I’ve been enjoying a little reading during the week, reflecting on Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Bit melodramatic for the corporate office? Not a bit of it, for I shall bathe in the blood of my enemies in the upcoming tiddlywinks championships! Or if someone writes minutes incorrectly. Or is over thirty seconds late to a meeting.
Widely identified as one of the greatest military tacticians and analysts the world has ever seen, Sun Tzu was a Chinese General in the 5th Century whose teachings became a bible for aspiring warmongers. Although if the battlers were indeed worth their salt, they’d be embracing Master Sun’s first teachings of ‘breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting’, which sounds eerily close to Bruce Lee’s in the kung-fu/jeet-kun-do classic Enter the Dragon. As with a lot of tacticians and leaders, Sun Tzu first concentrates on self before concentrating on the enemy: know thyself.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”.
I have always associated travel with self-analysis and improvement, digging under the layers to find out more about myself as I get time away from the usual stresses and strains of life. But why wait until I travel? I endeavour now more than ever to self-reflect during the stresses and strains of life – you shouldn’t skip your meditation or gym classes during busy times, that’s when they’ll help you most. I shall leave you once again with an excerpt from the irrepressible 7 Habits, from the American religious leader David O. McKay who taught:
Writing and writing...