Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The 36 Strategies: #34, Scheme with Self Inflicted Wounds

Next to the Art of War by Sun Tzu, The 36 Strategies is the most widely known Asian treatise on strategy. Where the Art of War is a methodical overview of the entire subject, The 36 Strategies tries to teach the idea of "strategic thinking" through 36 maxims, 6 sets of 6 maxims each, intended for different situations.

# 34, Scheme with Self Inflicted Wounds means to play the victim. By playing the victim, you can win over sympathy. If you can win over sympathy of the opponent, you make be able to work your way into his confidence.

There is a dangerous flip side to this strategy, and that is that you look weak.

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