21 Ways of Self-Reliance

Miyamoto Musashi is widely considered to be the greatest samurai warrior, if not the greatest warrior of all time. He fought hundreds of battles to the death, never losing a single one. After he wrote his famous “The Book of Five Rings,” he wrote down his “21 Ways of Self-Reliance.” Below are the 21 points that he lived his life by:
  1. Do not stubbornly rebel against the ways of the world.
  2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
  3. Do not rely upon any half-hearted feelings.
  4. Think lightly of yourself and think deeply of the world.
  5. Remain detached from desire.
  6. Do not regret what you have done.
  7. Never be jealous of others.
  8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
  9. Abandon resentment and complaint.
  10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of love.
  11. Disregard your personal preferences.
  12. Accept your dwelling and living conditions.
  13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
  14. Do not hoard ancient treasures intended for future generations.
  15. Do not mindlessly follow the ways of the world.
  16. Do not become obsessed with weapons or fighting.
  17. Do not run from death.
  18. Do not accumulate goods and riches for your old age.
  19. Respect the gods, without relying on their help.
  20. You can abandon your own body, but never let go of your honor.
  21. Never depart from the way of strategy.

It is easy to see why a man who lived his life through these principles was so accomplished. How do you stack up to these principles? Do you follow any of them?