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Preserving the State

 

Disciplines > WarfareThe Six Secret Teachings > 1.8 Preserving the State

Teaching set  | Observed lessons | Discussion | See also

 

Teaching set

Civil Secret Teachings 1.8 (8)

Observed lessons

  • Everything changes, and often in cycles like the seasons. Understanding these can help you manage them.
  • There are times of birth, growth, flourishing, decay and death. We do different things in each time, for example as in the seasons of the year.
  • Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Neither good nor bad times are permanent.
  • When times are good, prepare for worse times.
  • When times are bad, work towards better times.
  • It is a leader's job to look ahead and get people to prepare now.

Discussion

Many people see things in the short term, and assume that tomorrow will be much like today. In times of plenty, they relax and enjoy themselves. In times of difficulty, they become depressed and may give up hope.

The leader should know that all things change, and that both good and bad times are temporary. They hence must act to prepare for the bad when it is good and keep the people positive and motivated when it is bad.

See also

Change Management

 

Sawyer, R.D. (1993). The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China, Basic Books

 

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