For example, we worry about others do, how they'll view us, and the decisions they will make that might negatively affect us.
While those are valid concerns, the relevant question we must ask ourselves is whether it's worth our time and energy to think about them.
The answer, if you think about it, is no. And here's why.
The obvious answer is we don't have control over what others do. We have influence but that's far from having control. And that's actually a good thing. Because we don't want anyone else to control us either. We might allow others to influence us through reason, but not control.
The less obvious answer is we should spend more time and energy on our own actions. They are absolutely things we can control. Complete control. And we can take those actions now. No need to worry about how, what, when.
Sun Tzu emphasizes the importance of being proactive and take preventative measures. Whose responsibility is this? Ours. He understands we ourselves can make a positive impact on the future if we act in the present.
So even though Sun Tzu strives to create results favorable to us through the decisions of others, the basis of that calculus lies in our own early initial actions.
For instance, if we want another person to listen to us, and nobody is listening to each other, then we must take it upon ourselves to start listening even when nobody else is listening. Extend an olive branch. Taking the initiative and being an example won't always work, but we have a much better chance of success than doing nothing and letting things happen as is.
Therefore, we must ponder and be careful about how we approach matters and how our actions affect others. As for what other people do, we can be confident they will do what they do, problems and all, as it should be, not as we wish them to be. Fortunately, we don't need to wish and worry about what we ourselves will do, and what we are doing now. We have full control. So take it.