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If you are new to this series, please read the introduction.


Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power

When you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender instead. Surrender gives you time to recover, time to torment and irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane. Do not give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you – surrender first. By turning the other check you infuriate and unsettle him. Make surrender a tool of power.

Our overreaction to the moves and actions of our rival is what often causes us to lose power. The overreaction causes difficulties, which we could have avoided had we been more reasonable. It also causes an endless feedback loop because the rival then overreacts to our overreaction. It is always a first instinct to react, to meet aggression with aggression. The next time someone pushes you and you find yourself about to resist yield, turn the other cheek, bend. This often neutralizes the aggressive behavior. Your rival expected you to resist and is caught off guard and confounded by your lack of resistance. By yielding, you control the situation, because your surrender is part of a larger plan to lull them into passivity.

When the great lord passes, the wise peasant bows deeply and silently farts. - Ethiopian proverb

This is the essence of the surrender tactic. Inwardly you remain firm; outwardly you bend. Deprived of a reason to get angry, your opponents will be bewildered and they will unlikely to react with more aggression. Instead you are allowed time and peace of mind to plan counter moves.

Voltaire was living in exile in London at a time when anti-French feelings were highest. One day, while walking on the street, he found himself surrounded by an angry crowd. "Hang him, hang the Frenchman," they yelled. Voltaire calmly addressed the crowd, "Men of England! You wish to kill me because I am a Frenchman. Am I not punished enough by not being an Englishman?" The crowd cheered his thoughtful words and escorted him safely back to his lodgings.

In many cases it is better to surrender than to fight, especially if faced with a more powerful opponent and certain defeat. It is also better to surrender than to run away. Running away only protects you for the moment; the aggressor will always continue to be aggressive, in this case.

In 473 B.C., in ancient China, King Goujian of Yue suffered a defeat from the ruler of Wu, in the battle of Fujiao. Goujian wanted to flee but he had an adviser, who told him to surrender and place himself in the service of Wu, from which position he could study the ruler. Following this advice, Goujian gave the ruler all of his riches and worked in the stables as the lowliest servant. For three years he humbled himself, while gathering information. When a terrible drought struck Wu, and the kingdom was weakened from inner turmoil, Goujian raised an army, invaded and won with ease. This is the power of surrender - it gives you time to plan. Had Goujian fled, he would not have won.

Imagine an oak tree. The oak that resists the wind loses its branches, one by one and with nothing remaining to protect it, the trunk snaps. The oak that bends lives longer, its trunk growing wider, the roots deeper and more tenacious.

Power is always in a state of flux. Since the game is fluid and there is always an ebb and flow, those with power will often find themselves on the downward swing. If you find yourself temporarily weakened, the surrender tactic is perfect for raising yourself up again. It disguises your ambition; it teaches you patience and self-control; and it places you in the best possible position to take advantage of changing circumstances. If you run away or fight back, in the long run, you do not win. If you surrender, you win.

Any questions??