Miyamoto Musashi, a Japanese Buddhist born in 1584, noted that there are twenty rules you should follow in order to lead a happy and fulfilled life. He was a renowned warrior as well as an expert swordsman. Moreover, his teachings are still studied nowadays. A few weeks before he died, he created a list of the main rules he lived by.
Here is how you should live your life, according to his text ‘The Way of Walking Alone’:
– Don’t live in regret
It is a fact that you can’t change your past. Additionally, everything happens for a reason, and it is all part of your path in life. In case you dwell on things you once did, it cannot change them.
– Try to accept life as it comes
You should accept the life you are given for the sake of your mental health. Despair, stress, and anxiety are natural parts of your life, and it shouldn’t be attacked. The truth is that if you accept the most difficult aspects of life, it can make you stronger to their advances.
– Don’t want more than you have
Desire just makes you want for things you might never gain. So, try to live without wanting more than you have
– Enjoy pleasure naturally and live life in the moment
As human beings, we spend too much time chasing down pleasure – we have become part of a society obsessed with sexual pleasure, give in to our cravings, and reach higher for raises and promotions. According to Musashi, you need to live life in the moment. You should also enjoy pleasure naturally rather than striving for it.
– Make sure you protect your honor
Musashi’s teachings indicate that the only way to be true to yourself was to live life as honorably as you know how to as well as follow your own beliefs.
– Don’t chase happiness in the form of possessions
Although you may save for your retirement age so that you can live a life of luxury, Musashi believed that you don’t need possessions to live happily. Simply try to live in the moment and don’t chase happiness in the form of possessions.
– Don’t rely exclusively on God’s guidance
Although you should respect God, you shouldn’t rely exclusively on their guidance because it can’t lead you through each motion. While God should be a figure of guidance, you should make your own path in the end.
– Don’t believe in anything just because you have heard it
Don’t believe in anything just because you have heard it. Don’t believe in anything just because it’s rumored and spoken by many people. Simply let your own beliefs and thoughts have space.
– Avoid holding on to things you do not need anymore
Avoid holding on to things you do not need anymore. In case it once was important, it may still be cast aside now to live a simple and pure life
– Don’t be gluttonous
You may obsess over the pleasures of fine dining and food. But, Musashi claimed that you should never take too much pleasure in eating, and you need to strip meals down to be filling.
– Avoid being a slave to your surroundings
A luxurious home and possessions might seem important. However, there are more significant things to treasure in life. Health, love, and life itself need to be treasured above anything else in the world.
– Keep your options open
Avoid ruling out matters of the future with closed off thoughts. Try to keep your options open to let the best opportunities come your way.
– Never allow lust to rule your life
People are actually sexual beings by nature. That’s why you may waste your life on lustful thoughts. You should instead strive for lasting relationships and true love.
– Never complain about anything
Even tough you may complain when things go wrong, Musashi’s teachings indicate that you should allow these things to pass you by.
– Don’t dwell on a sad separation
If you are continually thinking on a sad parting of family or friends, it may prevent you from continuing and moving on your life. Musashi pointed out that as the dead cannot be brought back, they need to be left behind in the past.
– Don’t be jealous of others
Jealousy is actually a strong form of hatred. According to Musashi, if you get stuck in its grasp, it may ruin you. Try to be thankful for what you yourself have and don’t be jealous of other people.
– Don’t obsess over yourself
Unfortunately, self-obsession is quite common nowadays. You may be focussed on taking a perfect selfie, online presence, and striving for perfection, so that you forget what really matters in life. Simply strive to separate from your ego and yourself for a better perception of what’s important.
– Don’t act on an impulse emotion
Contrary to the popular belief, Musashi’s teachings indicate that following your heart isn’t a good idea because it may result in bad decisions. This means that you should not give way to impulse; and stick with what you know for sure.
– Don’t use weaponry unless it’s necessary
According to Musashi, weaponry shouldn’t be used unless it’s necessary. Despite his fame with a sword, he noted that weaponry may be used sparingly and only if necessary.
– Overcome the fear of death
If you fear death, it may prevent you from living life to the full. So, you should live every single day individually and don’t fear the consequences of any action.
Musashi’s rules for life are highly inspirational. He actually lived a happy and fulfilled life and you may achieve the same satisfaction by following his rules.