Miyamoto Musashi, a Japanese Buddhist and Samurai who was born in 1584, laid down 20 rules we can all abide by in order to live happy and fulfilling lives. This was the last thing he wrote before his death.
The name of this work is ‘The Way of Walking Alone’ and I hope reading this will change your life just like it’s changed mine.
1. Learn to accept life as it comes
Live life as it comes. Accept both the good and the bad and you’ll only grow stronger.
2. Abandon any obsession to achieve pleasure
Musashi advises us to not run after pleasure like it’s some drug but to accept it whenever life gives it to us.
3. Do not act on an impulsive
Rather than giving in to gut instincts, think all your decisions through.
4. Do not obsess over yourself
You will only know what is really important in life once you set your ego aside.
5. Never allow jealousy to rule your life
Allowing jealousy to consume you will only destroy you so it is better to be grateful with what you have.
6. Abandon attachment to desire
Just like pleasure, the more we have, the more we desire. Be happy as you are and let good things naturally occur.
7. Never live in regret
Everything that has happened to you till now has happened for a purpose so don’t waste time on regrets.
8. Do not dwell on a sad separation
Drowning yourself in sorrow when someone leaves you won’t bring them back. It’s time to move on.
9. Complaining should have no place in your life
Musashi advices us to leave our problems in the past instead of complaining about them.
10. Don’t’ let lust rule your life
Don’t let lust control the relationships you form. Look for love and understanding instead.
11. Keep your options open
Disregarding certain paths might prevent you from prospering so keep an open mind.
12. Don’t be a slave to your surroundings
Material wealth is not more important than things like affection, good health and family.
13. Learn not to be gluttonous
We tend to let thoughts of food overpower everything else. Meals should be strictly utilitarian.
14. Abandon possessions in favor of minimalism
Let go of things that no longer serve any purpose. Keep life simple and uncluttered.
15. Do not believe something just because you’re told to
Listen to others but keep an open mind. Don’t blindly obey what they say.
16. Respect the gods, but do not reply solely on their guidance
Pray but do not expect to be led by the hand. Your destiny is yours to control.
17. Have no fear of dying
Thinking about your imminent death only stops you from enjoying the life you have right now.
18. Do not use weaponry unless it is necessary
Musashi was a famous swordsman but he fully believed that weapons should be used to defend and not attack.
19. Do not put pressure on retiring with riches
Try to live life as happily as you can right now instead of saving it all for your old age.
20. Always protect your honor
Don’t compromise on your principles and lead a life of honor.
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