Regardless that this post is a compendium of our many past posts on Sun Bin, It also expands on some portions of those previous posts. In the At some point, we will include the projected Sun Bin's assessment session of his opponent.
If you are an underdog contesting in a competitive situation and searching for some tactical ideas while staying focused on your target. That is one heck of a challenge. Please read the biography of Sun Bin
- Shedding the Shell Like a Cicada (金蝉脱壳Jin Chan Tuo Ke )
- Horse Racing for Tianji (田忌赛马 Tian Ji Sai Ma)
- Besiege Wei to Rescue Zhao (围魏救赵 Wei Wei Jiu Zhao)
- Reducing (the Display of) Stoves to Deceive the Opposition (减灶惑敌 Jian Zao Huo Di)
The first tactic that Sun Bin was famous for the Shedding Shell Like a Cicada tactic (金蝉脱壳 Jin Chan Tuo Ke). It is best used when one is in a disadvantageous position.
The moral of the story is that everyone who craps on you is not necessarily your enemy, and everyone who gets you out of the crap, is not necessarily your friend. If you're warm and happy wherever you are, you should maintain a sense of quietude. "
Sun Bin should have been mindfully aware of the full configuration of their situation before making a relevant strategic decision . . . Knowing the full scope of one's current situation, does matter . . . Knowing the right process model and implementing it properly is what counts.
During the book burning session, Sun Bin also realized that the impact of the Pang Juan's deception.
Focusing on self survival while showing the guise of zero-threat became his immediate goal. He had to mindfully eradicate any trace of self pity before proceeding forward.
As his own self pity dissipated, whatever pain that Sun Bin felt, kept him awake, angry and focused while reminding him that his survival was his principal focus. The pain reminded him that he was still alive and that continual of his self-survival was pertinent.
Horse Racing for Tanji (田忌赛马 Tian Ji Sai Ma)
The key steps to Sun Bin's approach are:
- Collecting the specific data and assessing it;
- Choosing the proper matchups; and
- Creating the particular schemes for the matchups.
Certain strategic situations require one to know the standard and the scope of the situation before making a relevant decision.
- What was Sun Bin thinking about when strategizing on the "Wei and Zhao" situation?
- What was in his Big Tangible Picture when Sun Bin was thinking about the sieging of Zhao state?
- Why is this stratagem categorized in the 36 Stratagems category of "Advantageous Stratagems?"
Reducing (the number of) Stoves to Deceive the Opposition
Conclusively, he capitalized on his opportunity from the positive side of the seventh, the eight and the ninth terrain (situation).
The outcome became obvious. Sun Bin prevailed and Pang Juan became an anecdote of what happens to an over-emotional rival who possessed superficial strategic skills.
Additional historical information can be found at this link.
In summary, knowing the relevant components within the current situation and the connectivity to othersituations does matter.
To thrive in the current world of uncertain shifts and changes, the successful strategists pragmatically create their own opportunity by understanding of how the world operates instead of searching and waiting for a certain scenario to occur.
"He who has mastered this method knows the way of heaven and earth, has the support of the populace, and is fully aware of the opposing situation. … When he needs to determine his battle array, he knows how to prepare the formations. He combats when there is assurance of victory. He stops fighting when there isn't. … For one who has really mastered the method, his opposition can do nothing to escape their defeat."
--- An updated paraphrase from Sun Bin (famous strategist from the Warring States era and the great grandson of Sunzi)
The Distinction between Sunzi and Sun Bin
One great distinction between Sunzi's and Sun Bin's view of strategy is that Sun Bin focused on understanding the intricate mindset of the targeted opposition before deciding on any act of influencing it. Therefore each implemented move would have some significance and would not be wasted.
One great distinction between Sunzi's and Sun Bin's view of strategy is that Sun Bin focused on comprehending the mindset of the targeted opposition before deciding on any act of influencing it. Study those well-know ploys and one could see the common connection between all of the ploys.
To those who have read the Sunzi essay, do you think any of you really understand the black art of strategic assessment from a panorama view (or from a "open field awareness" perspective)?
Do you think you or others can integrate the comprehension of each competitor's objective and the many degrees of specifics behind their tactical approach into your Big Tangible Picture?
Assess. ... Position. ... Influence. ...
"Concentrate every effort on subduing its heart and mind." - Sun Bin Chapter 33 (Ames translation)
"The expert in using the military has three basic strategies which he applies: the best strategy is to attack the enemy's reliance upon acuteness of mind; the second is to attack the enemy's claim that he is waging a just war; and the last is to attack the enemy's battle position (shi). - Sun Bin , Chapter 34 (Ames translation)
When competing in a strategic situation, are you able to mindfully assess the Big Tangible Picture and then ask the following question, " ...Could I succeed?"
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