A skillful leader of troops is not oppressive with his military strength.
A skillful fighter does not become angry.
A skillful conqueror does not compete with people.
One who is skillful in using others puts himself below them.
This is called virtue of non-competing.
This is called the strength to use men.
This is called matching Heaven, the highest principle.
As I Understand It:
Early in our lives we are taught that in order to win we must defeat our opponent. In this chapter the sage advises to reverse our thinking, to make noncompetition our strength, to see yourself in your adversary. A good fighter is the one who is neither angry nor violet. Instead of being hateful towards your opponent think of him as your partner in this dance of life. You will be victorious. If you don’t, anger, hate, violence, hostility will suck the Tao energy from within you.
If you reverse your thinking you will notice that your opponent is, in fact, working to help you achieve success. Without a combat you wouldn’t progress. When you are neither angry nor violent in a battle you raise your energy to a new level.
Violence, physical or psychological, weakens you. Cooperation strengthens you. Applaud you opponent’s financial, professional, and emotional successes. Your level of excellence will soar.
Dyer, W. Wayne. Change Your Thought–Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao. Hay House, Inc. 2007.
The Way of Lao Tzu (Tao-te Ching), Translated, with introductory essays, comments, and notes by Chan, Wing-Tsit. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1963.