Article PDF: 7.1.1 Creating Surprise

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Sun Tzu's five rules for creating surprise in a chaotic environment.

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This article explains that, though competition is inherently chaotic, we still expect it to make sense. We are wired to find patterns even in meaningless noise. Despite the overwhelming complexity of competitive environments, we still cling to our expectations of order. Admitting that we cannot understand a situation creates cognitive dissonance, especially since we have been trained in linear thinking rather than adaptive methods of Sun Tzu's strategy. We cling to our expectation. We are surprised when situations fail to develop according to those expectations. The reality of chaos affects us emotionally on a subconscious level. The unrecognized chaos makes us feel tense, frustrated, and even fearful.