pants
— beth loves cake, so (@bourgeoisalien) April 12, 2016
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
*looks at fish tank
6: It's part cat and part fish?
Me: No it's just a fish
*Catfish maintains eye contact while pushing over treasure chest
— Make Meh Great Again (@TheAlexNevil) April 8, 2016
Mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy.
Him: You were supposed to do something about the groundhog under the deck.
Me: I did. I named him Lord Melbourne. He likes Cocoa Puffs.
— Annie (@HatfieldAnne) July 8, 2015
Thus the expert in battle moves the enemy, and is not moved by him.
Like my grandmother always says, change routes often to confuse the mafia.
— Unwarranted (@_Aynne_) April 14, 2016
Great results can be achieved with small forces.
All these moms in Build-A-Bear keep looking at me like my flask is a bad thing.
— Ashley Austrew (@ashleyaustrew) October 18, 2015
You need to be around people who know more than you and have more talent than you. Don’t be intimidated by them; be inspired.
I summon Thee! O fiery Condor of Obliteration! Perch upon my wrist and blaze a path through this throng of bozos.
— Taffy Bennington (@singwithTaffy) April 10, 2016
You can be in the storm, but don’t let the storm get in you.
My court appointed shrink said I'm doing fine so I stabbed him.
— Jawbreaker (@sixfootcandy) April 14, 2016
Be where your enemy is not.
I bet insane asylums of the 1800s were mostly just full of people with too many kids and no TV to babysit them.
— Walking Outside (@WalkingOutside) April 13, 2016
The dream in your heart may be bigger than the environment in which you find yourself.
I don't want to brag but I'm probably the most successful person in this McDonalds PlayPlace ball pit.
— The Glad Stork (@TheGladStork) April 5, 2016
The worst calamities that befall an army arise from hesitation.
I've never met anyone who's lost at Russian Roulette.
— Mᴏᴛʜᴇʀ-ᴀᴛ-Lᴀᴡ (@MUMSIEesq) April 12, 2016
You must learn to follow that love. Don’t ignore it. Act on it. Somebody needs what you have.
I'm sorry I threw confetti at you right after we broke up.
— Miss Moneypenny (@MoneypennyNaked) July 16, 2015
When you are tempted to get discouraged, remind yourself that according to God’s word, your future is getting brighter; you are on your way to a new level of glory.
Time Traveller: it worked! what year is this good sir?
Future Citizen: dude it's 3488 AF
Time Traveler: you mean AD?
Future Citizen: wut? No
— Seamus O'flaugherty (@seamussaid) March 2, 2016
You have to learn to follow your heart. You can’t let other people pressure you into being something that you’re not.
At a business meeting:
"How about SuperCupid?"
"No, expectations will be too high"
— Kyle Patrick (@kyry5) April 20, 2015
To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take fright at the enemy’s numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence.
Who decided that every ice cream truck had to have such a murdery sounding theme song?
— Valerie Tosi (@valerie_tosi) October 13, 2015
It’s not always easy to get over some of those bumps in the road, those disillusionments and disappointments. It’s going to take a strong will.
Someone needs to tell my subconscious that a velociraptor is not a good pet.
— ZARA[af] (@ohheyitszara) April 10, 2016
He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
My hobo army is just a bunch of feral cats.
— Kris V (@krisv_723) April 9, 2016
If you know you have to wait anyway, why not make a decision to enjoy your life while you’re waiting?
I was hiding under your porch because I love you.
— α geek (@alfageeek) March 5, 2016
Be the one to stand out in the crowd.
Instead of whispering sweet nothings, could you scream loud obscenities so I know it's real?
— Sara Mansford (@SaraMansford) April 14, 2016
At first, then, exhibit the coyness of a maiden, until the enemy gives you an opening; afterwards emulate the rapidity of a running hare, and it will be too late for the enemy to oppose you.
"I don't know why people call me a cougar?"
*continues to drag deer carcass up tree*
— V. (@Lovestained555) April 10, 2016
God wants you to succeed; He created you to live abundantly.
Jesus: Peter, make us breakfast
Peter: Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?
Jesus: Just bring the fish, Peter
— F. Bill McMorris (@FBillMcMorris) April 10, 2016
Start expecting things to change in your favor. Dare to boldly declare that you are standing strong against the forces of darkness.
Satan is gonna be mad when he finds out that I've sold my soul 398 times using different names.
— non human paul (@Death_Buddy) April 7, 2016
One need not destroy one’s enemy. One need only destroy his willingness to engage.
Husband: *walks in* Someone drew dicks on my car.
Husband: …Did I cheat on you in your dream again?
— Mommy Cusses (@mommy_cusses) April 14, 2016
Do all you can to make your dreams come true.
My worst decisions were made completely sober.
— Sandra (@Sanbel11) April 6, 2016
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
Realized I never said "unquote" after reciting a famous poem in 10th grade. Sorry if you thought everything I've said since is Shakespeare
— It's Abby. Yep. (@abbycohenwl) March 23, 2015
Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.
Ninjas aren't born in strip mall dojos.
They're born as majestic waiters and waitresses at Applebee's.
— Sadie Smith 2.0 (@SadieSkyNinja) April 8, 2016
At the start of each new day, remind yourself: “I am talented. I am creative. I am greatly favored by God. I am equipped. I am well able. I will see my dreams come to pass.”
I'm just hanging out here till I'm old enough to stand outside yelling at birds
— MF FairyPrincessSmoo (@Smooheed) April 8, 2016
Keep on keeping on!
I once saw two crows eating a pigeon that wasn't quite dead yet so yeah I love being a mom.
— krismuscookie (@krismuscookie) April 6, 2016
When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move.
I threw old kale under my feeder and now the chipmunks are walking around in yoga pants and requesting coconut water.
— Abby Heugel (@AbbyHasIssues) April 5, 2016
Don’t use your words to describe the situation. Use your words to change the situation.
What base is it when a giant but gaunt crow drops a bundle of brown pine needles at your feet
— Super Cynthia (@Super_Cynthia) April 8, 2016
Often, out of our greatest rejection comes our greatest direction.
[Billy Corgan camping]
*struggles to tune guitar, singing
♫ the world is a campfire♫
and starting over for 20 minutes*
— Dr. Jimi Torosian (@jimmytorosian) May 27, 2015
You have to believe in yourself.
My diary reads like the drunken ramblings of a lunatic.
I think I have a bright future writing poems.
— ∀LLEY C∀T (@deardilettante) April 7, 2016
If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.
Delusion is half my charm.
— SHANtilly Lace (@theshantilly) April 13, 2016
Don’t use your energy to worry. Use your energy to believe.
— EnvyDaTropic™ (@envydatropic) April 5, 2016
Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.
Life is just a bunch of good decisions I haven't made.
— Elizabeth is Ruined (@Elizasoul80) April 7, 2016
For now, we’ve reached the end. Hopefully you’re feeling inspired and motivated to win all your battles, to get prosperous. Or maybe after I tricked you into reading so many inspirational comments, you’re dreaming of a coma. Either way, you’re welcome.
Stop your inspiration, I want off.
— ʝo̥ Ðιg̥gιтy (@WhaJoTalkinBout) April 9, 2016