Art of War

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What does burning your bridges and boats mean in Art of War?

According to Sun Tzu’s famous book, is an ancient Chinese military treatise that has been used for centuries to help leaders win battles. One of the book’s most famous pieces of advice is to “burn your bridges and boats” – a metaphor for cutting off all options except victory. The enemy can’t escape but the army can’t escape as well. They’re doing all in their power to whatever it takes at all cost to win that war.

How did Adrian apply this to himself on a much smaller scale?

I’m currently at Mt. Pritchard Holiday Inn, competing for Asia Pacific Snooker Tournament. I’ve booked 2 nights at the hotel (the other day and yesterday). Yesterday, I played terribly luckily it’s in a round robin so I have one match left and that’s today. If I win, I play tomorrow and if I lose I go home. But 5 minutes ago, I just booked another an extra night in the hotel. Why would do that? Because I’m burning my bridges. I feel confident, I’m playing against a really good player. If you know Snooker, he got a 114 yesterday so he’s very, very good.

How can you burn your own bridges and boats to succeed at whatever the cost?

I.e. Failure is not an option.

Maybe it’s something you keep saying you have to do but you haven’t done. Maybe your leverage is by not doing your task, you suffer a certain consequence like giving someone money or lose valuable things. So you do whatever it takes to create that leverage. It could be something to do with your business and attracting more customers to create more profit for you and your staff. Just increase your chances of success.

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