This is the lesson from B.H. Liddell Hart’s biography of William Sherman.
Another is that elasticity of thought, mobility of resources and self-reliance often equate to victory.
Yet another is from this passage:
“To the irresistibility of this progress Sherman’s flexibility contributed as much as his variability of direction. Moving on a wide and irregular front—with four, five or six columns, each covered by a cloud of foragers—if one was blocked, others would be pushing on.”
Sherman knew that progressing towards his objective down one avenue was unwise. If that single path was blocked, he was too. So he split his forces.
He had multiple routes. If one was obstructed he could make progress in another. When that one faltered he had another option. The net effect is that he reached his goal.
We can apply this strategy to our lives.
Have many things on at once. Don’t rely on one avenue for progress. You will hit a rut. You may be stuck for years. But if you have two, three, four or five paths to flit between your forward march can never be impeded. Rather than wasting your energy on one currently impassable barrier you can direct it into another arena and make progress there instead.
Integrity means you are one person. But you can keep your integrity and do many different things.
Next time you have a problem turn away from it. Head down another route that takes you towards the same objective.
The man with one path is easily blocked. The man with many is unstoppable.