Miyamoto Musashi is arguable the best swordsman the world has ever known. Weeks before his death, he wrote down guidance for aspiring martial artists to help them truly understand how to approach life in and out of combat.
As a part of his teachings, he wrote down 21 steps for success that focus on self reliance and being able to support yourself without the help of others. This may sound contradictory to much of the teaching in the world today. But, the truth is, we do need to be self reliant in many ways even though we absolutely do need the help of our mentors, peers, and loved ones.
I'm kicking off a new video series on my YouTube Channel and Facebook Page covering my thoughts on Musashi's 21 steps on the path to self reliance. I've listed them below for your convenience. I will update this blog with the new videos as I post them.
THE WAY OF WALKING ALONE
1. Do not turn your back on the various Ways of this world.
2. Do not scheme for physical pleasure.
3. Do not intend to rely on anything.
4. Consider yourself lightly; consider the world deeply.
5. Do not ever think in acquisitive terms.
6. Do not regret things about your own personal life.
7. Do not envy another's good or evil
8. Do not lament parting on any road whatsoever.
9. Do not complain or feel bitterly about yourself or others.
10. Have no heart for approaching the path of love.
11. Do not have preferences.
12. Do not harbor hopes for your own personal home.
13. Do not have a liking for delicious food for yourself.
14. Do not carry antiques handed down from generation to generation.
15. Do not fast so that it affects you physically.
16. While it's different with military equipment, do not be found of material things.
17. While on the Way, do not begrudge death.
18. Do not be intent on possessing valuables for a fief in old age.
19. Respect the gods and Buddhas, but do not depend on them.
20. Though you give up your life, do not give up your honor.
21. Never depart from the Way of the Martial Arts.