I’m reading a fascinating “Advance Review Copy” of a novel written by Steve Kubicek (author of “Up and In“) and am already learning quite a bit about the wisdom of George Washington.
This quote jumped off the page at me as one of acute relevance in all of our Personal, Professional, and Spiritual lives.
“Know the true face of your enemy and the proper arena where you may show your loyalty to your King, and do not be swayed yourselves by demagogues who lead you towards acts you may repent.” George Washington
Reading this quote resulted in my scampering down the bunny trail of seeing what Google would provide me in the way of other interesting quotes from our First President of the United States of America. What I discovered was enough cool stuff with potential to distract me from all obligations for weeks, so I reeled myself in and captured this link with 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.
Follow the link and abide by these rules, and you can’t help but become a better person 🙂
“Know(ing) the true face of your enemy . . . ” is essential in today’s world if what you aspire to do is live your life to your fullest potential.
Most folks want to “make a difference” in this world . . . to positively influence the lives of other . . . and to leave a legacy.
We know that this frenetic world of raplexity in which we live is conspires every minute of every day AGAINST our pursuit of excellence.
So . . . what IS the true face of our (your) enemy?
- Bright, shiny objects that distract us from our focus
- Other people who beguile us off course to serve THEIR purpose
- Technological NOISE that sucks the life out of us
- “Macro” issues such as Economic and Government interference in our “plans”
- and the list goes on . . .
For sure, we are in no less of a “Wild Wild West” environment now than Washington was facing as he was leading troops during the period leading up to founding of our great country.
As I read Steve’s book, the fundamental theme is around the notion that George Washington gave much of the credit for his monumental accomplishments to “the invisible hand of God” . . . there were simply too many unexplainable happenings.
No difference today. as much as we try to analyze and scrutinize every little thing that happens, we are almost never able to fully explain . . . most of the truly great things that we accomplish do not happen as planned . . . they’re “Accidental Miracles/Discoveries.”
One thing of which I am certain is that there are some people (such as George Washington) who experience more of these “Accidental Miracles” than most.
I believe the why is simpler than most people would like to acknowledge.
“Knowing the face of the enemy”
For most people, this “enemy” is their own self.
Self-imposed limitations . . .
Victim mentality . . .
Denial . . .
Failure to acknowledge that EVERY person on this planet (including yourself) has the same opportunity . . . HUGE POTENTIAL . . . yet feel unfulfilled.
What to do?
- SHOW UP – and BE PRESENT! Be very INTENTIONAL about whose company you keep, your own behavior, and the “usefulness” of every moment.
- Follow what has Heart and Meaning for you. Blaze your trail to follow your OWN passion (not other people’s) even if it’s a rough and unpopular path . . . Know your enemies (demons) and face them with resolute purpose.
- Always tell the truth to yourself and others without judgement. YOU are responsible for your own life experience – no one else.
- When it’s time, Let it GO! When it’s over, it’s OVER!
thank you to Angeles Arrien for The FourFold Way for influencing the above 4 points.
Knowing the true face of your enemy also requires a measure of FAITH in Creativity and Spirit.
In the world of Open Space Technology (A description of a way of “self-organization” that is IMHO a universal truth), we Re-Learn – Recapture – our permission to be none other than our our own self with 5 simple principles and one law.
Throughout your life:
- Whoever comes is the right people
- Whenever it starts is the right time
- Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
- Wherever it happens is the right place
- When it’s over, It’s OVER
The Law of 2 feet:
If at any time you find yourself in a place where you are neither contributing nor receiving anything of value, it is YOUR responsibility to do something about it and use YOUR 2 feet to take yourself to a place where you CAN contribute and/or receive something of value . . . Be useful!
In this way, we know the face of our enemy intimately.
It always begins within.