What the Samurai Can Teach Us About It
A Seventeenth Century Samurai maxim states:
"A man who has attained mastery of an art reveals it in
his every action."
This saying is one of my personal favorites. There is so much
depth to its meaning. Allow me to discuss it a little and
explain how it will be able to benefit you.
First, a question: What is the single greatest thing that
you can do with mastery and excellence? Don't say: "nothing."
Everybody is good at something. Just think for a moment.
There will be one thing that you can do perfectly time and
time again. It is the thing that is so ridiculously easy for
you to do that you can do it with your eyes closed, almost
standing on your head - so to speak. It may be a simple thing
or it may be something quite complex, but whatever it is you
make it look easy.
In fact, you are so good at it you make other people think
that they can do it easily too - until they try. It might
be a sport like tennis or something as mundane as making scones
It's amazing how a champion tennis player can make the game
look so simple. Or how a master cook can seemingly slap ingredients
together and come up with an absolute masterpiece of culinary
So what is it? What are you a master at? Keep that thing in
mind while I diverge back to the samurai for a moment - a
little bit of history.
The samurai lived by the sword and died by it. They were so
adept at reading body movement that they were able to draw
their swords and use them with deadly effect against opponents
in the mere blink of an eye. Their observations and reflexes
were finely honed, principally because their very existence
depended on it. But did you know that they were able to transcend
their ability with the sword into other arts? Many of them
were also master poets. Others were highly skilled calligraphers.
Others became very skilled in the art of the tea ceremony.
Some became master carpenters.
Have you noticed how these "ancillary" skills are so diametrically
opposed to their military expertise with the sword? So how
and why did they engage in these things? Could it be that
they were "balancing" their lives? Were they following the
concept of "yin and yang?"
If you are not sure what yin and yang is I will outline it
briefly for you. Basically, it a Japanese recognition of the
duality of all things in nature. For instance, night and day,
female and male, black and white and so on. Further, there
is some night within day and some day within night and so
Time for another question. Are you so set in your ways that
you refuse to develop other skills? Can you not broaden your
horizons? Might you be able to "balance" your life a little
Think back to that one thing that you are able to do very
well. Why not take that mindset and transfer it to something
else? You can create a persona that shows other people that
you are a special person. Others have done it. You even know
them. Some of them might even be your close friends. They
are the people who seem to be good at everything they turn
their minds to. I'll bet you are thinking of somebody like
that right now.
Now you know how they do it. They are using the samurai maxim.
And just to balance the genders (yin and yang):
"A woman who has attained mastery of an art reveals it
in her every action."
Develop yourself. Improve your abilities. You can do it. All
it takes is discipline and a willingness to expand your mind.
The samurai did it. So can you.
Gary Simpson is the author of eight books covering
a diverse range of subjects such as self esteem, affirmations,
self defense, finance and much more. His articles appear all
over the web. Gary's email address is email@example.com.
Click here to go to his Motivation
& Self Esteem for Success website where you can receive
his "Zenspirational Thoughts" plus an immediate FREE
copy of his highly acclaimed, life-changing e-book "The
Power of Choice."
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