Warfare Strategies – Identify Your Enemies

Warfare Strategies: pg 1

Warfare Strategies: pg 2

Have you ever started to read a book and get stopped on the table of contents? Me neither, until today.

The 33 Strategies of War This morning I started reading The 33 Strategies of War. The first chapter is Declare war on your enemies: The Polarity Strategy.

Life is endless battle and conflict, and you cannot fight effectively unless you can identify your enemies. Learn to smoke out your enemies, to spot them by the signs and patterns that reveal hostility. Then, once you have them in your sights, inwardly declare war. Your enemies can fill you with purpose and direction.

This sounds pretty harsh to me. But, rather than think of people as my enemies, I could think of other less personified enemies; distraction, giving up/non-commitment, envy, impatience, etc.

It seems like that is not enough, though – to just have a word for enemies. I need to know them. to learn about them. When do they show up? What makes them take action in my life?

It’s so easy to get distracted by the variety of enemies we have in life… teh breadth of our problems. The solution, it seems, is to take them on as we are (hopefully, and seldomly) taught to take on debt… one at a time, with focus and determination.

The method my wife and I were taught about killing debt was to decide on one bill, scrape together another $50 or $100 or whatever you can to pay extra on it every month. Only pay the minimum on the other bills. Many times, taking the smallest balance is the best because 1) you feel like you’re winning when you kill that one off and 2) you can take the full amount you were paying on that bill and start paying down the next one with that amount as the extra.

That is the kind of focus and identification and planning we can use for our other vices. Take one, a small one, and focus everything you can scrape together at killing it off. Once you feel it’s dead, take all that energy, plus the motivation and encouragement you feel from killing one off and push forward on the next vice. Theoretically, it should come easier and easier, even though the debt may take longer to pay off as a whole.

So, step 1: Identify your enemies and know their strengths and weaknesses. Declare war on them inwardly.

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum
(let him who wants peace prepare for war)
Vegitius, A.D. fourth century

[tags]strategies, 33 strategies of war, war, vices, gtd, getting things done[/tags]

Nate Ritter lives in Austin, Texas (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

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