“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” — Sun Tzu
Looks like we’re back to some of Sun Tzu’s work.
This makes sense of course. Although nobody is really sure who exactly Sun Tzu was or if he even existed, we know he held a lot of wisdom. Today we’re going to delve beneath the surface of the quote from above.
First off, what defines war? Is it fighting? Is it two armies going against each other? Is it rage and anger going head to head? But wait, if it’s that, then can’t certain arguments be defined as war? I couldn’t tell you exactly what war is, but I do know one thing. It’s bad. War brings death and destruction to everything it touches.
So how do we end it as quickly as possible?
Well, we could take the approach of the United States: have more guns and bigger bombs than anybody else does, and threaten to use them (again) if anybody disagrees with us. That being said, we could take the Icelandic approach and simply… not have an army. The problem with both of those solutions is that… well, they work, but they’re extreme. Nobody likes being around bullies, and the same goes for those who don’t stand up for themselves. The key in this is to find and maintain balance between our aggression and submission. No, I don’t mean submission as in completely giving up, I mean submission as in not resisting.
Tzu says the best way to win is to not fight at all. In most cases… this is actually pretty true. If you run into a wall, it would be a whole lot easier to step down from that fight and just go around it. When it comes to things like discipline, however, we need to exercise our aggression.
Aggression in and of itself isn’t a bad thing — it’s violence that ruins it’s impression. Aggression is probably our best tool as humans — we use it to lead, make decisions, take what’s rightfully ours (that we need), defend ourselves, stand up for what’s right… the list goes on.
Keeping that in mind, let’s get back to the point. Sometimes we need to use aggression. When it comes to disciplining ourselves, for example, we need to be aggressive towards the negative thoughts in our brains that tell us we’re too tired or too weak.
Then again, sometimes we need to submit to those thoughts in order to rest and recover. So how do we achieve balance? When do we know to submit or proceed with clean, healthy aggression?
The best way to know whether to move forward or backward is to look at how you got to where you are. Are the positives and negatives balanced? Have you given and received equal amounts? Are you feeling too much of one emotion? At the end of the day, I can only guide you in the direction of balance — but truly achieving it is something you have to do for yourself.
What do you think? How do you achieve and maintain balance? I’d love to hear what you think in the comment section. I would also greatly appreciate if you left a like, shared this post with your friends, and followed. It’s absolutely free, and you can always change your mind later if you decide to do so. Also, stay tuned for future blog posts every Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and try to be the reason someone smiles today 🙂