This is War 3.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
Sun Tzu. The Art of War

Another awesome classical I read when I was younger was a comedy by Dr. Oliver Goldsmith titled she stoops to conquer. The moral of the play completely elucidates the point I’ve been trying to make in this series. So let’s take a look.

The story is sited in 18th century England and is centred on Kate, the daughter of Lord Hardcastle, and Young Marlow, the son of Lord Hardcastle’s old friend Charles Marlow. The summary of the story is that the old friends desirous of seeing their children wed, plans for young Marlow to visit the Hardcastles in their estate to meet Kate. When Marlow meets Kate, who is dressed in her lady attire, he is very unpleasant, barely speaks a word and avoids looking her in the face.  By chance, Kate meets Marlow again at night in dim light, dressed in the simple attire that could be passed off as that of a maid; which is her preferred evening wear. Marlow who doesn’t recognise her is a completely different person; funny, charming and engaging.

Kate takes a liking to Marlow. She finds out that he is shy and finds it difficult to speak to high born ladies, but is very free and open with ladies of low birth. She decides to stoop low and play the part of a maid to win his heart.  After a lot of twists and turns, Marlow falls deeply in love with Kate, who eventually reveals her true self and they live happily after. 

My interest in this story is this: Do what is necessary to win your war. In “This is war” part 1, I mentioned three things that go into any successful campaign; Target, Strategy and Action. In this post, using our story as a backdrop, I would like to tell you how to work those three points in your everyday life.

Every war has two main objectives;

         To win: which is the aim of the campaign in the first place. Whether it’s to pass an exam, get married, nail a contract, successfully get through a day at the office, the objective is to achieve the aim of the fight.

        To sustain the minimum casualties possible: Every war has its casualties. In economics it’s called opportunity cost. The casualties are the things you lose in your bid to win your battle. It may be time, relationships, sleep, freedom, hunger, pride, peace etc. It is by the causalities of this war that you decide if the war is worth fighting in the first place. If what you will lose is more than what you gain when you win the war then the war is not worth it.

The target in every war is what it is you are fighting for. In the story, it is the love and affection of young Marlow. Kate realised Marlow didn’t necessarily have a problem with her, and that he could be a gentleman when he spoke to her as a maid. It was what she represented that he had a problem with. Don’t generalise the target, narrow it down to the exact point and tackle it.

The strategy depends on what the target is. Kate would have decided to call Marlow out on his insult. She had the option of putting him in his place early the next morning after he spoke to her nicely as a maid. That would have worked if the target was to establish her high born status or save her family name but she was more interested in the affection of the young man and the way to get him comfortable with her. She sacrificed her pride and dressed up like a maid, it was a small price for what she wanted.

Take the battle to familiar territory. If you are a morning person, then please read for that exam in the morning when you are strong and alert, don’t wait till the middle of the night because everyone else is burning a midnight candle literarily. 

Finally, for you to win your war, you actually have to fight it. Whatever it is you have realised as the action steps to take in order to win, just do it, especially when it’s something difficult or uncomfortable. Close your eyes real tight, and do it. Just the way we used to take medicine as children with mummy watching intently. It just has to be done.

Have a great life Y'all!

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Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a Nigerian born and based minister, public speaker, entrepreneur and life coach. His keen and unique perspective to life issues makes him a refreshing voice to listen to. He currently serves as the Executive Coordinator of House on the Rock - Word House and sits on the board of a number of companies.

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