How the Mighty Have Fallen!

…Neither is it the acme of excellence if you fight and conquer and the whole Empire says, “Well done!”…

…”What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.”…

“…Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage.”…

Excerpts From

The Art of War

Sun Tzu

The love for praises, accolades and power for the sake of it has always been condemned. This is not simply because the ancients want to preach about humility and modesty, but because there are real implications for the state. Rather than seeking excellence, mediocre achievements are celebrated, leading to loss of valuable time and material resources. In the excerpts above, Sun Tzu describes the real heroes. Those whom, behind the scenes, have done much more than those seeking praises could ever dream about. Paradoxically, such people could even be pushed aside except by those with good insight. The good news for Sun Tzu’s “clever fighter” is that the euphoria of glory is the bane of the glory seekers, for the open up themselves to unnecessary attacks.

If our force happens to be superior to the enemy’s, weakness may be simulated in order to lure him on; but if inferior, he must be led to believe that we are strong, in order that he may keep off.

Excerpt From

The Art of War

Sun Tzu

How much greater joy does one feel who looks without concern, not merely upon the election of a praetor or of a consul, but upon that great struggle in which some are seeking yearly honours, and others permanent power, and others the triumph and the prosperous outcome of war, and others riches, or marriage and offspring, or the welfare of themselves and their relatives! What a great-souled action it is to be the only person who is canvassing for nothing, offering prayers to no man, and saying: “Fortune, I have nothing to do with you. I am not at your service. I know that men like Cato are spurned by you, and men like Vatinius made by you. I ask no favours.” This is the way to reduce Fortune to the ranks

…”No man of exalted gifts is pleased with that which is low and mean; the vision of great achievement summons him and uplifts him“…

Excerpts from

Letters from a Stoic

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Only those to whom Seneca’s words above apply are true gems and geniuses, any others are simply fugazy. We are daily trampling one another in the race to outdo each other; not necessarily to add value but to get the glory. One way to keep ourselves in check is to ask if a course of action is for the greater good, or it’s simply about who gets the credit and other benefits.

How the mighty have fallen,

And the weapons of war perished!

2 Samuel 1:27

The Holy Bible

New King James Version


The Amateur Philosopher