Law 47: Do Not go Past The Mark You Aimed For, In Victory Learn When To Stop


The moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril. In the heat of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you had aimed for, and by going too far, you make more enemies than you defeat. Do not allow success to go to your head. There is no substitute for strategy and careful planning. Set a goal, and when you reach it, stop.

The Lesson First

There is nothing more intoxicating than victory, and nothing more dangerous.
· In the realm of power, you must be guided by reason.
· To let a momentary thrill or an emotional victory influence or guide your moves - will prove fatal. When you attain success, step back.
· Be cautious. When you gain victory, understand the part played by the particular circumstances of a situation.
· Never simply repeat the same actions again and again.
· History is littered with the ruins of victorious empires and the corpses of leaders who could not learn to stop and consolidate their gains.
· The powerful vary their rhythms and patterns, change course, adapt to circumstance, and learn to improvise.
· You must step back and look where you are going.
· Control your emotions and come to a kind of mental halt when you have attained success.
· Steady yourself, give yourself the space to reflect on what has happened.
· Examine the role of circumstance and luck in your success.
· You have to be able to control yourself before you can control the others.

A Dangerous Game

· Success plays strange tricks on the mind.
· It makes you feel invulnerable, while also making you more hostile and emotional when people challenge your power. I
· It makes you less able to adapt to circumstance.
· You come to believe your character is more responsible for your success than your strategizing and planning.

All Good Things Must Come to an End

· You need to realize that your moment of triumph is also a moment when you have to rely on cunning and strategy all the more.
· Consolidating your power base, recognizing the role of luck and circumstance in your success.
· Remaining vigilant against changes in your good fortune.
· It is the moment of victory when you need to play the courtier's game and pay more attention than ever to the laws of power.

Good Luck V. Bad Luck

· Good luck is more dangerous than bad luck.
· Bad luck teaches valuable lessons about patience, timing, and the need to be prepared for the worst.
· Good luck deludes you into the opposite lesson, making you think your brilliance will carry you through.
· Your fortune will inevitably turn, and when it does you will be completely unprepared.
· The good luck that elevates you or seals your success brings the moment for you to open your eyes:
· The wheel of fortune will hurtle you down as easily as up.
· If you prepare for the fall, it is less likely to ruin you when it happens.


1. People who have a run of success can catch a kind of fever, and even when they themselves try to stay calm, the people below them often pressure them to go past their mark and into dangerous waters.
2. Have to have a strategy for dealing with these people.
· Simply preaching moderation will make you look weak and small-minded; seeming to fail to follow up on a victory can lessen your power.
3. When you beat an enemy, make your victory complete.
· Crush him into nonexistence. In the moment of victory, you do not restrain yourself from crushing the enemy you have defeated, but rather from needlessly advancing against others.
4. Be merciless with your enemy, but do not create new enemies by overreaching.
5. There are some who become more cautious than ever after a victory, which they see as just giving them more possessions to worry about and protect.
6. Your caution after victory should never make you hesitate.
7. Do not lose momentum, but rather act as a safeguard against rash action.
· Momentum as a phenomenon is greatly overrated.
8. You create your own successes, and if they follow one upon the other, it is your own doing.
9. Belief in momentum will only make you emotional, less prone to act strategically, and more apt to repeat the same methods.
10. Leave momentum for those who have nothing better to rely upon.