Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
If our dreams are our intended destination, then our actions are the pathway to get there. However, there is another aspect to the realization of our goals: our plans, which are more or less the ticket to that destination. No targets can be accomplished without an appropriate strategy fine-tuned to one’s own strengths and shortcomings.
However, concealing your plans is sometimes as important as having them. This particularly holds true in a competitive environment, where the element of surprise can make all the difference between success and failure. The execution of such plans usually demands an unswerving impetus to catch one’s adversaries off their guard. One should allow the sheer momentum of the apparent spontaneity of their act to take their competitors by surprise, before delivering the sucker punch.
Another way of upholding this secrecy is by limiting the flow of information to one’s rivals. In a competitive, battle-like scenario, one should ideally have total control over what our opposite number knows about us. One must know how to manipulate them so they end up playing right into our hands. A somewhat less ‘ethical’ way of doing this is to deliberately mislead them so they underestimate our preparations and let their guard down. And then, at the time of the actual execution, one can take them by surprise by the sheer rapidity of our actions, leaving them with no or very little time to react. This, of course, takes a great deal of planning and anticipation, but then again, big accomplishments do not come easy in a cut-throat world.
Sun Tzu was an ancient Chinese writer, philosopher and military strategist. His philosophy on politics and war is relevant even today. He once remarked: “Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”