I’ve used a lot of analogies in the past when it comes to dealing with life, and this post is no different. This time, however, I’ll talk about how life is a constant push-and-pull which requires some serious strategy.
Previously I wrote Life as a Game and What the Book of Job Really Means, which were both meant to describe my general philosophy on life. In Job I wrote how life often tests us with occasional heavy struggles in order to test our mental and physical fortitude (hence the importance of constant training), whereas in Game I wrote a bit more on the side of getting things done and dealing with external factors. In a way, this article combines the two of these together into one cohesive story.
Life is a lot like a war. Maybe not a literal war, with all its blood and death (hopefully not), but more so in its strategy format. You have your team (yourself) and an enemy team (life). You have your objective (have a nice, happy, long life) and the enemy team’s goal is to try to stop you whenever it can. There is a strategy to this (how do you plan your life to make sure its nice, happy, and long?) but at the same time there are incremental, tactical battles (setting up habits, dealing with obstacles, etc.). There is a fog of war to the enemy’s actions – you never know what is going to strike next, you merely have to predict the best you can and prepare yourself for anything. You need to have a good defense, but you also need to move up the assault. Part of that defense/offense has to do with the training which I mentioned earlier.
Understanding life this way makes the works of classical military strategists a lot more meaningful. For example, Sun Tzu’s famous “never siege a castle” motto makes a lot more sense when you define “waiting for the castle to starve” as “waiting for the right moment to pounce on an opportunity”. Alexander the Great and Napoleon’s campaigns can be great motivation, not for conquering the world but for conquering your life.
A lot of what I’ve said on momentum also applies here. As I mentioned, there are tactical battles (the day-to-day), and then there is the war. If you lose a battle here or there it won’t matter, but if you let the losses get to you, then you might not win that war.
And here’s the thing: you can lose against life. It’s not entirely hard to win, given you get the right resources (knowledge) and have at least a bit of a knack for campaigning. But it is possible to let life defeat you. In fact, it defeated many others in the past.
Fight the war, and don’t let it get to you.