They cannot be transmitted in advance.
The Art of War, The Sun Tzu
You have something special. Something no one else has in this world. Something that is exclusively yours and no one else can ever have. Something truly unique. That is your life.
There is no one in the entire world with the exact circumstances that you faced at the ages you faced them. With the upbringing you have. There is no one with the same surroundings you grew up in. With the same schooling. With the same job history. And if someone had all of that…they don’t have the same genes you have. And even if you did…even if you are an identical twin…you know how much different from your brother or sister that you are.
I was trying to explain this the other day to my brother and I don’t think I did a great job. Maybe I should have written it down. As I seem to be able to express myself better in written word than I do spoken.
I come from a large family. There are five kids. We all lived in the same house for many years. We had the same parents. Same siblings. Went to basically the same or similar schools. Ate the same foods. Played the same sports. We all are similar in looks. In mannerisms. In a lot of the ways we behave. But we are completely different people. It comes out in subtle and small ways, but those small things only highlight bigger differences.
Be proud of your differences. Embrace differences in others. Even and especially those of people close to us. No one is better or worse. Just different.
The Sun Tzu were a series of military generals that ruled for thousands of years in present day China. They knew more about fighting and winning battles than anyone. But they knew that nothing they could tell you would win your battle for you. Because each battle, each conflict, each circumstance is so unique, no direct set of instructions would help you win.
The book highlights guiding principles. Because the authors knew, as I do now, that there is nothing specific that anyone can tell you, that is going to be a cure-all for you. There is no specific set of instructions to help you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve.
All anyone can really do for you is give you those principles. It is up to you to do the rest.
Sure a psychiatrist can label you and put you into a bucket with 10,000,000 other ‘freaks’ and treat you by the book, How to Treat Freaks.
Guess what? I’m a freak. You’re a freak. We’re all freaks in our own way. And that is part of what makes you great. It’s 100% of what makes you special. It’s that same uniqueness, that same greatness, that won’t allow anyone the ability to just tell you what to do.
No one can tell you specifically what to do to make your life better, because no one has all the facts. No one can understand your specific circumstances as they pertain to you. At the end of the day, you have to figure things out for yourself.
This is not a message telling you that you’re all alone. This is so much better than that. This is the Sun-Tzu telling you that you need to look within and make the right decisions based upon what you see and how you see it. There is something empowering about that.
Seeking advice is fine. But translate that advice to your exact situation. Take the reins. Steer the sleigh.