On the Shoulders of Giants

by Brian SperonelloIcon

Seth Godin and the Death Ground Strategy

A while ago, I posted the below comment on Seth Godin's Facebook page in response to this blog post. It got a good reception, so I thought it was worth repeating here.

Robert Greene has a concept called "The Death Ground Strategy," which Sun Tzu also spoke about in The Art Of War. In essence it says put your troops in a position where there is no option for retreat, and they will fight with exponentially increased intensity - since the only alternative is death. If you place yourself in this position, "It is a law of power that your energy will always rise to the appropriate level...You are more alert and inventive...This venture HAS to succeed and so it will."
One woman responded negatively to the fact that "there is a lot of war and fighting the enemy going on in [my] approach." However, I've personally found looking at life in exactly that way — as a battle that I wage every day — to be helpful. Whether I'm struggling to overcome something internal like fear, Resistance, or the lizard brain; or something external like people trying to protect the status quo or their own self interest, this line of thinking is helpful to me because making progress requires that you overcome obstacles.

If what you are attempting to achieve were easy, you would already be doing it. Therefore, if you're not struggling — if you're not fighting — every day, are you really trying to get anywhere? Progress requires struggle.  And if you are fighting, then "The Death Ground Strategy" can help you win more of your battles.

This post stands on the shoulders of:

33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene: The term "Death Ground Strategy," as well as it's modern applications.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu: The original philosophy of the "Death Ground Strategy"


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