Miyamoto Musashi was born in 16th century feudal Japan. The exact year of his birth is debated. His accomplishments, however, are not.
At the age of 13 Musashi challenged an older samurai to a duel. His uncle, hearing the news, scurried to the agreed location and began to beg for his nephew’s life.
Ignoring the commotion, Musashi engaged his opponent and knocked him from his feet, before beating him to death.
This victory marked the beginning of a violent but prosperous career, during which Musashi fought over 60 duels. He won all of them. Later in life, he wrote The Book of Five Rings, a text that details his tactics, philosophies, and strategies. The following five quotes are excerpts from this masterpiece. I deeply resonate with all of them.
1. “There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, richer, stronger, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”
2. “In battle, if you you make your opponent flinch, you have already won.”
3. “Do not regret what you have done.”
4. “All man are the same except for their belief in their own selves, regardless of what others may think of them.”
5. “Do nothing which is of no use.”
The values of self improvement, independence, forward-thinking, and productivity are all communicated through these passages. However, confidence and self-assurance undoubtedly stand out as Musashi’s most prominent ideals. And I agree. The majority of problems people face today can be traced back to a lack of belief in one’s self.
So heed these wise words, and proceed to crush your life, and your enemies – from within, but without regret.
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