Soldier or Spy?


Growing up, war movies had always fascinated me. I had a collection of them in my college days. But when asked what were my favorites, I used to end up answering with names like Spy Game, The Shooter, Enemy at the Gates. I did not realize until recently that I actually liked spy/sniper movies.

When I think back now, there is a lot of difference between how a soldier operates and how a spy operates.

Disclaimer: I’m basing this comparison on books and movies. I have no real world experience. So let’s get on with the metaphor.

The difference between a soldier and a spy that I’m trying to point out is one of approach. While a soldier’s approach is intensely focussed, a spy’s approach is highly calculating. (I don’t mean, Bond. Please, no.)

Soldier (verb)
to carry on doggedly; persevere


Spy (verb)
to discern or make out, especially by careful observation


Both approaches have their uses. Why not mindfully choose one that fits your current situation? It could be a meeting. Which calls for understanding what others are trying to say first. It could be something that you’ve blocked time to work on by yourself. Which calls for just getting shit done.

I try to consciously switch between these two and it has certainly helped.




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