Strategize Your Life Like an Old Prussian War Philosopher and Win More Battles Within

The Prussian War Philosopher Carl von Clausewitz wrote at length about a comprehensive approach to geopolitics he coined “grand strategy”. This way of thinking encompasses the motivations, risks and rewards from any endeavor.

We live in distracted times. Our two most precious commodities are time and energy.

How do we maximize our time and energy in the pursuit of our most meaningful goals?

Determine the Objective

The first step to getting what you want from life is to decide what you want.


Be ruthlessly honest with yourself about what you want and why. It is unfortunate that this part of the process is the most clarifying, because it is also the most difficult.

Spend real time and thought doing this. It will lend incredible clarity to your life.

Create a Plan

Once you have determined what is important to you, how do you move closer to that ideal state? Do you need to develop more skills? Do you need to expand the size and quality of your network? How do you need to grow to meet your goals? What resources can your employ to help you out?

Good thinking helps produce better starting decisions, which frees up time and energy we’d otherwise spend correcting mistakes.

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” TE Lawrence

Take Action

Talent alone gets you nothing in this world. This world is fully of wildly talented and educated people that never achieve anything.

Thoughts and prayers are great, but action is the foundation of all success.

We get bogged down sometimes because success and failure happen slowly. Almost imperceptibly, until the final result is in.

Champions are not made at pep rallies.

Be Relentless

Sir Edmund Hilary, credited as the first Westerner to summit Mt. Everest, was not successful in his first attempt. Prior to his success, he had been part of another expedition, in which the team not only had failed to reach the summit but also had lost one of its members. At a reception for the expedition members in London, Hillary stood to address the audience. Behind the platform was a huge photograph of Everest. Hillary turned to face the image of the mountain and shouted, “Mount Everest you have defeated us. But I will return. And I will defeat you. Because you cannot get any bigger, and I can.”

It may get worse before it gets better. But you can grow bigger than any obstacle in front of you.

Welcome to the grind.

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