3. There are roads which must not be followed, armies which must not be attacked, towns which must not be besieged, positions which must not be contested, commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.

塗有所不由軍有所不擊城有所不攻地有所不爭君命有所不受

Sun Tzu

There are certain situations in warfare where it is not advisable to take certain actions. For example, there may be roads that are not worth pursuing, armies that are too powerful to attack, towns that are not worth besieging, and positions that are not worth contesting. Additionally, the quote suggests that there are certain commands from a sovereign or ruler that should not be followed, perhaps because they are not in the best interest of the army or the broader strategic situation. Sun Tzu’s philosophy was that a successful military commander should be cautious and strategic in their decision making, rather than reckless and aggressive.

In business, some opportunities are not worth pursuing, and some actions are not worth taking.

In business, it is important to carefully evaluate opportunities and make strategic decisions that are in the best interest of the company. This may mean avoiding certain opportunities or actions that could lead to financial loss or damage to the company’s reputation. For example, a company might encounter a business opportunity that appears attractive at first glance, but upon further consideration, it may not be worth pursuing because it could be financially risky or damaging to the company’s brand. Similarly, there may be situations where it is not advisable to contest a competitor’s position or market share, or where it is not in the company’s best interest to obey certain commands from a superior or regulator. By being cautious and strategic in decision making, businesses can avoid potential pitfalls and position themselves for success.