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The Ancient Arts of Flexibility & Deception…

Over the course of my life I have learned many things, not the least of which is that sometimes the best way to stand firm is to appear flexible.

Think of the huge Fir downed in the storm, surrounded by a veritable sea of younger saplings, still stranding. It isn’t that they moved, it is that they were able to sway with the wind. People who know me, but don’t know me well are always surprised when I don’t give way. I strive to be easy going, with the flow. But with cause, I can be hard.

I deal, day in, day out, with strong individuals. People who wield power and money on a day to day basis and are used to getting their way. As an agent of change, I’ve been dealing with these people for 15 years. People and businesses are so trained to the stereotypical that they rarely expect the out of the ordinary.

Remember that Fir in the woods? Well, also remember the others that are still standing, hidden in the sea. Life has many things to teach us, but sometimes the surprise is that others aren’t paying attention.

Lately, I’ve been listening to the Ancient Art of War while I run. Let me repeat that. Lately, I’ve been listening to the Ancient Art of War! I’ve read quotes and passages and numerous articles referencing this work in the past, but I’ve never actually read it. I’m listening to it mainly as I run. This means that I’m listening intently (Anything to NOT think about running!).

I’m not done yet, and I plan to listen again in fact, but something is striking me. This guy knew his pragmatism. If your army is expected at A, then go to B. If you are supposed to be strong, then appear weak. If weak, appear strong. If you are planning to go towards A, then be prepared to go towards B.

I could go on, but it isn’t really needed. The Ancient Art of War is like an MBA. If you need it, then one won’t help. If you don’t really need it, then it will help greatly.

So remember, be strong like steel. Be flexible like spring steel!

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