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Whether you like it or not, we all have enemies. But in order for you - and by extension, your team - to get ahead, you have to make enemies too.

Having an enemy is a great motivator. And this goes without saying important for business, your job and school.

But don’t mistake my intention. It’s stupid to bring your enemy down.

What’s important is to surpass your enemy.

Think of sports teams. Political campaigns. Debating competitions. All these things have enemies you can clearly see. In fact, to participate, you have to pick a side and root against your enemy too.

Countries have enemies in other countries. The best ones are when you fight peacefully and see who can export or produce more. Who has the best GDP. Who has the lowest taxes. The best health care.

But what many of us don’t realize is that this is important for your personal life too.

The Enemy at Work
Do you really want to succeed in your job? Pick an enemy at work. Someone who you would like to kick their butt. It’s a great motivator, soon you’ll find yourself excelling and fired up in more ways than you expected.

The Enemy at School
The know it all. The girls who dress better than you. With the internet, there is no reason why you can’t excel. In no time you’ll be getting over that laziness and procrastination that seemed to dominate your days, because now you have an actual thing to fight against.

The Enemy at Home
Many of us have parents of siblings who tell us we will come to nothing. The best way that so many historical figures succeeded, was the “I’ll show ‘em” mentality. Believe it or not, that family member was your “enemy”.

People must know these are your enemies. Becase without that public declaration, without that overt sign that you’ve taken up arms, you and your team’s performance in war is going to be lukewarm at best.

Why do you think war brings about so much talk of the Homeland? Special songs of war? The lionization of the heroes of battle? Movies?

An enemy that’s just in your mind, is no enemy at all.

So, while we may not be taking up swords and pistols, the ability to discover who your enemies are, and to try and surpass them in every way, is perhaps the most effective motivators.