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I am looking for an idiom or expression, conveying the same meaning as this one - Where force fails, skill and patience will prevail. I do not know whether this one is used in English, so I am looking for a different one. The implication is that one finds another way to do something, using his wit and acumen, instead of doing it with physical force. For example:

  1. He is a sharp-witted person. Instead of carrying wood logs down to his basement by hand, he came up with an idea of using a treadmill to finish the job.
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    The only thing that comes to mind is "brain over brawn". it might not be an expression, but it is simple and clean, and pretty much what you mean. – Uhtred Ragnarsson Mar 19 at 21:23
  • Somewhat related is "the pen is mightier than the sword." – user888379 Mar 20 at 1:14
  • I find nothing wrong with your phrase in the first place. It may not be a set phrase that's used all the time (although it sounds like it should be), but it's perfectly understandable, conveys exactly what you want, and even rhymes. I don't think that using something else would be preferable. – Jason Bassford Mar 20 at 14:33
  • I thought of 'less is more' but I think it needs more. – Nigel J Mar 20 at 19:17
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Attack by Stratagem Sun Tzu SunTzuSaid

Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.

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Work smart, not hard

Your brain is the most powerful muscle in your body

The Mind Is The Body's Strongest Muscle

  • The nearly rhyming "smarter, not harder" is more common in my experience. – Davo Mar 20 at 1:52

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