“The art of war teaches us not to rely on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”
Sun Tzu – The Art of War
“I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk.”
“The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curse”
It is about 20 days until my birthday and I have accepted the challenge to have 150 blogs written before then. When I first considered this, I thought it to be unrealistic. And maybe it is. It means I have to write 49 in 20 days; that’s more than two a day. It’s almost impossible. In addition to the amount of time it will take, I’m not sure if I have that many ideas or that much creativity.
Still, I like the challenge. A few years ago I committed to writing 100 resumes in an 8-week period. I got only 80 done, but I did a lot more than had I set the goal for 50. And in doing this, I sharpened my resume writing skills greatly. So in twenty days, I should be an even more effective writer, whether or not I reach my goal.
My biggest issue, and probably the biggest issue for many people, is time management. I am a notorious time waster. I do not like this part of myself but I accept that it’s here. This is the Enemy in me. The Enemy wants to defeat me. It wants to destroy me, literally. That is the bad news.
Here are some distractions the Enemy can fire at anyone:
· Sudden and inexplicable fatigue
· A strong desire to do something you’d completely forgotten about until the moment you sat down to do your work
· Online games
· A favorite movie suddenly appearing on television, annoying commercials and all
· Unexpected and unbidden emotions such as regret, lust, hatred, anger or even happiness so that one no longer feels the ability or the need to do one's work
· The urge to call a friend you hadn’t thought of for days, weeks or months
· Suddenly noticing how much cleaning needs to be done
· Allowing others to interfere with your work
The good news is I am greater than the Enemy. At this point, I will define exactly what the Enemy is. There are two enemies. One is external and the other is internal. Neither one is visible. For me, because of my spiritual beliefs, I believe one of them is Satan. Literally. This is not a spiritual blog or a Christian blog and I’m not trying to convince or convert anyone. I’m just sharing my beliefs and my experience because I believe there is a devil and he is out to destroy me. If he cannot destroy me, at the very, very least, he will destroy my work or prevent me from doing it. But the power of God is greater. “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Having a spiritual enemy does not mean, however, that I can attribute every problem or misfortune to spiritual forces. Sadly, the devil needs little help from me when it comes to making bad choices. I’m often my own worst enemy. If I were paid to waste time I couldn’t do a better job. But this too is something I have power over. I also have power over fear, sadness, anger, irritability or anything else that keeps me from doing my work.
The attacks of the Enemy are varied, constant and sometimes even vicious. So how can I be unassailable?
1. Create a routine. Whatever it is I am called to do, I must do every day, as much as and as often as possible. If I can create a schedule around my purpose then this is even better. Early mornings, before everyone is up, is often best.
2. Take care of myself. I need to get enough sleep, food, water and exercise.
3. Hold myself accountable to others. This adds a helpful level of tension and accountability.
4. Keep it a secret. This may seem to contradict the previous suggestion, but sometimes announcing our goals “jinxes” them. There’s nothing mystical about this. They get “jinxed” because when I announce them too often, my subconscious believes I’ve completed my goal
5. Make the goals measurable. There are few clearer indicators of success than a measurable goal.
6. Take action anyway. No matter what, don’t let anything get in the way of being in Purpose. Do something every single day
7. Always be mindful. At any given moment I can ask one of the most important questions of all: Right now, am I in Purpose or am I out of it?
8. When out of Purpose, get back into it as quickly as possible. This is why I have more than one life long goal. I can’t always pursue one goal.
Am I personally unassailable? Not even close. But despite the distractions that were thrown at me, even as I was writing this blog, I got it done. I now have 48 to go to reach my goal. Perhaps I’ll write another one before going to bed. Or maybe early tomorrow morning. Or both. Whatever happens, I have to Get Started and Keep Going.