I first came across a book on 36 stratagems in my teenage years. At that time I felt disgust towards the book, as it looked to me more like a collection of dirty tricks and villainy tactics, than a book on the art of war, even less so as a book on business, politics or social communications.
Because of the frame I put the work in back then, I never really paid attention to multiple mentions of the work in relation to business and other activities I’ve been involved in.
As a side note, around 8 years ago I got interested in a martial art called ILiqChuan, and has been practicing and even teaching it since. The art is based on the principles of Tao and Zen, and with years of practice I started to appreciate how simple principles of yin, yang and their balance can be applied at different levels and plains and lead to very interesting results.