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Self-Help

How To Win Everyday Battles

Life is a battlefield. Nothing is easy, we have to fight our way through everything, and with this in mind, it would be a good idea for us to know how to win every day battles and to familiarize ourselves with combat strategy and learn the best tricks in the book from trained warriors.

War is part of life, it is in the nature of most living organisms to engage in battle, defeat their opponents, assert power and dominate. With humans, we see this happens in wars, in business, on a soccer field, in video games, and the chances are even when we are not waging war against our environment, we are waging war against ourselves.

Sun Tzu (544–496 BC) was a Chinese military commander strategist and philosopher who wrote the most influential treatise on war ever written. The Art of War consists of 13 chapters each of which is devoted to the strategic and tactical aspects of warfare; it explains in detail how to behave in battle but more importantly how to win.

You can win everyday battles by being smart — use intelligence over brute force.

How to win everyday battles – You can win everyday battles by being smart. Use intelligence over brute force. Photo by Warmtall via freepik.com

Sun Tzu emphasizes the use of intelligence over brute force and teaches us how to win battles the smart way. He believes that winning the war with as little unnecessary combat as possible is the key to true victory. Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting and the key to doing so is to know your enemy. If your opponent is arrogant, pretend to be weak, so he will underestimate your capability. If he was relaxing, attack and give him no rest. If his forces are united separate them. Sun Tzu is essentially saying if you know your opponent’s weaknesses and know how to exploit them you will never lose a battle.

“If you know the enemy and you know yourself you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. But if you know neither the enemy nor yourself you will succumb in every battle”

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu claimed that the highest victory is defeating the enemy without fighting. Unfortunately, this ideal isn’t always an option. That’s why in life we ought to pick our battles carefully, we have to decide which battles are worth fighting and which are a waste of energy and resources.

“It is more important to outthink your enemy than to outfight them. All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when we are far away we must make him believe we are near.”

Sun Tzu

Aside from specific tips on combat, the Art of War has a profound philosophical side to it. Sun Tzu argues that war shouldn’t be taken lightly, and that the highest warfare is defeating the enemy without fighting and that being still and inscrutable is the business of a general. The beauty of the Art of War is that its wisdom can be applied to our modern lives as well. The book emphasizes the importance of good preparation. The underlying philosophy is that victory and defeat are already decided before the battle is fought. It is important to find balance and inner peace when going to war, we shouldn’t be too reckless but not act too cowardly either.

You can win everyday battles by not waiting for the calvary to save you because you are the cavalry

How to win everyday battles – You can win everyday battles by not waiting for the calvary to come and save you, you are the cavalry. Photo by Warmtall via freepik.com

But sometimes being smart is not enough, especially if you have brute force all around you. The cavalry ain’t coming. You are the calvary. When push comes to shove and you have no choice but fight, get into the arena and fight like your life depends on it, because it does.

No one battlefield look alike, they come in all shapes and form. We have a tendency to portray battlefields with imagery of soldiers being stuck in trenches firing at each other or imagery of civilians having to hunker down the basement whilst bombs are being dropped from the sky; some battlefields are not so obvious to spot but they are there, nonetheless. Whether you realize it or not you are living in a world where psychological warfare, information warfare, financial warfare, spiritual warfare is a common occurrence. There is a battle that is happening right now that is unfolding in front of our eyes, it is the battle for our thoughts, our sovereignty, our humanity.

In military strategy, before combat units are sent to combat zones, they have first to learn the art of mobility, protection, and precision firepower. In the military world, the ability to maneuver cross-country and in the most restrictive terrain is essential. During World War II tanks brought tactical mobility to the battlefield, they helped reduce the number of casualties, and disrupted the enemy through decisive action.

In life, if you are stuck in your own self-righteous and rigid way of doing things then you will lack the mobility to advance. Stiffness of thoughts originates from an inability to think critically preferring instead to submit yourself to groupthink and an ideology without questioning it.

The world is not black and white, there are several shades of grey in between. Things change all the time. What is true today may not be true tomorrow. You don’t need a group, a leader, or some media platform to tell you how to think and how to act. You can think for yourself. Don’t let people put you into a box and stick a label on it, because that makes you predictable, vulnerable, and controllable. Be your own person, be curious about what’s going on, ask questions, think for yourself. If you know how to observe, listen, think, and act accordingly, you become a dangerous person.

How to win everyday battles – If you know how to listen, think, and act accordingly you become a dangerous person. Photo by Warmtall via freepik.com

In the military world, when you have a good protection system in place you maximize the mission performance with minimum casualties. Psychological operations (PSYOP) are a vital part of military strategy. PSYOP enhances combat power and offers some level of protection from the enemy, through the use of information, and disinformation.

Once you are positioned strategically, you can use your firepower against the enemy. Overwhelming precision direct firepower will have the effect of intimidating, demoralizing your adversaries, and imposing unacceptable costs on the aggressor, leading to victory. In life, you need to have courage in order to fight those battles. Courage is the mental preparedness and ability to deal with difficult challenges, and sometimes seemingly impossible circumstances. It is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, intimidation, and other threats.

In life, some battles are worth fighting for and others aren’t. Some situations may require an immediate response, others may not. Sometimes patience is required. Do not come rushing and roaring at your targets because this could be the easiest way you can lose them from your grasps. Take a step back and think of the best approach. Sometimes to be successful, you have to forgo speed and aggression; slow down, listen closely, and wait for the perfect timing. Focus on your goals, quietly and silently. And then when the time is right, trust your instincts, take action with swiftness and confidence. Balance all the possibilities before you make a huge decision and act swiftly when required.

And this my dear friend is how you can win everyday battles.

Personal Note

I have been working closely for the past months with Data-Driven Investor (DDI) Publication. DDI has recently launched a new marketplace/platform where people can book a paid one-to-one session with an expert of their choice. DDI asked me to join their panel of advisors/experts in the Leadership, Coaching, and Personal Growth category. Here is my profile. If you wish to book a one-to-one chat with me you can do so on this platform.

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

Categories
Self-Help

Life is a Game. Here’s How to Up Your Game. Think Outside the Box

Life is a game. Here’s how to up your game. Learn the Art of War

Life is a game, here’s how to up your game, think outside the box, learn the Art of War, and finally act like a David and not like a Goliath. When we play a game, be it a sport like tennis or basketball or a card game like poker, we have fun whilst playing the game and feel good when we win and disappointed when we lose; but whichever way the game goes we know that we will put the game away (it was just a game after all) to get back to our ‘real-life’ made up of our family life, our professional life, our social life, or public life.

Except that life is a game just like all the other games, but we don’t realize it is so. Each of us has made up a set of rules (our values) based on our worldview and our beliefs under which we operate, and we think our rules are right and inherently true and everyone else’s is wrong. On top of our own rules, we have to abide by the laws of the land where we live. There are a lot of rules to maneuver through and knowing how to play that game in a skillful manner would require you to be smart, to think outside the box, to think strategically, just like a general would; and I know of no better general that Sun Tzu to teach us a thing or two about the Art of War.

Life is a game. Here’s how to up your game. Think outside the box and learn the art of war. Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

Sun Tzu was a Chinese General, military strategist, and philosopher in Ancient China. He is the author of The Art of War which is accepted as being a masterpiece on military strategy and the best book ever written on the subject; it is often being cited by generals, scholars, and businessmen. Sun Tzu’s approach to warfare does not put brute force at the center of his strategy, he focuses more on alternatives to battles, the use of spies, the making and keeping of alliances, the uses of deceit, the use of the terrain, the weather and the enemy’s morale as powerful weapons. These days, we call this thinking outside the box.

Life is a game. Learn to up your game by learning the Art of war. Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

“The Art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected”

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak”.

“Be extremely subtle even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate”

“If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

Life is a game. Here’s how to up your game. Learn the art of thinking outside the box

Life is a game. Here’s how to up your game, think outside the box. Thinking outside the box is a well-known and well-worn cliché that is being used abundantly in the business world. It seems that everyone is obsessed with this trendy concept. But what does it mean?

Sometimes, we get stuck in our own ways, we like doing things the same way they have always been done, because why re-invent the wheel, right? True, except that if everybody is comfortable operating within the box there is no growth, no evolution just stagnation. Thinking outside the box means confronting problems the unconventional way, thinking creatively and freely, and encouraging frequent challenges to the status quo.

Life is a game. Here’s how to up your game. Think outside the box. Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

Thinking outside the box requires that we question the status quo regularly by asking questions such as “Why?”,” What if?’, “How might we …?” Humans do not operate creatively and obediently at the same time: one excludes the other. Obedience demands that you override your own thoughts and act according to an external command or you conform to a standard way of doing things. Creativity is often associated with artistic endeavors, and with certain professions and crafts, but it is more than that. Creativity is about bringing something that was not there before. Thinking outside the box requires unobstructed thinking; it also comes from connecting the dots and having a broader perspective on things. This is how new ideas are introduced into the world.

There are two types of circumstances in which thinking outside the box is required. The first one is when we face a problem that we’ve unsuccessfully tried to resolve through all the logical and traditional solutions at hand. The second type is when there is no imminent need for change or novelty, but they would still lead to an improvement.

The story of David and Goliath is a good example of how one can think and act outside the box

David and Goliath’s famous battle took place in the valley of Elah in the North of ancient Palestine. The Jewish army is facing off against the Philistines they are both entrenched in their positions on opposing hills in a stalemate situation because of the terrain; it would be suicidal for either army to run down one side and up the other, rendering them vulnerable to the enemy.

The Philistines send over their champion fighter named Goliath. He is a giant of a man wearing nearly 100 pounds of armor, carrying a sword, and a shield. He came down the valley to ask the Israelites to send him an opponent to fight in one-on-one combat, the winner would determine which army emerges victorious.

Life is a game. Here’s how to up your game. Be a David and not a Goliath. Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

None of the Israelites soldiers step forward to fight against Goliath, except a small shepherd boy named David who come forward to volunteer to fight against Goliath for the sake of his people. Looking upon him, King Saul voices his concern that a small boy like him without military experience doesn’t stand a chance against Goliath a trained warrior. In response, David insists that he has experience hunting down lions and bears who steal his sheep. Eventually, King Saul agrees to send him to fight the giant, probably because nobody else volunteered, and offers David his own armor; but David refuses.

Goliath thought he was going to be challenging his opponent in hand-to-hand combat. However, David had something else in mind. He knew he had no chance if he fought on the giant’s terms, so he refuses the armor King Saul offers him, saying he can’t move quickly enough under so much weight. Instead, David picks up a handful of stones and runs down the valley armed with his sling. When Goliath saw who the Israelites army sent to fight him, he laughs and says to David quickly approaching “Am I a dog that you should come to me with sticks?” Undeterred David swiftly places a stone in a sling, striking Goliath in the forehead. Goliath falls to the ground, at which point David runs to Goliath, picks up his sword, and chops off the giant’s head.

What have we learned from the story of David and Goliath?

Malcolm Gladwell will help us answer this question, he wrote a whole book on this fascinating subject titled “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants.” We all think that we have the whole David and Goliath story figured out, i.e., the little guy won against all odds because he had guts and was resourceful. We assume that this story is about the weak beating the powerful with the help of pure blind faith, a few stones, and a sling.

Life is a game. Here’s how to up your game. Be a David and not a Goliath

But Gladwell thinks we all have it wrong. It was Goliath who was the vulnerable one. His giant like physique made him slow and clumsy and it is very likely that he was half-blind (double vision is a common side-effect of an excess of human growth hormone). The only way he could beat David and win the one-on-one combat was for him to get his hands-on David; but David was smart and knew that he had no need to go anywhere near Goliath and could strike very accurately from a safe distance, which is exactly what he did. Ancient armies used to contain within their ranks slingers who could be very accurate and deadly from distances as great as 200 yards. David did not fight to abide by the traditional rules of the duel; he capitalized on his skill with the sling, which allowed him to fight from a distance and changed the rules of the duel to his advantage.

The other smart move that David had which gave him the decisive advantage over Goliath was to persuade the Israelites that single combat didn’t need to mean sword versus sword but could be any weapon you like. From this angle, it looks like Goliath had as much chance against David as a man with a sword would have against someone armed with an automatic weapon.

Gladwell’s conclusion is that the strong are surprisingly weak If looked at the whole situation from the right angle, and people who seem weak can turn out to be surprisingly strong.

Don’t be a Goliath, dare to be a David. And this, my dear friend, is your Quest.

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