Preparing for Academic Wars

I have gathered a few useful quotes for academics who want to excel in their work. As our jobs become increasingly more competitive, I thought it was fitting to chose war-related quotations. The following are certainly applicable in Academia, so take them seriously and adjust them accordingly!

“Work hard and become a leader; Be lazy and never succeed. – -Proverbs 12:24

You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war. — Napoleon Bonaparte

Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft. — Theodore Roosevelt

Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power. — Lao Tzu

In war there is no substitute for victory. — General Douglas MacArthur

Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt. — Sun Tzu

Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the Attack. — Sun Tzu

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. — Sun Tzu

Spontaneous adaptability is the key to a warrior’s survival. — Suro Mike Inay

If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four sharpening the axe. — Abraham Lincoln

The stick is equally as deadly as the blade in the right person’s hands. — Suro Mike Inay

To fight and conquer in one hundred battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy with no fight at all, that’s the highest skill. — Sun Tzu

Speak softly and carry a big stick. — Theodore Roosevelt

Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. — Winston Spencer Churchill

God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it. — Daniel Webster

You win battles by knowing the enemy’s timing, and using a timing which the enemy does not expect. — Miyamoto Musashi

It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it. — Gen. Douglas MacArthur

Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance. — Sun Tzu

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. — Napoleon Bonaparte

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. — Sun Tzu

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. — Sun Tzu

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog. — Mark Twain

Speed is fine but accuracy is final. — Bill Jordan

All war is deception. — Sun Tzu

Mental bearing (calmness), not skill, is the sign of a matured samurai. A Samurai therefore should neither be pompous nor arrogant. — Tsukahara Bokuden”

Unknown transl.

Economic historian and numismatic consultant


  1. Okaayyy…. Whom are you imagining as the enemy? Other scholars? Then we’re all doomed, and I should switch to my alternative career of sausage production, smoking and brewing immediately. The administrators who, at least some of the time, support our work? Students?

    • On the contrary, you should embrace the challenge and keep your sausage making production for peaceful intervals :)

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