There is an old military adage that can be applied to many fields also known as the strategic offensive principle of war.
The idea is that by having a formidable offense, your enemy will be too busy defending and reacting to be able to form it’s own offense.
Think of a castle, one of the ultimate signs of defense. Very tall and thick walls lined with archers and soldiers guarding the gates. Built well enough, the walls can be very difficult to destroy or scale before the defenders, who have an advantage from having the high ground, would pick you off.
What’s the best way to defeat a well defended castle?
To perform a siege, which basically means to keep them in their castle.
A castle defender only has so many resources available to them before they need to venture out and resupply. However, if you surround the castle and cut off their supply lines, they won’t have a way to resupply and then things can get desperate as supplies run low.
A defender’s only hope of holding out would be to have an ally come to their aid, bad weather conditions making the exposed enemy weak, disease, or other conflicts forcing the attacking force to retreat.
This is not to say having a castle is foolish. Of course it has it’s uses. Someone with many allies could rely on them to rescue them from an invading force, or allow your own forces to be able to roam and conquer the earth while only having a minimal force protecting your castle.
The error is thinking you can stay in your castle indefinitely or for extended periods.
In martial arts, using a block is an effective defense. However, if you just remain in a defensive position the whole time, you will get destroyed. It’s like when a boxer just keeps their guard up and hides behind his gloves. That defense is only good for a few punches, then the opponent just rips your body and forces you to open up.
Just think about your life. How often do great things happen to you by just waiting in your room, versus when you ventured out into the world and tackled opportunities as they came?
Being defensive is not a growth tactic. It’s a retreat, and at best you will maintain what you have. It’s not meant for the long term, only a short term strategy to buy you time (aka stall) so you can muster a better offensive.
So as long as you understand that, then you can better plan in life and combat. Overall, being offensive is much better long term, and every so often you will have to hunker down with defense to get ready for the next offensive.
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