As strange it may seem, but ask any military commander and you will have plethora of stories that go on to prove the point, why at times loosing a few battles, irrespective how hard or easy they are is in the larger interest to win the final war! No, I am not a military strategist, but this principle perhaps fits aptly to the lives and times that we are going by and more than ever before, it has now become more important to identify which aspect of your life is you war and which one is a battle! Which is the one that you can let go and which is the one that you must engage with day in and day out until you accomplish that ever elusive objective! Join me here as we explore this space and understand why loosing at time is the final step to a magnificent victory!
If you have read any of the authentic memoirs on World War I or World War II, you will perhaps get a quick understanding about what, “The fog of war” means! When you have military action unleashed across many theaters, and with military strategy at work between both sides, as the war ensues each side will try to deviate, distract, dodge, trap, escape and beat down the other side, even for that to occur these multiple theaters of war though acting independently at first glance necessarily need to deliver results at the right time and place to tilt the balance of the war in their favour and this is the essence of loosing a few battles to win the war (the main battle- to put it in another choice of words!)
As in war, so in life, irrespective whether you are a young student trying to make your mark in the world of academics, or a young professional racing ahead that corporate ladder or a seasoned professional trying to create the next set of industry wide benchmarks- across each of them lies a common thread- that commonality pertains to the fact that irrespective of whoever you are and whatever you choose to do- unless you have identified what is equivalent of war in your life and what is the equivalent to the many battles that you must wage (albeit winning some and loosing a few), you will always seem to be challenged in an ever increasing complex pattern both externally and as well as within yourself!
Each day, we are compelled to make choices and as I had written in my earlier article, choices are what eventually make us but, largely dependent on other aspects associated with it! It is from here that as we begin to decide and check out what aspect of our life is the war that we must win and what aspects are the battles- which we are fine wining some and loosing some as long as the War is won.- So what are these battles and what is this war all about? Read on!
The battles that we need to pick and choose as we go about our daily lives can crop up from any area of our life and are related to our value system and beliefs that we end up anchoring upon as we grow. If the value and belief systems remain congruent to the ones given to us and the ones that we experience around- the number of battles to be fought reduces considerably! The moment there is disconnect between what we have been given to believe, follow and aspire to be and what we experience as individuals, conflict commences and like any conflict there is only one side that can win- either what you have been given to believe or the ones’ that you have experienced first hand! Depending on which side wins- that etched moment will further add a layer of foundational belief and character to who you are. If that new acquired character serves you to win the big war that awaits you- this battle was worthy enough of a victory- else a defeat here- by giving up your new acquired beliefs over the older ones’ would have been more valuable! Think about this! Let me explain this!
Consider, you are aspiring to be a cop, now as you grow you are going to be exposed to all the right and wrong that exists with any law enforcement society- this is your battle front and the aspiration that you want to be a cop is the war that you must win! Now if you start to despise all the negative aspects of being a cop- corruption, political pressure, seemingly in-efficient judicial recourse- and start thinking that none of this can be changed and you begin to ignore and start to act recklessly by trying to course correct people and situations assuming you are the law- by beating up people- you will perhaps win the battle of being right in that moment- but all and any chances of you being a cop will be dashed beyond repair- in a few societies permanently! This is a classic case of winning a battle emphatically, myopically and loosing the all important war altogether!
In another scenario, you see all this negative- understand why it is what it is, and wait for your time when you have the power to change that from the legal stand point! So here even if you seem to be submissive in the shorter time line over a period of time as you harness the power of the uniform that you wear, you are able to make more lasting impact with changes that you always wanted to do and more importantly winning the war by becoming a cop that you always wanted to be even if you would have lost a few battles on the way before becoming ready to have the power to change their outcome in your favour!
I can give you similar examples from virtually all arenas of the lives that we live, corporate, theater, art, politics, you name it and there will be stories having uncanny similarities but the singular point will be the fact that, people who are able to win the war of their lives are the ones’ who have learnt to lose their battles and more importantly know which to loose and which to win so that the balance of war is always tilted in their favour! So what’s the key here!
It all boils down to this simple truth of life, sounds a bit philosophical, but then truths are truths, once you have identified that golden purpose, objective of your life- that accomplishment of that desire/aspiration becomes the only and all important war that you must pursue and win- win because that moment of victory is what will go on to define who you are and what your life has been and what is the legacy that you will leave behind! With so much at stake, it’s but obvious one needs to apply time, patience and intelligence to decide what that war will be and time it right! Once you have identified the War that you must win, needless to say, like ghosts from nowhere you will find scenarios and challenges coming towards you, multiple of them a few times, feeble sometimes and strong at other times, these are all those battles which you need to weigh carefully every passing day/ hour to understand which to fight, which to delay, which to ignore and when you do fight, when and whether you fight to win or fight to loose- all these decisions need to be aligned in a manner that ensures that you are always congruent to your final objective of winning the war!
Battles that sap your energy, drive you crazy, take you away in opposite journeys and directions from the direction where your final war zone is serve no purpose and these are better ignored, delayed or if necessary lost! Battles that mark your presence like a milestone and which keep you aligned to the trajectory of your war zone are the ones that you need to win, because each victory on the way is a statement- a statement of your arrival on the war theater and ask any military commander, they will tell you, apart from the loud noises that the guns and machines make, if there’s anything else that melts the resolve and minds of the enemies it is the courage and achievements of the people in command.
Once you reach the war zone of your life empowered by your won battles and humbled by the ones’ you have lost- you have a finer judgement to time your move and ensure that no matter what the odds you will be able to achieve your objective- whether that is a job as a cop, that corporate CEO chair, that leadership position in an office, starting your own enterprise, serving the people- whatever is your war cry- all of that can be realized once you arrive at the war zone as a battle hardened soldier whose vision is focused and glued to the victory of the final war!
Learning what to let go, learning what to hang on to and choosing to loose a few and never loose some, is an art and science which gets perfected not in any school, but in the lab of your life! As unique as we are, so will be our battles and wars- each one cut out to mold us, shape us and push us ahead- willingly or unwillingly so that we are able to reach the war zone to win and achieve what we have set out for and while doing so we are able to give up on things and people that don’t serve us in the context that they tend to drag us down rather then propel us ahead! It is certainly not a call for being selfish, rather it is the interest of selflessness of serving the greater good for the people around you that you must lead, by loosing some and winning what you must- it is only then that as individuals and societies we will continue to have real life everyday heroes who make the difference by doing ordinary tasks in an extraordinary way and thereby keep the human spirits high and hold that promise which says, as long as you know where you want to be- you will get there once you have made up your mind- and as long as you are wiling to pay the price that it may cost! Whether that cost is justified or not is another story because success is finally something that has to be shared with the community and in isolation nothing works, neither happiness, nor leadership nothing!
I leave you here with these thoughts, urging you to take some time this weekend that you have, think deep within and decide what is the war of your life which you want to get into- which is that war that will define you, to create a lasting legacy of values and beliefs that you stand for and what are the battles that you are ready to win and loose to tilt the balance of this grand war in your favour!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Until than stay wise, keep thinking and yes breathe!