The word religion literally means to bind. I know that it has fallen a bit out of favor just because this expression is associated with fundamentalism, but when you really think about it, pretty much everyone is religious. We all have something to hang on to: family, profession, home country, spirituality, love, our reputation, and so much more. So everyone is religious in the true meaning of the word.
What are you willing to go all the way for? For sex or money? For your soul mate or your children? Perhaps you have a professional dream that you want to manifest, or your heart longs after fame; or maybe you just want to hold your head over water financially. Whatever it is that you go after, give it your best if it is meaningful to you. But will you be truly successful in your endeavor? Will you be willing to pay the price that Sun Tzu has in mind?
The divine play knows what is holy for you personally, and will conveniently push your buttons to launch you on your life's mission. Nothing can stop you once you truly know what you are fighting for. Do you remember the look on Michael Jordan's face as he was going for his six championship rings? Everyone can have this ferocious hunger for making it, but you have to first figure out what truly drives you, and you have to be willing to pay the price. Chances are, your mission will be refined as you journey on. You start out with a goal in mind, but more likely than not, you will adjust your priorities as the plot of your life story deepens.
In the heat of the battle some of the earlier perceived glitter will surely melt. It is the intensity of the struggle that helps you find your Self. As we all know, under extreme pressure, and with sufficient time, coal turns into diamond. From a spiritual perspective, life's ups and downs are here to show you who you truly are; the mission worth dying for will then be separated from the temporary delusions. If this all sounds a bit scary, just hang on to whatever you think is meaningful at the time and let life take care of the rest.
With a laser-like focus and intention you have nothing to be afraid off. Just give it all you have got and see what life has in store for you. I don't have Sun Tzu's confidence that you can will yourself to success, but I do know that along the Way every journey will be spiritually meaningful, and eventually "successful" as long as you understand what your victory is all about. Just hold religiously on to what you believe in, and She will do the rest!