Stop Wasting Your Time And Energy On Things You Can Not Control

“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.”

-Sun Tzu

Not every battle is worth fighting for. Some are more important than others. While some are, for the lack a better term, purely nonsensical and unnecessary.

That is why you should choose your battles wisely. Know that there are things that are beyond your control and these are the things that you should let go of.

Think Before You Act

“Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.”

-Sun Tzu

Be deliberate in your actions. As Miyamoto Musashi have said: “Do nothing which is of no use.” And as Sun Tzu have said (paraphrasing his words), ponder and deliberate before you make any move.

“Do nothing which is of no use.”

-Miyamoto Musashi

Before you make any move ask yourself if taking action and generating a reaction to the situation at hand is gonna move you one step closer to your goal. Because if it doesn’t, it is really way much better for you to leave it as it is.

Bruce Lee couldn’t have said it any better:

“You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing everything with logic. If words control you that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.”

Focus On Your Goal

“Once war is declared, he will not waste precious time… but crosses the enemy’s frontier without delay.”

-Sun Tzu

Once you have decided to do or achieve something don’t waste your time on unnecessary matters. Focus on your goal. Your lifespan is too short for it to be wasted on ‘useless’ things. Or as Winston Churchill have said: “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

-Winston Churchill

If your goal is that important to you, be decisive and don’t waste time. Once you have declared ‘war’ and made your intentions clear, cross the ‘enemy’s’ frontier without delay and focus on achieving ‘victory’.

The Real Enemy

I believe that all of you know that the ‘enemy’ being referred here is just a metaphorical one just like the ‘war’. But just to be clear, what exactly am I referring to?

The ‘enemy’ could mean anything. But perhaps the greatest enemy that you will face on your way towards achieving your goals and aspirations in life is yourself.

Along the way, you will face self-doubt,self-defeating behaviors, and anything of that sort.

But you don’t let any of those things get inside your head. Keep your focus on ‘the road’ and stay on ‘the path’. Don’t worry, this blog will help you on this one. I will talk more about ‘focusing on the road’ and ‘staying on the path’ in the coming articles.

For now, I will provide you with a ‘remedy’ that I believe is the starting point for ‘curing’ the sickness of ‘self-sabotaging behaviors’.

The Remedy

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

-Sun Tzu

Self-knowledge and self-awareness is a recurring theme here at Fueled by Wisdom. Time and time again I keep on reminding the readers to get acquainted with themselves. This is very important because I believe that it is the starting point of “real living”.

Get acquainted with yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses. Know what makes you tick and what motivates you to wake up each morning. This will help you focus on what truly matters in your life. Or if we use frequency as ametaphor, knowing ourselves will help us focus on the ‘signal’ and ignore the ‘noise’.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”


As I have shared before, to say that the unexamined life is not worth living is a little bit too much in my opinion. But to go on living life without at least exerting even just a little bit of effort to get acquainted with ourselves is just as bad as the former idea. I believe the key is to aim for moderation.

One Liners

This section contain one liners fron Sun Tzu that pretty much sums up the message that this article is trying to convey. Here they are:

“If he [you] sends reinforcements everywhere, he [you] will everywhere be weak.”

-Sun Tzu

As Churchill have said: “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” So choose your battles wisely. Which leads us to the next one liner:

“Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength.”

-Sun Tzu

As I have said in the previous section of this entry, don’t waste your time on unnecessary matters. Once you have decided to do or achieve something, focus all your energy on it. That is the only way that you can give it your best shot. As Mr. Miyagi have said to Daniel-san: “Either you karate do ‘yes’, or karate do ‘no’. You karate do ‘guess so’ (get squished) just like grape.” So make up your mind and focus on your goal.

Fun Fact

For those who don’t know the quote about Mr. Miyagi is a reference from the 1984 American martial arts drama film The Karate Kid. He (Mr. Miyagi) said that line after asking Daniel Larusso (the main protagonist) on the first morning of his training if he’s ready to train. Daniel or Daniel-san as Mr. Miyagi calls him replied in an unsure manner, “yeah, I guess so”. Mr. Miyagi was disappointed in his answer. He then proceeded to lecture Daniel-san on the dangers of non-committal by using the simple act on walking down on the street as a metaphor. He tells Daniel-san: “Walk right side, safe. Walk left side, safe. Walk middle … sooner or later you get squish like grape.” Then he continued his lecture with the reference quote above.

Thank You!

Okay that’s it for now, thank you for reading this entry! I hope you got something of out of it. Something valuable. Something that you can apply in your own life. If you would like to add something that you feel would be of great help to the other readers. Feel free to do so by dropping a comment down below. I and (I presume) the other readers would love to hear from you. Again, thank you for reading this entry. Cheers! Till next time!😊👋



Image by: Defence-Imagery via Pixabay

Quotes are from:

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Karate Kid reference was from:

Formidable Forms article: Squish Like Grapes

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