19th Century Prussian war philosopher Carl von Clausewitz wrote about a comprehensive approach to geopolitics he coined “grand strategy”.
How can we apply this to our own lives?
First of all, what does “grand strategy” even mean?
In terms of how Clausewitz thought, it was an overarching philosophy for how to achieve national goals.
This line of thought went beyond simple tactics, but comprised an entire ethos governing behavior.
Okay so what?
The simple fact is, we live in distracted times. Our two most precious commodities are time and energy.
How do maximize our time and energy in the pursuit of our most meaningful goals?
Determine the Ultimate 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.
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? What resources can you employ to help?
Good thinking produces better starting decisions, freeing up time and energy we’d otherwise spend correcting mistakes.
After we have a plan, we can start moving confidently in the direction of our goals.
That’s when things start to get exciting.
“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
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.
To ambition and action we must also add resolve.
Champions are not made at pep rallies.
Sir Edmund Hilary, credited as the first Westerner to summit Mt. Everest, was not successful in his first attempt.
He had previously 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 London reception, Hillary gave a speech. Behind the platform was a photograph of Everest. Hillary faced the image 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.
It’s never going to be easy, but it’s always going to be worth it.
Welcome to the grind.
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