We have mentioned from time to time that on your journey to success, you may have to encounter some fights or battles along the way. Read about big heroes and historical figures and you will discover that most of them had to encounter some fights along the way.
Even current achievers that we know, have had to fight. In politics, President Nelson Mandela had to fight Apartheid, Obama had to fight Hilary Clinton in primaries and Joe Biden for the national presidential election and with Mitt Romney to get a second term. In football, Messi had to fight against Ronaldo to be crown best World Player for the fourth time consecutively. Even for you to grab that top job, sometimes you may have to fight a bit to get there.
But let us be clear first. Fighting is not and should not be the first option. To quote Barack Obama: “War should always be an option, but should never be the first option – war should be the last option.” He was talking about the wars that America waged against Iraq and against terrorists in Afghanistan. He was talking of fights at a very high level – at state/country level. At an individual level too, remains the same. Fights are always an option but should only be the last resort. In some cases, fights are an avoidable necessity on the path to certain goals. For example, if you are bidding for a big opportunity, you will have to fight big battles along the way. If you want to grab that good scholarship, you will have to fight against those that also want that same scholarship.
To be successful in your fights, you need to choose the battles you want to fight. There is a view that America struggled in recent years because they fought many battles concurrently. At an individual level too, you need to choose which battles you want to fight and which battles you need to avoid. When making that decision, you need to consider multiple issues. We have mentioned on this column before that you should not pick up a battle that you know from the start that you will lose, unless you are doing it solely to register a principle for the record and only if there are no other ways of registering your point without losing the battle. You will also decide whether to pick up the battle or not based on whether you are ready for the battle and whether you have adequate capacity to fight at the time. You will also weigh the options and trade off the benefits of winning the fights versus not fighting at all.
All in all, the decision to fight or not to fight must be taken seriously. You have to weigh many options and do quite a bit of analysis before deciding and embarking on any fight. Another key element in considering the fight is to dwell quite a bit on the opponent that you want to fight. You cannot be deciding to proceed with the fight when you have limited knowledge about the opponent. Even in state wars, countries study armies of the opposing nations before they make their decisions to fight. When you are also faced with the same scenario, you need to seriously study the opponent before you embark on the fight.
When you have a good understanding of the opponent, you may now make good decisions about the way forward. You may find that the opponent has massive capability, capacity, experience and resources. In this case, you may either opt for negotiation outright before you weaken your position through losing the battle, or you may design a different type of fight in a manner that the opponent is not as familiar as you are so as to increase your chances for winning the fight. Remember to carefully and thoroughly study your opponents before you embark on your fights, all the time!