Pick Your Battles

Pick Your Battles

If a battle cannot be won, do not fight it.
Sun Tzu

     You have to pick your battles wisely. Not every conflict is worth turning into a major battle. There are certain battles which simply cannot be won no matter how much effort you put into it or what strategies you use. They are just losing causes, and fighting such battles does little to help you accomplish your ultimate objectives. The wise man will not let his pride get in the way of obtaining his goals, and fighting a battle which cannot be won is a prime example of allowing your pride to cloud your thinking.

It is important to keep in mind that retreating from an individual battle does not mean that you are surrendering or declaring defeat in the war. A battle is no more than that – one battle. To continue with the battlefield/war analogy, a battle is simply one skirmish; your ultimate objective is to win the war. Many a pawn has to be sacrificed in a chess match in order to capture your opponent’s king, which is ultimately all that matters in the overall scheme of things.

Countless acts that seem ridiculous have hidden
reasons that are exceedingly wise and sound.
La Rochefoucauld

It does not matter how many pawns you give up if you end up winning the overall game. Capturing your opponent’s king is all that really matters, not winning, or appearing to lose, individual battles. I say “appearing” to lose, because sacrificing a pawn is not actually losing a battle when it is part of your overall strategy. Even though your opponent may believe that he has won that battle, appearances are many times deceptive.

The people are always impressed by
the superficial appearance of things.

     You cannot really consider something a loss if it is part of your strategic plan. It doesn’t matter what someone else thinks about it or how it appears in the eyes of the unknowledgeable. Not everyone’s opinion matters. The only opinion’s which matter come from those who have wisdom and knowledge in the specific matter in question. Everyone else’s opinions are meaningless.

Ask opinions of those individuals who
spend their time studying and learning.

     Always keep your ultimate objective in mind. Don’t let your pride or anger interfere with your overall victory. I know that this is easier said than done at times, but it is a very important part of the game, and one that takes some self-discipline and practice to perfect. Have an overall plan for victory. Be willing to sacrifice a battle here and there in order to win the war in the end, and don’t expend energy fighting a battle which cannot be won at any cost. Be rational and deliberate.

Always remember you ultimate objective. Is your ultimate objective to impress those around you by seemingly being undefeatable or is it to achieve victory in your final goal. In the overall scheme of things, all of those small battles are meaningless if you achieve your ultimate objective in the end. Never lose sight of your ultimate objective!

He who lacks foresight and underestimates
his enemy will surely be captured by him.
Sun Tzu

Bohdi Sanders

Dr. Bohdi Sanders is the award-winning author of the #1 Bestseller, Modern Bushido: Living a Life of Excellence, along with 8 other books on the warrior lifestyle and martial arts and warrior philosophy. Dr. Sanders is a 6th Dan in Shotokan Karate and is the CEO of Kaizen Quest Publishing. All of his books are available on both Amazon and on his website, www.TheWisdomWarrior.com. Dr. Sanders’ NEW BOOK, Men of the Code, is NOW AVAILABLE at: MEN OF THE CODE AMAZON and on his website.

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