If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. Sun Tsu, THE ART OF WAR
Life often presents a challenge (sometimes a war) with self for creative expression, fulfillment, and general satisfaction or happiness. It's an inner job, and the sooner in life you tackle it, the happier you'll be… sooner. At least, that's what my Muse tells me.
I first heard about THE ART OF WAR by Sun Tsu in a class on the artistic battle to write quickly and creatively for the market. Don't know if I achieved that particular success, but the lessons from book were interesting. First know yourself. Then know your opponent. My Muse did not take the class. She is quite self-absorbed.
THE ART OF WAR is a 5th Century BC classic on warfare and being your own life warrior. Make the lessons work for you by setting your own personal goals or intentions. What is it that you want – really want? Make sure you understand your own personal motivation, your why. Replace enemy or combatant with your own personal obstacle or conflict. What's keeping your desire from happening? Muse darling, are you listening?
So, have a little "Come to Jesus meeting" with yourself, conquer those internal battles, and you're on your way to bliss. Yeah, right. My problem is within myself; so is my solution. My Muse does not attend those C-J meetings.
My battle is between ideas. Which gets priority, which the back burner? Which carries the most weight, the biggest boost to my career?
My Muse asks, where is your heart?
Fortunately, Steven Pressfield took these 'art at war' ideas and turned them into THE WAR OF ART. He says, "Your Muse is you, the best part of yourself, where your finest and only true work comes from."
Oh great, my Muse is going to love that! She's already full of herself.
If you believe, as I do, that your happiness lies in self-expression and following your dreams, trust your muse. She (or he) has your heart.
Note to Self: To Muse or not to Muse. To Muse, of course! But don't stroke her ego too much. She becomes so supercilious.