Saturday, 28 October 2017

The Unknown

Sun Tzu wrote in the Art of War wrote "If you know yourself you have one third's chance at victory. If you know yourself and your enemy you have two thirds' chance at victory. If you know yourself, the enemy and the battlefield victory is certain."

All good and simple until you realise that the time at which you will know all 3 of the above shall very rarely occur.

What it tells us about tournaments- where we can leave the battlefield out of the equation since we can safely assume that both fighters would know it ( fighting area, rules etc.) it means that your chances in a tournament should be 50/50 right? Well... if only the outcome of fights or sparring matches hinged on knowledge alone...

The fact remains, where fighting is concerned, victory is seldom if ever guaranteed... 

This is not only true for fighting, but for many areas in life.

Growth, be it in financial investments, business or our personal lives, require the taking of risks.

I was (probably still is) a big fan of the Tao Te Ching's doctrine of not seeking to travel beyond the borders of my town and so forth since it is the method for a peaceful life- at least until some force majeure comes and messes it all up for you...

This is why the Tao also teaches that rulers shouldn't mess around with their people too much either.

Our rulers however make it their business to mess with us on an almost daily basis. If it is not the petrol price rising it is this new law or that, this tax hike or that new call for our cooperation. And it is not only our political rulers, but our employers, friends and family members also make sure that our lives stay well and complicated.

Now- preferring to stay as you are amidst the changes that these people force on you will only generate more stress. It is actually not as comfortable as Lao Tzu made it out to be, is it?

The only way you can hope to get on top of it all is

Not necessarily, Deadpool...

by taking that risk. Be it standing up to that bully, starting that business venture or moving to another town or even another country- it is risky, but the consequences of NOT taking that risk is staying stuck in that ditch that smells like Mama June after hot yoga that Deadpool would refer to.

Now- I remember the anxiety and excitement that goes with tournaments.

I also will admit that the prospect of having to fight someone does not amuse me as often as I would like to have it.

What we know, however, is that the consequence of not getting in there and making the effort is not only that our situations stay exactly as they are until they grow stale and decline (and decline they will unless you do something), but also a feeling much worse than the pain and humiliation of defeat.

As a martial artist losing should not scare you. A much worse fear that should be riding you is the one of realising  that you have not done your best.

Well- this post and the G+ space- and the spaces on Facebook and Twitter- can take comments. Tell me about the risks that you have taken to better some aspect of your life and how it panned out.

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