Sun Tzu: Even the Finest Sword Will Rust

Sun Tzu: Even the Finest Sword Will Rust
Presented by Spartan Training®

Sun Tzu & the Sword

I want to talk to you about a great quote that I heard from my friend John Welbourn, a 10 year veteran of the NFL. This quote is from Sun Tzu and it says: Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will rust. I want you to just think about that for a moment. I get goosebumps just saying that quote. It made me think of a few stories that reminded me how powerful your environment can be. Your environment can lift you up or it can break you down and hold you back. A buddy of mine gave me a phone call and he listens to the Spartan up podcasts. He listens to all the different podcasts and he said, you know, I love waking up early and working out.

I had no problem doing it, but my workout in the morning is not as good as my workout in the evening at five or 6:00 PM I said, well, that's interesting. Where do you train at 5:00 AM? You know, think about it. The music that they play in the gym is very low key. It's kind of this like calming place. The people around you have their heads down, they're on their cell phones. It's this you know, clean, posh, beautiful place. It's probably not really inspiring to you. Here's the difference. I don't think it matters what time your training at it matters where you're training and I shared with him that quote from Sun Tzu about how you are a sharp sword but that 5:00 AM is like the salt water, the location that Jim that you're training is the salt water to your sword. It's rusting your sword. But when you're training at these other gyms at five and 6:00 PM that saying of iron sharpens iron, steel sharpens steel.

You're in a stronger, more powerful environment. The people that you're around, the places that you're in, the lift you, they could make you or break you. And it brings me to another story I want to share with you. I was looking at a local wrestling team and year after year after year, I watched them just getting destroyed points that I've never seen in a wrestling match points that I would only see in a basketball game. And I said to myself, man, no matter how hard a kid works on that team, he could go to strength and conditioning. He could go to a wrestling club, he could do all of these high level things, but then when he gets to that school were the environment of that wrestling team is like salt water. He's the sharp sword. But every time he goes back to his high school wrestling team, that's not so uplifting, not so dedicated, not motivated, basically not living that spartan life.

That wrestler sword is going to rust that wrestler to get up and get out of that environment and get to another school and get around different people who are fired up. So here's what I want you to do today. Make a list of everything you do during the week from where do you work, um, the places that you might go to for your exercise. Uh, people that you hang out with and just go through each thing and list it as a positive or negative. That's going to be your first step into identifying what is rusting, your sword or what is sharpening the blade. And then from there, eliminate one of those things that is the rust to your sword.

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Even the Finest Sword Will Rust - SPARTAN WAY 026

I first heard this Sun Tzu quote from my friend and NFL Veteran, John Welbourn. It REALLY hit home for me as I have experienced countless times how an environment can lift you up or hold you back.

Sun Tzu and the Sharpened Sword

  • Surround yourself with battery chargers as our friend Joe Polish says to gain inspiration from others
  • As a parent, keep an eye on your kids’ friends. Do they make your child better or add more stress?
  • Whether it’s work, sports, gym - you’re always in an “environment” and surrounded by people. Make sure these environments are charging your batteries!


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Producer – Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.

Host & Show Notes:  Zach Even - Esh

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