The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The best laid plans of mice and men are about the same

All day I had been planning on working out tonight. First one thing, nothing major; then another came up, and before I knew it, the evening had vanished.

Oh well. I'm not going to beat myself up about not practicing today. My practice isn't so fragile or shallow that missing a little practice is going to do me any harm. On the contrary, I have a chance to step back a bit from what I've been doing, evaluate it, and make a few changes.

A situation at work got me thinking about one of the 36 strategies - borrow a sword to kill another. The first thing we'd think of (and the example I gave) was getting someone else to do your dirty work, rather than do it yourself.

The 36 Strategies didn't become a classic if it didn't merit a little deeper thinking though. Some other interpretations of borrowing a sword to kill another could apply to a situation where you don't have the resources, or authority to get something done, so you get someone else who does have those assets to do it for you. Or you could 'borrow' someone else's authority or resources to get something done.

Have you ever been in a group that needed to get something done, but no one was vested with the authority to be the leader? A leader emerges by borrowing the authority to do so.

Each of the 36 strategies has interpretations that come to mind easily. These are only at the surface. Think about them and see if you can think of other ways to apply them.


Mark said...

I've been thinking about something similar to this regarding my own training; I've been trying to come to terms with the fact that going the the gym and training in martial arts sometimes doesn't leave time for the meditation part of my practice routine that I equally importiant to me.

Your post and the quote, has got me thinking that 'borrowing a sword to kill another' could mean that a task well accomplished in one endeavour could also have a contributory effect to progressing on another semi-related task.

in effect not getting another person to do the work, but instead another side or your self to do the work for you...

Rick said...

I think with the right frame of mind, it's all training; it's all good.

CARDINAL009 said...

Note to Mark. ... All the scheming in the world is useless if you do not consciously know yourself and aware of the current moment (and settings). Therefore, your training is useless.

A session of good martial art training starts when one is in touch with their center first and foremost.

If you have to think about it intellectually (first), you are not in touch with w/ your conscious.