Monday, August 25, 2014

What I learned from The Art of War: Winning Battles

 Every battle was won before it was fought
- Sun Tzu on The Art of War

People use this quote on different aspects. Some use it on business, some with their work, most of the time it is use in war. But this has more than what it means. This applies to all that you do: even walking.

Let's digest it:

Doing something has basic parts

  1. Goal (Ends, Want, Effect)
  2. Work(Means, Task, Cause)

When you do something, you have a goal in mind: a reason why you are doing it. If you don't have a reason then you are stupid. Even just wasting your time is a reason for doing something. Let's take your reading this article as an example. Why are you reading this? It could be that you are interested with Sun Tzu and his book. Perhaps, you got interested with the article itself. Maybe you are looking for knowledge or wisdom and you ended up here by chance. Every reason is valid. Some or most may or may not like it. But, it is valid and you have a reason: which means you are not stupid.

Before you can get to the goal, you do the work first. There is no sense in having a goal without working for it. It's like wanting to win the lottery without buying a ticket. Or, wanting to be in shape without working out. I think you get what I mean.

Now, what am I implying?

I define battle as the small or big things that we do in life. From taking an bath to leading a nation. We do battle everyday. And, when Sun Tzu say "Every battle was won before it was fought" I understood it as having accomplished things right after you have decided to do them. So, if you are fickle minded in doing something or has doubts about yourself on doing it, think about this article. There's always an answer, because every battle was won before it was fought.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Two Questions to Simplify Your Life

The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field. 

The Art Of War - Sun Tzu
Chapter 1: Number 3

In making decisions, one has to consider a lot of factors. In short everything needs to be considered. In the book The Art of War, there are five constant factors:

  1. The Moral Law
  2. Heaven
  3. Earth
  4. The Commander
  5. Method and discipline
Which means a lot of thinking and doing is involve.

I'm lazy and I hate big tasks. I don't want to make long decision making. I want them done immediately, accurately and fast. And so, I have to just simplify the problem.

Once the problem is identified, ask these questions:

  1. Is it Urgent?
  2. Is it Important?

Sample: You were given 10 things to deal with and they want you to make a decision in 2 minutes. Go through each of them and ask "Is this urgent?". In the end you have divided them in two - urgent and non urgent. Next, concentrate on the urgent things and go through each of them, again and ask, this time, "Is this Important?". So, you have divided the urgent things to important and not important. Now everything is simple. Start deciding on this hierarchy

  1. Urgent and important
  2. Urgent but not important
  3. Not Urgent but important
  4. Not urgent and not important

Know this by heart and you'll be able to decide faster than ever.

52 week money challenge: extra challenge stage

Status update: I have saved P5,250.00 covering upto September 19 by using the . On the date of writing this article, I still have five weeks or more than a month of allowance, which is good... very good.

The bad part, my mortgage arrears is around P40,000. So, I have to break my bond that I wont use the money until they are completed next year. I still have until August 20 to pay for it or I get evicted - quite a challenge eh?

What I want to point out? It's ok to use what you already got. Use it only as an emergency fund, provided you're still on track or your still doing that challenge. It's your money, anyway and you might as well put it to good use. Thus the idea would make your fund a little flexible and will add another reason why you would like to start the challenge now, if you still haven't.

Happy saving!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

When I Met You: Choral Arrangement

I got an opportunity to create(or should I say arrange for a choir) music. It's for a best friend's wedding and I'm sharing the piece. Here are the details.

Title: When I Met You
Artist: Apo Hiking Society
Words and music: Jim Paredes

Edit: Uploading the piece as .png was not a good idea. So I am sharing it using google drive. Here's the link for When I Met You in .pdf format. Enjoy!