19th-century military strategist Carl von Clausewitz was a Prussian general who fought against Napoleon. In 1832, his book On War was published and military experts regard it even today as the definitive study of warfare.
In the novel Dr. No, Ian Fleming writes, “Clausewitz’s first principle was to have a secure base. From there one proceeds to freedom of action.” Fleming’s paraphrase of the famous war strategist’s philosophy is worth adopting. Securing your base means establishing a self-sustaining, shock-resistant “headquarters” that’s well-defended against disruptions from external forces.
In a letter written to his son, Gen. George S. Patton said, “Defeat is not due to losses but to the destruction of the soul of the leaders.”
For the SemperVerus Brotherhood, a secure base begins with a strong, healthy soul that directs your moral compass. Keep Psalm 73:26 (“Maybe my mind and body will become weak, but God is my source of strength. He is mine forever!”) before you in order to accomplish 1 Corinthians 10:13.
[ Read SemperVerus articles on the subject of spiritual fitness ]
Centuries ago Clausewitz wrote, “The talent of the strategist is to identify the decisive point and to concentrate everything on it, removing forces from secondary fronts and ignoring lesser objectives.”
Let’s apply his definition of strategy to the small and big decisions we make every day from the basis of securing our base:
Identify: Perceive and analyze the everyday situations you face with a worldview rooted in biblical teaching. Exercise wisdom to discern the good path from the bad path before taking action. For example, use Luke 6:31 as one of your guiding principles. In the words of the military, “intel precedes ops.”
The decisive point: Marketers call it the unique value proposition. It’s the most important, pivotal, and centralized determinant from which to organize all your decisions and actions. What’s your decisive point? How about Proverbs 4:23. And Mark 12:30-31.
Concentrate: Once your decision is made to stay true to what is right (1 Timothy 4:16) in any given situation, focus your attention on following through on it. According to military historian Basil Hart, “all the lessons of war can be reduced to a single word: concentration.” Keep looking straight ahead, without turning aside (Proverbs 4:25).
Remove: Making choices to act rightly means deciding what we will not do. Remove whatever hinders you from achieving the optimum results (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Ignore: Cultivate a disciplined mind and a steadfast character. Don’t be distracted by inferior goals. Keep your main objective to be: “staying true to what is right” (Philippians 3:13-14).
[Adapted from Von Clausewitz on War: Six Lessons for the Modern Strategist]
[ Read the SemperVerus article, SemperVerus™ Brotherhood/Sisterhood Launches to Help People ‘Stay True’ ]
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