Welcome to this new series where we will explore Liu BoWen’s 100 Unorthodox Tactics and how those tactics can apply to modern day life.
Tactic No. 1 is Estimates:
“In the Tao of warfare, calculation is foremost. Before engaging in combat, first estimate the relative sagacity and stupidity of the generals, the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, the numerousness and paucity of the troops, the difficult and ease of the terrain, and the fullness or emptiness of the provisions.”
This first tactic mirrors that of the first chapter in Sun Tzu’s Art of War where he said, “Structure warfare according to the following five factors, evaluate it comparatively through estimations and seek out its true nature. The first is termed the Tao; the second, Heaven’ the third, Earth; the fourth, Generals; and the fifth, the laws for military organization and discipline.”
There is no doubt that Sun Tzu was a Qi Men master. Here is how the first sentence in the Art of War corresponds to a Qi Men chart:
If the intent of the hypothetical chart above is to find out the true nature of your market condition, and the question asked prior to plotting the chart is, ‘What is the current condition and possible outcome of our actions?’, this is how it will read:
- What is the current condition and possible outcome of our actions? With Asker and Outcome in the same palace, it looks like you have already set your plans in motion. Your intent is protective in nature. The 9 Earth suggests you are in defensive mode, looking to protect your market. Your current condition is good, with the Life Door, business is moving and you are being productive. You are looking to use unconventional methods and you feel the urgency to move fast.
- Your actions are driven by possibly knee-jerk reactions from the fear permeating the business world at this moment.
- The outcome of your current plans will lead to an aggressive disruption of the status quo which you hope will help you gain a bigger share of the market.
- Here’s the thing, though, whatever it is you are doing now, is going against what the Market wants at the moment. This is seen by the East palace countering the South West palace which houses the Scenery Door.
Looks pretty simple, doesn’t it? It’s always easy when you are not reading your own chart.