6 Battle Tips You Can Use Every Day
How a 2,500-year-old Chinese war manual was used to win sport’s ultimate trophy against the odds — and how its compelling lessons can help you win your own battles.
When the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl in their “toughest test yet” this week, few people realized that the fighting spirit in the team’s most important player — a “bionic man” gunning for a final victory after several catastrophic neck injuries — was thanks to The Art of War , a war manual written by a Chinese general over 2,500 years ago.
Peyton Manning, the quarterback held largely responsible for the team’s win, had been left with potentially career-destroying neck injuries in 2012. The damage was so bad that his fitness trainer, the illustrious Mackie Shilstone, admits he had to “break him into pieces and put him back together again,” to prepare him for the Super Bowl.
Drastic action was needed, then, and Shilstone knew just where to turn: to 6th-century BC war manual The Art of War. The morning of the game, Shilstone sent Manning passages from the infamous text, hoping that Sun Tzu’s words would make him “believe he had that one last game inside him,” according to The Guardian. And it worked: Manning launched a “sterling, swarming defensive effort” on the Carolina Panthers, helping the Broncos clinch a decisive 24–10 victory and propelling himself into the history books.
So why did Shilstone choose The Art of War? Because Sun Tzu’s words can help you prepare for, fight, and win any kind of personal or professional battle — no matter how much the odds are stacked against you. His most compelling and practical lessons are…