Today our guide on the way to gaining life wisdom will be the Chinese philosopher and sage, Sun Tzu. We will start with the story of the Warrior and the million fleas, which will also be an introduction to further considerations. This story comes from the book "Chinese Fairy Tales" by Zbigniew Królicki.
In the second part, we will look at the culture and atmosphere prevailing in many corporations today in an unusual, though I hope inspiring way. Let's see if and to what extent you also fit into the scenario of competition, fighting, and the "competitive advantage" so popular today.
Are you a Warrior? Are you fighting and proud of it? If so - do you realize what price you pay for being constantly ready to fight?
A warrior and a million fleas - a story for prudence
"Sun Tzu was asked by the emperor to present his generals with strategies of dodging, concessions, and waiting. He did it willingly, as it was his favorite subject. He believed that refraining from direct confrontation when victory was unsure was not cowardice but prudence.
When you encounter overwhelming enemy forces, it is better to retreat to more convenient positions and wait for a better opportunity. When you are weaker, give in. Wait for the forces of nature and nature: frost, sandstorm, flooded river, hunger in a larger enemy army. Try to level the chances before the fight. Don't attack.
Sun Tzu's theses did not appeal to the generals. Yang Chu in particular was outraged.
"The sword and strength are the only best weapons," he thundered, staring haughtily at the philosopher.
-Compassion will not be of benefit. It is unworthy of a real soldier. Attack, surprise, strength and an efficient sword guarantee victory.
"Yes," thought Sun Tzu. "A working sword, you say general." And no concessions?
"Yes," said Yang Chu.
-And if you are attacked by a million fleas, will you?"
What is the cost of constantly being a Warrior?
This fairytale could be treated as a valuable hint about wars, fights, and scuffles, for which so much energy is wasted in the corporation. Sincerely interested in this topic, I refer to the wonderful book "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu (or Sun Zi).
But I would like to touch on another dimension here and ask first:
Are you a Warrior?
A warrior that sounds proud. A warrior, like Hercules, is highly trained, sculpted, and fearless. He's been through a lot already. He has overcome many. He can handle anything. He is often accompanied by fame and admiration. And it is very difficult to give up.
However, if you are a Warrior, you are always ready to fight. After all, this is the meaning of your existence. You are always and everywhere ready to fight. You can't back down because you're fearless, right? And like Yang Chu, you start in the fight first.
But do you know what the price is?
And before answering this question, let me ask first:
what do you think is the easiest way to defeat the warrior?
According to me: when he is asleep.
Because only then does it stop being fully ready. It even becomes vulnerable. So can the Warrior fall asleep peacefully? After all, then the easiest way to surprise him? Interestingly, you have outsmarted your enemies in this way many times.
How many wars do you fight?
How much energy do you use for it? Do you consciously choose your skirmishes, or have you already got so caught up in war games (and even worse - often not yours) that you can't fall asleep in the evening ... Do you feel strangely lonely? And isn't your radar scanning your surroundings by accident, constantly looking for threats?
So, finally, let me repeat the last sentence from another post: energy follows our attention.
See also other coaching stories and parables: