The 33 Strategies Of War, Robert Greene

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Robert Greene is an American author, known for several publications. I wrote a review about his "Art of Seduction" book earlier this year. You can read the short review here. The 33 Strategies of War, his third published book, aims to guide the reader through everyday life and its subversive games with references to military principles of war and stories of campaigns and conflicts to demonstrate how strategies on the battlefield are not much different than the ones in the business world. The author believes that mastering the art of thinking strategically and being tactical instead of just reacting to life and what it throws at us is key to superior clarity. An individual has to first battle his/her limited irrationality and reach a state of balance in his/her mind. Thinking in the moment rather than remaining stuck in the past will get you to a higher level where you can deal with people on your team and resolve the constant friction that arises. Greene claims that by projecting yourself in a long-term plan or goal in the future and then walking yourself back in smaller steps until today, you will learn to become flexible and not rigidly tied to a linear set of actions in your future. This is crucial to remain focused on what really matters by constantly having your goal's priorities in the back of your head and inch forward to what you want to do or become. This mindset will allow you to think ahead and will make you "a superior calm warrior who outwits and outthinks other people". The book is another lengthy read and has raised controversial acclaim. Several US prisons have banned it from their reading material. I think it's worth skimming through for the historical examples that show us when fighting a battle is necessary, and that sometimes losing a battle to win the war is the ultimate plan of action. Because knowing oneself is not enough. One has to also know and understand one's enemy to control the dynamics at hand. This can be achieved by cold-blooded manipulation and ruthless deception as Greene details in the last part of the book, which has made the author thought of as a modern-day Machiavelli.

Happy reading 📚

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