The art of always having a trick up your sleeve isn’t about attempting to be prepared for every specific and or possible situation…
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” -Sun Tzu
After I published ‘6 Methods of Thinking Like an Operative‘ I received many messages on requests to teach them specific trade “tricks” and then after publishing ‘How to Operate Like MacGyver in Real Life‘, the best (again, specific) MacGyverisms.
Learning highly specific and therefore limited on-field use skills and tactics may not always (if ever) come in handy but the ability to variably come up with a skill or tactic on the fly is always useful.
This is the art of (always) having a trick up your sleeve.
Instead of trying to implement an already known and specific method in your mind to solve a specific problem, it’s better to be able to adapt your mind to solve any problem with calculation and memory.
Again, knowledge is never a bad thing or in this case, knowing a catalog of specific skills. But it’s better to also have the ability of adapting and inventing pertinent skills.
So the key isn’t trying to be rudimentarily prepared for every possible scenario as that’s not possible, it’s about having a mindset to acutely form a tailored and precise plan fit for each situation.
Also, relying on a limited knowledge of specific “tricks” can do more harm by inevitably leaving you with no resolution or by failing by forcing the wrong methods to an incompatible problem.
“See everything, I mean everything around you as a potential tool, therefore the entire world as a giant box of tools. Scattered pieces of potential devices that can be put together despite how innocuous or irrelevant they may seem to each other.” -John Cain
Everything revolves around mathematics, like the concept of time, without it, we couldn’t function.
But I’m hardly talking about numbers, it’s more about physical space, the existing structures within it and the probability of changes that can occur from it. That’s the basis of always having a trick up your sleeve:
To actively utilize situational awareness, perceiving your surroundings as a maneuverable guided map and seeing all objects and people as manipulatable tools. It’s thinking visually as seamlessly as you breathe.
Adding and subtracting those different elements to form a plan of action.
With this mindset, you can have a trick up your sleeve for almost anything that comes your way.
From being able to take in more available data around you without thinking about it and more importantly, how to evaluate it into actionable information.
Never stop learning new skills but also always hone the reflex of formulating them adaptably.
The Art of Always Having a Trick up Your Sleeve.