Sun Tzu & The Art of War Pt.II

It has been said that this life is an unforgiving battlefield.  In my last post on The Art of War I used several quotes that showed how Sun Tzu's tactics can be applied to the spiritual life.  In this post instead, I will just use one quote because it describes the essence of success through adapting:

"He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain."  

The key to survival in this life is adaptability.  The military has a saying which simply goes, improvise, adapt, overcome.  This maxim should serve as the basis for our lives.  At some point in life we will be attacked by enemies including the ones within ourselves.

Statistics show that in life about 50% of people will disagree with you.  The percentages are even greater whenever you assume more responsibility.  Everything might be OK one day, then suddenly the people you used to call your friends have now become your enemies. Human nature is strange like this.  People are fickle.  People are subject to their whims and fancies.

So what are you to do if you are placed in a situation where you are facing your enemy?

The answer that Sun Tzu gives is adapt, adapt, adapt.  How?  It all depends on the circumstances but here are a couple principles of adaptability that can work.

1) Adapt to the designs of your opponent.  One of the things that I admire about New England Patriots coach Bill Belechick is his ability to adapt his game plan to his opponents.  One week he might do something while in the next week he will do something entirely different.  He always keeps his opponents on their toes not knowing what to expect on a weekly basis.  In your life sometimes you also have to adapt to your circumstances.  If you are accustomed to doing things a certain way and it is not working try a different approach. If you walk a certain way walk another. If you speak at a certain voice speak another way, If you are shy become very talkative and if you are talkative act shy. Your new unpredictablability will become an asset and it will set you apart from your peers and you will stand out.

2) Always think 2 steps ahead.  Let's say that their is someone in your life that is an enemy in the sense that they make life very difficult for you and perhaps your family.  So how can you take him on and make life more bearable? By disarming him; learning his habits and his weaknesses. Then make a move when he least expects it. Even if the move is just to have an important converstation or to confront him about his poor behavior.  

The beauty of Sun Tzu's Art of War is that it can applied to all areas in life.  To survive and thrive in this life one must be tough but sharp at the same time.  Jesus said this exact thing to his disciples when he sent them to evangelize the surrounding towns, "Be wise as serpents, but harmless as doves." Mt 10:16  Nothing exemplifies Sun Tzu's philosophy better than that quote.



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