4 behavioural tools from world war ii
I use to get out of or keep up with day to day arguments.
There’s no way I could have known this before, but there was always something missing. In every business I tried, I see now it wasn’t me that was failing, it was this thing, this missing thing. Even if I’d known what it was, there’s nothing I could have done about it, because you can’t create this sort of thing. And it makes all the difference in the world between success and failure.
(The man waits for the girl to guess what the thing is. His looks say It’s so simple, how can you not know?)
- Schindler’s list (scene 40)
A war or an argument, for me I can’t help running into either every couple of days.
but I firmly believe that conflict is what makes all the difference in the world between success and failure(as says Mr Schindler).
I had a friend in college, who I never saw lose an argument that he got into, and his report card showed good grades too, so I concluded that he is a person of higher intelligence quotient.
but a few years down the line and out of college, now I would disagree.
while studying the history of world war ii, I found a few instances interestingly educating me to do what otherwise I would have thought to be stupidity while in an argument and how I was reminded of this friend, after each of these 4 lessons.
why did he do well at almost all the things he participated in?
because most of the things we do are mechanical, and doing them what matters is how inspired you are to do them.
and what I now think is he kept himself inspired by keeping on the top of any argument that came his way.
yes, that’s how important I believe arguments are every single one you win with dignity will go to your Gringotts of inspiration(vault of inspiration).
So these are my 4 deductions from 4 separate stories of world war ii which I consider can help one win an argument with dignity and thus add to his vault of inspiration.
1# to keep a secret when in a conflict.
the above words remind me of a tiny house in England called ‘Bletchley Park’.
the speciality of this house is that it was used in world war ii.
when in those days everyone was obsessed with combat fighting. fascinated with tanks, air crafts, and submarines.
this ordinary-looking home in the streets of ‘Buckingham shire’ was the one to hack into the German communication systems.
this house originally consisting of 150 employees was later expanded to a place with more than 10,000 employs.
this was done to keep up with an immense amount of not just German radio traffic, but also Japanese and other radio traffic.
Winston Churchill rightly named them the Bletchley park people as the ‘ultra’.
they had so much work to do that there are recorded instances of a few girls working for ultra, fainting because of their hectic work schedule.
eventually, they had gathered tons of information from the German radio traffic about Hitler and his Nazi party officials and even information from other nations.
Churchill once called the ultra
because surprisingly, the ultra was a secret even to its neighbours for more than 5 years.
in these 5 years, the ultra managed to give the authorities vital information. and kept on decoding every radio traffic.
Meanwhile, England overlooked most of the German attacks on Greece and Yugoslavia which to them were preconceived, thanks to the ultra!
But England did so following the plan of Winston Churchill, which was, ‘to be mum’ or else the Germans would have got a hint that the English have hacked into their communication systems!
now, to the doom of Hitler, ultra was listening to almost all the important German radioactivity and was simultaneously shaping the biggest sea-born operation in the history of the world.
The operation D DAY or the Normandy landings!
The ultra, during this famous operation was, used to create fake radio traffic and deviate Hitler’s army away from the actual Allied landing sites.
to a particular site where a dummy army with dummy tanks and fake artillery awaited the Nazi fate, this led Hitler into committing a series of major blunders, which would eventually prove his defeat in the war.
so world war ii was not just won with weapons and velour.
but it was won by collecting the appropriate information, keeping it secret, and not using it until the last moment.
in this world stuffed with information and conflict, everyone will decide to speak up, but rarely you find a person who keeps big secrets makes plans out of them, only to take over the conflict suddenly!
what happened when I kept a secret when in an argument?
Keeping your sentences a secret for few minutes in an argument would result in much greater influence and you being on the top of the argument.
Firstly because you are listening!
and secondly, because The person in front of you will easily give up all the information he has.
and now that you have his arguments and as well as your arguments which leaves a great space for improvisation!
2# to rethink when in a conflict.
Albert Einstein for decades has been a symbol of human intelligence, but Einstein originally never thought that his famous equation E=mc² could be used to create an atom bomb!.
one afternoon while Einstein was sailing near his home in long island new York, two Hungarian physicists (Szilard and Wigner) drove by, they started explaining to Einstein the possibility of a weapon made from his equation.
And that, when it will explode, by it vast amounts of power and large quantities of new radium-like elements would be generated.
and that’s when Einstein famously said
“I did not even think about that”
it was these two physicists who thought of Einstein’s equation (E=mc²) in different possibility which Einstein didn’t contemplate.
However, Einstein being humble was quick to sign a letter to President Roosevelt, warning him about the same, in this letter he warned president Roosevelt that the Germans under Nazi rule had stopped the sale of uranium from the Czechoslovakian mines.
and that the Nazis could use the uranium to create a bomb, that if used could destroy an entire port and even the area nearby the ports!
but this letter was intended for the president of America to keep on top of the German people, or in Einstein’s words “because of the greater danger that Nazi Germany would develop the bomb first”
It was this very letter that eventually gave rise to the infamous ‘Manhattan project’.
A project of producing two atomic bombs that were later used in combat with japan.
Ironically, Einstein himself was barred from joining the ‘Manhattan project’.
because some important man in America did not like him on the accounts of his celebrity image and pacifist impression!
Einstein later in one of his interviews said,
“Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb, I never would have moved a finger.”
one of the standard traits of a human in a conflict is that he doesn’t rethink the consequences. Even the most intelligent men do make this blunder of not rethinking.
what happens when I rethink an argument?
Rethinking is one of the most magical things I have experienced.
Do you see rethinking makes me spend more time thinking why this argument started in the first place?
usually in an argument, I find people busy winning, and not knowing what are they winning at!
astonishingly I discovered a few minutes of rethinking on what point I am going to put up changed my perspective on my arguments.
I found my points did many times had a flaw but I couldn’t process the flaw because of lack of time!
also by rethinking, I had started filtering faulty information, unnecessary words and delivering statements without getting carried away by emotions.
3# to share the biggest strength when in a conflict.
Once a very rich farmer was asked, what is the best corn secret?
he said, “I give my seeds to all the farmers around me!”.
the person who asked the question was surprised, but then the farmer explained,
“you see, in farming one important law is pollination, if my surrounding is good my farm will be good but if my surrounding is bad, my farm is bad”.
let’s find out who was the best farmer in World War ii!
In 1937, the US declared official isolation from world war ii, as it was hampered due to the great depression and debts of world war 1!
but it had a ‘cash and carry program, which certainly helped the British to buy war goods from the US.
During that time the policy of the US was simple, ‘help the British and don’t join the war!’.
But the British sometimes were not capable of buying the war essentials from the US.
So, in October 1941, the American president helped the UK with $ 1 billion(now approx. $ 10 billion) under the lend-lease policy.
going on, the united states has been known to have helped more than
35 countries like that.
The US didn’t just help Britain, but also the Russians, as Stalin in a dinner meeting at the Tehran conference, said
Without American machines, the United Nations never could have won the war.”
the result was, by the time America had entered the war in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and when Adolf Hitler declared war on the US, it was already ready for wartime production, the US production back then was already booming like a rocket, the entire country for the next few years was involved in the war directly or indirectly.
The country had started living the famous expression,
“Don’t you know there’s a war on?”
people planted their vegetation, luxury production was stopped and gradually much of the civilian population was offering service to the army,
to the extent that unemployment practically vanished from the US.
so much so that it had started producing one plane every hour by 1944.
but what made America different was, it still was helping its important allies like Britain and Russia abundantly even when it was actively a part of the war.
By working out its miracle of production.
one can also recall JFK saying
“I need not repeat the figures. The facts speak for themselves…. These men could not have been armed and equipped as they are had it not been for the miracle of production here at home. The production which has flowed from the country to all the battlefronts of the world has been due to the efforts of American business, American labour, and American farmers, working together as a patriotic team.”
one has to understand that during this time America itself was not in a very comfortable situation economically, and it is natural to put one’s own country first in such a situation.
but the US decided to distribute its best seeds amongst others!!
and thanks to this, Russia managed to squeeze the Nazi army back to Berlin from the east.
and the allies pushed Hitler back to Berlin from the west.
both allies and Russians together paralyzed Hitler’s armies from east and west, eventually, the war against the Nazis was over.
After that, with the help of its enterprise, the US single-handedly defeated Japan, a country that thought of the US to be a pleasure-loving and casino-going nation, undermining the changes the US had experienced in the production sector during the war.
so in conclusion, by keeping not just itself but all the nations strong, America had set the stage for its all-around victory.
so now one can decode how the Americans used the ‘law of pollination’!
In short, America shared its biggest strength with all its allies in the war.
so it is evident that when we start sharing our biggest strength with our allies much before we enter a conflict or even while we conflict, we are eventually setting the stage for our victory!
We rarely find someone who helps others when himself in distress.
what happened when I share my biggest strength?
Many times, I hesitated in admitting that the person who is in front of me in an argument, is arguing about something right.
but this just prolonged the argument and made it mostly fruitless.
but for a few times, I tried adding to the perspective on which he is speaking!
but still not completely agreeing and continuing on my side of arguments.
doing this, I had given him a good reason of, if not contributing but at least listening to my arguments a bit more attentively after that.
buying me a rational image and adding more emphasis to my points.
4# to celebrate! when in a conflict.
Winston Churchill when elected as the prime minister of England had big promises to commit to.
but despite his many efforts to protect France, on 26 may 1940 Churchill’s troops had to evacuate from France, Churchill tried his best to protect France from Hitler but failed.
later on, 10 July 1940, started the bloody ‘Battle of Britain’.
The first battle in the history of humanity that was fought entirely in the air!
a one of its kind battle that was fought between the British air force and the Luftwaffe(German airforce).
the British royal air force was in a very vulnerable state, almost at the point of losing dominance on British skies.
and to add salt to injury the Blitz was launched.
the Blitz was the air bombings that the Nazi Luftwaffe had launched on British population cities.
waves of Nazi fighter aircraft swooped over London and other cities every night, bombing them for 8 months.
Ruining infrastructure and homes, killing many and striking dark nightmares to the English people, as one would not dare to turn-on any lights as the Luftwaffe glided in the sky above them at nights, for doing so would be a sincere invitation to a whistling bomb.
leading the nights to be the darkest ones that London and Britain had ever seen.
but the British people saw Winston Churchill visiting scenes of bomb ruins of ‘blitz’ smoking his cigar and giving his V sign!
His stealth of being frank towards the loss, his humour untouched.
The British saw an unparalleled leader, to whom it mattered that Britain had not yet given up and was still fighting.
loss or win Winston was broadcasting the spirit of fighting with its best-accompanied virtue of celebration.
Do you have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
this memoir of world war 2 demands that we celebrate regardless of victory or loss.
what happens when I celebrate in an argument?
what I observe when I celebrate in an argument is that mostly it leaves me with a higher status.
celebrating having an opinion in an argument is often a strong advertisement of your belief in your opinion.
when a person is celebrating his opinion mostly he will not leak out emotions and the fact that he is celebrating expresses that he is convinced of his opinions.
celebration is so powerful that it leaves you regardless of win or loss, and with what Winston Churchill used to say, an ‘unconquerable will’