Shape the battlefield, create the environment for success

There goes this idea in the military about shaping the battlefield, on creating the conditions favorable to us for success. In other words, make it so we can’t lose.


In personal development circles, I’ve read studies about willpower being a resource that one depletes or consumes as the day unfolds. A famous study illustrates that the likelihood of a judge deciding favorably decreases as time passes from his last meal time (see

Therefore, if willpower depletes by the time you find time to get the right work done, then avoid depleting it by setting yourself up for success.

Are you having trouble eating too many cookies? Then don’t let cookies into your shopping cart and subsequently into your home. Video game addiction? Don’t let a video game console into your home. Alcohol? And so on. Setup the environment for success. Shape the battlefield. Emplace mechanisms to make it so that you cannot fail.


Same here. Emplace mechanisms to make it so that your people cannot fail. See previous post.


This blog is one of my daily habit. I’ve only been at it daily for a couple months. I haven’t failed to write a day yet. There’s no easy way to lie to myself about whether I did the work.

Plus, there’s the added pressure of making it public. Publishing it. I’m counting on someone else holding me accountable.

Also, once I get started, I’ve begun moving. Just like going to the gym. The hardest part is waking up and getting there, but once I’m there, I’m doing something.

Well, I’ve been lying to myself about one of my habits – i.e., market research. I rationalized that even the slightest effort counts as something. That’s not true. At some point, the effort is too small to matter.

So how am I going to fix this?

I’m going to add it to my writing habits of blogging and idea generation. I write my views on leadership and job fulfillment here using

I write my daily five ideas for developing creative thinking using Evernote. I can add my market research there.

That was initially my point anyway. I should be disciplining my creativity into productivity, and letting empirical evidence, trends, and the direction of demand inspire my creativity. Not the other way around. It’s a lot easier to adapt to reality than to compel reality to adapt to me.

Plus, I like writing. Next step is to make it a habit to read my own writing later in the future. Maybe every other Sunday morning.