In 338 BCE the Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, ravaged the Greek landscape. Along with his campaign, he wanted to unite the Greeks for further operations to conquer the Persians. One key piece of this was to gain control of the Spartan empire. While in southern Greece Philip sent a simple message to the Spartans. The first message asked if he would be received as a friend or foe. A message to which the Spartans replied with “Neither.” Outraged, Philip followed with a more threatening approach. The next message read, “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.” The Spartans’ only reply to this thread was one word, “If.”
How to use this tactic in everyday life:
We are often faced with choices in life that challenge our very being. And sometimes it’s best to yield to those forces. Then there are times we should stand our ground. In the military, they say you can “What if” any scenario to death. In times like these, you fall back on your teaching and your ethics. Win or lose you stay the course.