Skip to main content

The Strategic Value of the Human Will

The Strategic Value of the Human Will

It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.

-         MuhammadAli


Affirmations are strategic tools. Affirmations gives us inner strength and persistence to succeed when the odds seem against us. Take Muhammad Ali, for example. He grew up during when segregation was alive and well in America. Allegedly, Ali had his bike stolen, and he wanted to take out his anger on the person who stole it. Ali’s inner strength captured the attention of a police officer who recognized the potential Ali had to become a great boxer. That police officer helped change Ali’s life- for the better. Muhammad Ali leveraged his will to generate strategic capacity that created more opportunities.

Ali’s energy created options, that led to more options, as he developed new skills and relationships to propel him to wealth, fame and self-actualization. Ali became wealthy, a philanthropist and a social activist; the rest is history. Affirmations stir the power of the will. The will is sometimes known as morale.

Here’s another perspective regarding the human will.

So, powerful is the energy and capacity of the human will, that good leaders recognize the danger it brings when ill-applied. Nefarious actors, such as terrorists or insurgents are often sustained by will and can wreak havoc on society. They get their affirmations from tainted religious or political texts.

Terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS promote a distorted apocalyptic view of the world that materializes itself it the deaths of innocent civilians and the destruction of institutions.

In times of armed conflict, the Marine Corps recognizes the power of the opponent’s human spirit poses a great risk towards it forces. So much so, that a primary Marine Corps goal in combat operations is not to physically obliterate an opponent, but to break their will to fight…to subdue the opposition to shorten the negative impacts of conflict.  We see that here in the following insights from the Marine Corps; one deriving from the late Napoleon Bonaparte.

Maneuver warfare is a warfighting philosophy that seeks to shatter the enemy's cohesion through a variety of rapid, focused, and unexpected actions which create a turbulent and rapidly deteriorating situation with which the enemy cannot cope.

-         United States Marine Corps, Warfighting 1997

In war, the moral is to the material as three to one.

-         Napoleon, cited by United States Marine Corps, Warfighting 1997

The human spirit, the use of affirmations to embolden the spirit to create options and opportunities; is a powerful strategic tool to create options that can lead to more options…both good and bad. 

References

St-Pierre, G. (2013). The way of the fight. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. Page 2.

United States Marine Corps. (1997, June 20). Warfighting - The Conduct of War - Maneuver Warfare, pg 73. Retrieved from [http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/MCDP%201%20Warfighting.pdf]

Wikipedia. (1967). Bust photographic portrait of Muhammad Ali in 1967. World Journal Tribune photo by Ira Rosenberg [Bust photographic portrait of Muhammad Ali in 1967. World Journal Tribune photo by Ira Rosenberg.]. Retrieved from Source: [https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/89/Muhammad_Ali_NYWTS.jpg/220px-Muhammad_Ali_NYWTS.jpg://] Page last edited 8Aug17


Popular posts from this blog

Strategy, Opportunity and Options

Strategy, Opportunity and Options


Here’s a thought for the day. We often hear the word strategy, and often do not know what it really means.  In fact, the word strategy is often an overused term, as well as a misused term.  I’ve seen myriad misuses in all spheres, to include my dominant domain, the military.
To focus thinking, I view strategy from the perspective of one’s ability to generate capacity, and to use that capacity to live life on my own terms.
I learned this perspective as a young Marine mentored by a Marine Major I worked for. He taught me that ‘captains think tactics; generals think logistics’.  In other words, great generals think of the long game. Great generals develop the capacity to sustain their organizations and people to achieve a form of victory.
In the civilian world I learned another form of developing capacity. Through podcasts, and renowned speakers, I learned how to generate mental and moral capacity that leads to strategic opportunity. Tim Ferriss and Derek S…

Thoughts regarding Innovation

Innovation
Innovation is the ability to create new concepts, capabilities or products. Innovation often involves taking what is already known and adapting, or transforming it, in a manner to meet new needs and/or address new problems.  Innovation can be an interative process that can take days, months or years to achieve.  The electric lightbulb is one example... thousands of attempts and roughly 80 years in the making. 
An example of innovation is what many of us call ‘sticky notes’. Sticky notes were allegedly produced by accident by a scientist in the late 60s; some sources say as early as the 40s. The doctor was trying to produce a strong adhesive; he failed. Frustrated, the doctor allegedly left his office and wrote a note and stuck it onto something to let people know he was out for the day. 
Regardless of which story one believes, we know for a fact that sticky notes were created many decades ago, but did not become a popular commodity until decades laters. Sometime later someone …