Enemies provide you with clarity. Friends don’t give you goals. They can be very supportive, but they don’t point the way. If you fail, they will still love you. You risk losing them when you have lots of success in life, and they become envious or they claim you’ve changed.

Enemies are different. They do give you goals. They demand you to become better, because if you don’t, they will tear you apart, they will have a smug smile on their face and their ego will grow because yours has shrunk. They will gloat at your expense. You need enemies to remind yourself that somebody will clap when you fail.

I got my master’s degree in Eastern European languages because I knew lots of folks wanted to see me fail. You can’t imagine how much fuel that gave me. I’m interested in many different topics. I was far more interested in other stuff than most of the subjects I had to study. But boy, the idea that my enemies would be happy if I didn’t get that degree turned me into a maniac. I don’t have much knack for typical exams and rehashing what the professor said, but I passed cum laude. Thank you, my enemies, couldn’t have done it without you. I mean that 100 percent.

Suppose I have an enemy who i know makes 3,000 euro a month. If I want to beat him I know I have to make 3,500 euro. If we are competitors it will even lower his income if I make more. Double win. If I have an enemy I can study what he does, it sets the bar, all of a sudden I know exactly how high I have to jump to be succesful in this particular field. That’s luxury. I can adjust, I can adapt, I can figure out what he’s trying to do, and do better. I can map out his advanteges and disadvantages and use that to my… advantage. Without an enemy you are alone, you have to start from scratch, you will have less fuel and less drive, because there’s less at stake.

If you don’t have enemies you’re not really trying to accomplish anything.