Friday, May 8, 2009

Your Three Enemies

Do you have enemies? What? You don’t? Come on; think harder, surely there is someone. An enemy is someone who does you harm. Is there anyone who would do you harm? How about something? Something that does you harm, in the most malicious way ever.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.”
- Sun Tzu, author of Art of War

Well, we all have enemies. The fools who say that they don’t are doomed to be fools forever. Don’t kid yourself. Your enemies are there saying up awake, never resting, ever so determine to do harm to your life. Each of us, at our birth, has exactly three enemies. They are Death, Mediocrity, and Despair (appearing in that order).


Death is imminent. The moment that you are born, you are fated to die. Your time on this earth is numbered. There is only so much you can do. Make no mistakes, in the end, no matter how smart, how strong, or how fast you are, Death will catch you; and you will die. It’s a no-win situation.

"A no-win situation is a possibility that every commander may face. How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life."
- James Tiberius Kirk, Starfleet Admiral

You might think Death will only catch you when you are in old age. That’s wrong. Death can come any time. Human beings are fragile. Without proper shelter, clothing, food, clean water, and medication, our body falls sick and dies. Those stuff cost money and if we don’t have money, we will also die.

You can’t beat Death. Accept this fact. What you can do is delay your death for as long as you can by living a healthy lifestyle. Live your life your fully so that you do not regret as much when you time comes. Adopt the most advance time management techniques and cutting-edge productivity skills that this world has to offer.

"I don't believe in the no-win scenario."
- James Tiberius Kirk, Kobayashi Maru test taker


So you decide to achieve greatness in your life, be it fame, wealth, influence, or family? Good for you. Now prepare to battle the second goliath in the roster, Mediocrity.

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You're my son and you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain't gonna have a life. Don't forget to visit your mother.”
- Robert Balboa, two time Heavyweight Championship of the World

The second adversary is the one that you have to battle every day in your life, if you are planning to achieve anything worth achieving. Setbacks after setbacks after setbacks will beset you. Sometimes, it may be due to bad luck; sometimes, bad planning and strategy; sometimes, bad weather.

Let it make it simple for you to understand this. You are probably going to have an insignificant and ordinary life unless you haul your ass off the coach and do something drastic now – pronto.


Mediocrity doesn’t fight fairly. Just when you think that you have gotten the upper hand against Mediocrity by deciding to become something better and by deciding that you will not rest until greatness is achieve, suddenly, the last other opponent, Despair steps in.

While Mediocrity deals physical attacks by laying setbacks on your desire to greatness, Despair deals emotional attacks. Despair attacks the heart by making it wept at the sheer side of odds that are stacked against you. Despair lowers morale and motivation; and if you let it, drives you to chronic depression and subsequently suicide (or insanity, if you are lucky).

Yes my friend, life is an internal struggle as much as it is an external one. Despair by itself is already more formidable for anyone to handle. Emotional turmoil beset us all the time. Until we learn to properly control our fear and worry, we will never conquers Despair.

How to fight Despair

Step 1: Read “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie.

This book is the single most effective solution to help your get over chronic depression. I could write a tons of stuffs about the this subject; however, this blog is about a more ambitious topic, so I leave the basic to this book.

Objective: Learn the basic techniques
Caution: These are just basic powerful techniques. You may find yourself complacent.

Step 2: Get external help.

Join a religion. That is the simplest and cost-efficient way to get expert helps on combating depression. Get other people to help pull you out of depression. There is tons of religious institutions in this world that are more than happy to receive you with open arms.

Objective: Cure your chronic depression. Be happy.
Caution: Don’t get caught up in religions dogma. Remember your focus. Being happy makes you complacent.

Step 3: Be depress again. Accept that “Your current life sucks”.

The first two steps should be enough for you if you want to life a simple and happy life. However, if you really want to win in this life, you will have to deal with the root of the problem.

Reflect on your life. Make a mental list of all your deficiencies and weaknesses. Look at your successful friends and compare them with you. Admit to yourself that “Your life sucks”. Admit that you did not fix your problems earlier and that sucks too.

Cry. Cry because you care about your life. Cry because your life is important. Cry because you are weak. Cry yourself to sleep.

Objective: Realize that how much your life sucks (just like everyone else’s life).
Caution: If you slip back to chronic depression, repeat step 1 and step 2.

Step 4: Get angry

Get angry with yourself. Release all the pended up anger that you have stored away all these years of being unproductive and unloved. You have denied yourself the right to be angry with yourself for so long because of the depression.

Human beings are emotional creatures. We are happy when good things happen to us and sad when bad things happen. We get angry when our values are compromised. If your values have indeed been compromised, if you have indeed failed to live up to your standards, you should indeed be angry in a productive way.

Objective: Release all your pended-up anger.
Caution: Do it in a non-harmful way. Do not self-destruct.

Step 5: Draw the line. From this line onwards, you are going to change. You shall not stop until you make it

Decide that from today onwards, you will change. You will not stop until you have changed. Neither shall you compromise your goals.

Channel your pended-anger towards this goal. Turn it into determination.

Objective: Decide to change for a better future.
Caution: Despair will always be there. Whenever you take an need task, whenever you face with impossible odds, Despair will continue to haunt you. Having the right techniques and support is crucial to continue fighting Despair for as long as you live.

How to Fight Mediocrity and Death

Defeat Mediocrity by proper planning and strategy and the use of your time and energy. Aim to succeed by using your strength, minimizing the impact of your weaknesses, pursuing all your opportunities, and eliminating your threats. Most important of all, do not give up.

Defeat Death by being healthy and live a long live. Make a list of things that you want to complete before you die. Achieve the goals in this list. Aim for greatness.

End Note

Okay, the solution on Mediocrity and Death is a little simplified. Those two enemies deserve a whole chapter by themselves. In fact, there would be a whole lot more to take on the Art of Planning and the Art of Execution just to be beat Mediocrity. I will leave those topics for another day. In the mean time …

“Live long and prosper”
- Ancient Egyptians greeting.

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