Mark Blasini


Declare war


Not forgetting about disturbance when times are peaceful – that is the way of warfare.

– Yagyu Munenori

Whenever you feel lost, without a strong direction in life or anything to help you define who you are and what you want to do – don't bother writing your goals down, creating a schedule, etc.

Instead, focus on someone or something that really bothers you, gets under your skin, drives you up the wall. It can be a passive-aggressive co-worker, an annoying habit that people do, a value or opinion that you think is ridiculous, but many people follow. It can be abstract, like “consumerism” or “sexism.”

Declare war on these enemies. In your mind, tell yourself: “I will guard myself against being or following any of these things.” Write an index card or create a file for each enemy, detailing why this enemy bothers you and stirs your contempt.


One of my cards is on people who are passive aggressive. My card reads like this:

Passive Aggressive People. I hate these people because they are sneaky, holding a lot of hostility under a polite or humorous exterior. This makes them hard to confront. They also hold a lot of envy, so they might do things covertly to try to sabotage you.

Whenever you feel lost, review these cards. This will give you the motivation you need.

Final Thoughts:

A clear enemy – someone or something to hate, to attack, to guard against – gives you a sense of purpose. You can concentrate your energy towards a single, pressing object.

Even more, a clear enemy gives you space to define yourself. You get a glimpse into your real values when you look at what bothers you, what you hate. It allows you to see what makes you unique.

(For more thoughts on this, read this essay by author Robert Greene on declaring war on your enemies.)