In any combat situation, the master fighter, the master general, the master tactician, always attempts to manipulate and control his adversary. Its inverse is critical to survival: one must not allow himself to be manipulated by an adversary. This simple truth is echoed in Sun Tzu’s terse but definitive maxim: The wise general cannot be manipulated.
In life we seldom face actual physical combat. However, daily we are assaulted by the very exigencies and challenges of life. They become our adversaries. Disallowing them from manipulating us is critical to living a successful life. As wise generals of our own army of one, ourselves, we must so center ourselves in wisdom and power that we cannot be manipulated by such challenges, whether those challenges arrive in the form of people, events, circumstances or problems. As wise generals we cannot afford to be manipulated by any force—internal or external—if we are to maintain our individual sovereignty as human beings.