5 ways Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art Of War’ can help you have an epic New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration with friends, family and significant others. It’s a time when we can gain some closure on the grievances on the past year, reflect on our accomplishments, and plan for our future.

That being said, New Year’s Eve is also a time fraught with struggle. Alcohol and friends don’t always mix; many person’s NYE celebration have involved breaking up with their partners over the stress of things; and, we all know at least one person who has sent a drunk text messages to an ex boyfriend or girlfriend that they regret the next day.

Suffice to say, for all of it’s ideals, NYE has a grittier underside. For those uninitiated, or who don’t remain jaded from the reality of what NYE actually means, here are some tips from Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War to help you get through this NYE trouble-free.

1. Strategic Assessment

‘The Way means inducing the people to have the same aim as the leadership, so that they will share death and share life, without fear of danger.’

Your NYE won’t work unless you have a vision. Make sure you’re all on topic and okay with the way you want to celebrate the coming year. Whether it’s watching the fireworks while having a barbecue, or letting your hair down and going clubbing until dawn, make sure that everyone is behind the idea. Most arguments start when you, or your partner decide to do something different to what the other person wants to do.

2. Doing battle

‘When you do battle, even if you are winning, if you continue for a long time it will dull your forces and blunt your edge; if you besiege a citadel, your strength will be exhausted. If you keep your armies out in the field for a long time, your supplies will be insufficient.’

Make sure you’ve got enough momentum to keep the night going. If you’re with 20 friends at a house party, and all you have is a six pack of beer and a packet of pretzels between the whole lot of you, things are going to get lousy in a hurry.

3. Planning a siege

‘Generals are assistants of the nation. When their assistance is complete, the country is strong. When their assistance is defective, the country is weak.’

Remember that whatever it is you’re doing, you’ll be committed to the festival for most of the night – or until the main fireworks display is done in any case. Make sure you’ve gone above and beyond. Take the fall, if need be, and become the designated driver who remains sober for when people want to leave. Double check you have enough in the way of food and beverages if you’ll be parking it, and watching the fireworks. If you’ve got a nightclub spot organised, double check to make sure you and your friends names are on the door. If you’re planning on going out later that evening, make sure that your dress code is up to scratch – after all, we’ve all seen the angry reveller around midnight having a screaming match with a bouncer because his shoes weren’t up to scratch – don’t be that guy.

4. Formation

‘Defence is for times of insufficiency, attack is for times of surplus. Those skilled in defence hide in the deepest depths of the earth, those skilled in attack manoeuvre in the highest heights of the sky. Therefore they can preserve themselves and achieve complete victory.’

Stay within budget. It’s all fine and well to rent out a penthouse for the night, but it’ll do little good if you don’t have enough cash left over to buy dip. In some respects, the simpler the celebration, the more fun it will be as you can throw that extra cash into buying more sausages, grabbing a few more beers at the pub, or maybe even picking up some beach gear if you’re down by the water. Besides, remember, that the more complicated your celebration is, the more pressure you will be under to make it work. We’ve all seen people become frazzled as their expectations didn’t match up to reality on NYE. Avoid ending up having a lousy time, and keep things simple.

5. Force

‘Good warriors seek effectiveness in battle from the force of momentum, not from individual people. Therefore they are able to choose people and let the force of momentum do its work.’

The momentum here, or, ‘The Way’, is that everyone wants to have fun on NYE. The key is to hang out with the right people this NYE who all want to do a similar thing. If you have one friend who wants to sit at home and watch re-runs of My Little Pony and another friend who thinks you should all go to a death-metal concert in an abandoned abattoir on the outskirts of town, you’ll be sure to have problems in terms of friends getting along. Make sure that everyone in your circle is on page with everyone else. It’s fun to have a big group, that’s true, but you’ll have tension if you invite people who don’t see eye-to-eye with one another.

Thomas Green

Translation provided by Mr Thomas Cleary

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