Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Obstacles and the Art of Manipulation

Did you know that obstacles are designed to deliberately manoeuvre us in a direction that someone else wants us to go?

Obstacles take many forms, and there are many more varieties than those you might traditionally associate with a military context. Furthermore, there are people you deal with every day who deliberately use obstacle-like tactics to force you to take a certain direction, much the same way that military obstacles are deployed in times of conflict. Surprised? I bet you're not.

The trick is to know how to get around obstructors, and never allow yourself to be channelled into a space (mental or physical) where your adversary has the upper hand. You need to outsmart, outwit and outmanoeuvre at all times: and bring your best game when you know you're heading into enemy territory. My advice: either breach the blockade head-on, or find a way to get around it without being ambushed.

It can be as simple as identifying the threat for what it is: a personal attack, a diversion, a show of strength, or even a hostile takeover. Then, step back and reappraise your options. Other times, though, you'll find yourself left with little choice but to play them at their own game and fight through. Either way, seizing control is your ultimate objective, and you do this by being aware of the sometime-malign forces at play.

So, in summary: out-manipulate the manipulator!

Have you ever been forced into a corner? What did you do?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Left, Centre or Right?

Ever reached a point in your life when you couldn't remember how you got there, didn't want to be there and had absolutely no idea how to get out?

When you feel that way, everything seems so difficult: even the most simple change is like turning a ship in rough seas without a rudder. The reality is we sometimes need to take time out to consider our situation and make some decisions about what is the best course of action available to us.

Back in the day I was taught that even the most complex problems can be reduced to three choices: Left, Centre or Right.

It's that simple! From there, everything evolves in terms of considering the pros and cons of each option. I still apply this basic principle in dealing with just about everything. I believe the complexities of modern life encourage many of us to overcomplicate consideration of inherently simple problems. We make everything sound more difficult than it is and the prospect of identifying any solution seems inconceivable.

Next time, try to step back from the situation and look at it with a view to identifying three different courses of action you could take: this is your Left, Centre or Right.

Honestly, Left, Centre or Right. It doesn't need to be any harder than that. What do you think?

All the best,

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