You’re always in an offensive or a defensive position. There is no neutral ground, even when you look at your life, business or anything you’re trying to accomplish. A lot of people tend to think that they are in a neutral point. What does neutral really mean? Does it mean not moving forward or backward? Things do not stand still. They evolve into something else, and the only way to evolve into something else is to take an offensive position or a defensive position.
Let me clarify this. To take on an offensive position, it’s setting yourself up for a win. To take a defensive position, as the word demonstrates, it defends something. You’re trying to defend the status quo. You’re trying to remain in the same position. You’re trying not to lose. See the difference between both of these? I’m setting myself up to win, offensive, or I’m trying not to lose, defensive. There is a huge, huge gap between both of these, and that gap, a lot of people think they fall into. They think it’s neutral ground. Well, that gap doesn’t exist.
Everything in life, everything we try to do, everything we try to accomplish, evolves positively or negatively. Let’s paint very simple, basic image, a plant that tries to grow. Did you ever see a plant stay in status quo, in the neutral ground, not growing and not dying? A plant does two things. It grows or it dies. OK, OK I can just hear some of you say, well how about plants that wither away for the winter and come back to life in the spring? They didn’t die, they went into endo or eco-dormancy. What happens to those plant that comes out of dormancy in the spring? There grow taller and bigger.
It’s the same thing for everything in life. It grows or it fades away. Where do you stand in all of this? One of the reasons I open up with this statement saying, “Always be one chapter ahead,” it’s to put yourself in a position to be prepared for any eventuality, and being prepared means gaining the knowledge that you’re maybe missing, learning a new skill, getting in shape, doing what needs to be done to be ready to face whatever can happen. It doesn’t mean that you will vanquish everything, but being ready places you in an offensive position compared to waiting for something to happen. If not, you become reactive, and you set yourself up to be defensive.
Being one chapter ahead comes from the book, Catch Me If You Can. I don’t mean the movie, because in the movie, I don’t think they kept that part in. When Frank Abagnale Jr is questioned by Carl Hanrattythe FBI agent, he’s being questioned on specific things that happened through his life, and he’s asked, “How were you able to teach sociology at Brigham Young University? How were you able to become the teacher when you don’t know the material?” His answer was, “Easy. I always read one chapter ahead of everybody.”
In this example, Frank took an offensive position. It’s not that he knew in advance what would happen, but he prepared himself to be ready for any eventuality. Well, it’s the same thing for all of us. In business, you don’t want your competition to get your sales or take your market away from you? Well, if you stay in a defensive position waiting, your competition is taking on an offensive position against you. If you take an offensive position, you get prepared, you’re trying to set in motion things that your competition doesn’t know is going happen, you just pushed them into a defensive position.
There’s an up, or there’s down, and there’s no middle ground. If you feel or think you are in a neutral position, well, think twice. You’re in a defensive position. You’re trying to defend and you’re waiting for events to unfold. You are not proactive, you’re reactive. Get up, take the offensive position. You will see the world through different eyes. You will see the world in a way that grows and evolve for you and with you, that you can achieve things that you could never think possible before.
Take an offensive position. Let go of the defence. Get ready. Be prepared. Learn. Get new knowledge. Play the offence in your life and play to win.