Circa 1645, famed samurai Miyamoto Musashi wrote The Book of Five Rings, a text on kenjutsu and the martial arts in general. Within that book, he wrote of nine principles one can practice and embody to achieve the success that comes with grace and excellence. This is the second post in a series where I interpret each one with the lens of a creative entrepreneur.
Today’s principle is:
Diligently pursue the Path of Two-Swords-as-One
We all have two sides to us:
- Logical vs emotional
- Analytical vs creative
- Good vs bad
There are many more ways that we bisect ourselves. However, we are one person and all those thing are integral to who we are. In fact, in a post I wrote last week, I talked about research that found that our logical and emotional decision making processes are integrally connected.
Pursuing the path of two-swords-as-one (or the middle path) means realizing that duality is often an illusion. You are not logical or emotional — you are both. You are not analytical or creative — you are both. Yes, you may favor one over the other, but both are a part of you nonetheless.
Walking the middle path means honoring both sides of your personality. It means removing judgment and not allowing yourself to belittle aspects of yourself that you have decided are “bad.” They are there because they serve or served you in some way. Find out how. If they no longer serve you, love them, thank them and release them with forgiveness.
Here is something you can do to help you pursue the path of two-swords-as-one:
- Create a duality list. Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. Label the left column “Like” and the right column “Don’t Like.” In each column, write down attributes and characteristics about yourself that you like or don’t like. When you’re done, cross out “Like” and “Don’t Like” and write in big words “LOVE.” Now read the list and find reasons why you love that attribute or characteristic about yourself. Write those reasons down in your journal or another piece of paper. Return to those reason every time you find yourself being judgmental about yourself.
Now Its Your Turn:
How have you fallen for the illusion of duality? Have you made peace with your two sides? How have you done that? What advice do you have for people to fully integrate their two sides? Please contribute your wisdom in a comment below.
Did you miss Part One? You can read it here.