Tag Archives: The Book of Five Rings

9 principles of graceful success – Part 9

Miyamoto Musashi, principle 9Circa 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 ninth and final post in a series where I interpret each one with the lens of a creative entrepreneur.

Today’s principle is:

Do not engage in useless activity

I’ve heard it said that time is money. Therefore, if you engage in useless activity, you are wasting and/or losing money.

When it comes to business, focus on the activities that you do best. Hire out the rest. Evaluate all that you do in your business and if any activity does not contribute to your bottom line or happiness in your business, it needs to go or be hired out.
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9 principles of graceful success – Part 8

Miyamoto Musashi, principle 8Circa 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 eighth post in a series where I interpret each one with the lens of a creative entrepreneur.

Today’s principle is:

Do not be negligent in trifling matters

They say the devil is in the details. The little things often matter. When you misspell a word, which I chronically do, it can give people the wrong impression. Rather than understanding that I have dyslexia and sometimes switch out my letter, the reader may believe that I’m lazy or don’t care enough to give you pristine copy.

I read a story about how a dirty scrunchie holding up a professional woman’s hair ruined her first impression with a new client. She was immaculately dressed in all other areas, which is why the detail of the scrunchie stood out.
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9 principles of graceful success – Part 7

Miyamoto Musashi, principle 7Circa 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 seventh post in a series where I interpret each one with the lens of a creative entrepreneur.

Today’s principle is:

Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye

There is a scene in Star Wars where Obi-Wan has Luke Skywalker practice with the light saber blindfolded. He tells him, “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.”

Perception may be reality, but our reality is warped by not only our experiences but how our eyes work, as well. I remember when I first learned I needed glasses. I was in the eighth grade and someone asked me what time it was. We were in the gym and the clock was across the room. I replied, “I can’t see the clock from here!” The person replied back, “I can.”

That was a chilling moment. My reality … a blurry clock when it was on the other side of the room … was not the same as my friend’s. Up until that point, I had assumed that others perceived things the same way I did.

It got weirder when I put on my glasses for the first time. I looked across the street at a tree and could actually see individual leaves. It struck me that that was why they called it “impressionist art” … the world didn’t really look like that!
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9 principles of graceful success – Part 6

Miyamoto Musashi, principle 6Circa 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 sixth post in a series where I interpret each one with the lens of a creative entrepreneur.

Today’s principle is:

Nurture the ability to perceive the truth in all things

We all wear our own “rose colored glasses.” That is to say that we see things through our own filters. These filters were created by our experiences up to the present moment.

Nurturing the ability to perceive the truth in all things is developing the skill of removing those filters, or at least recognizing how those filters may be distorting our perception of what is before us.

It is acknowledging that our truth may not be someone else’s truth and that neither of these truths may be THE truth.
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9 principles of graceful success – Part 5

Miyamoto Musashi, principle 5Circa 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 fifth post in a series where I interpret each one with the lens of a creative entrepreneur.

Today’s principle is:

Be discreet regarding one’s commercial dealings

Everybody doesn’t need to know all your business. There is a limit to how honest and truthful you need to be. Keeping somethings to yourself accomplishes a few things:

  • It protects you from scam and con artists
  • It protects you from jealousy
  • It helps keep you rooted

The first two are probably pretty obvious. If you give too much information away, scam and con artists can use it against you. And, there are those that may become jealous (or mean and spiteful) about your success (or lack there of) and you don’t need to encourage that negative energy.

But how does being discreet keep you rooted? (more…)

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9 principles of graceful success – Part 4

Miyamoto Musashi, principle 4Circa 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 fourth post in a series where I interpret each one with the lens of a creative entrepreneur.

Today’s principle is:

Be knowledgeable in a variety of occupations

I touched upon this in my last post. To be effective in business, you not only need to be good at what you do, you need to be knowledgeable about what others do, as well. This has several benefits:

  • You’ll know when someone is good at what they do … or they’re just blowing smoke up your butt
  • You’ll know how to find the help you need in areas that aren’t your brilliance
  • You’ll be able to hire better employees and give them better feedback for improvement

The more well-rounded you are, the stronger position you will be in. It will help you make better business and life decisions. It will help you stand in your power and own your awesome.

Here are some things you can do to nurture knowledge in a variety of occupations:
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9 principles of graceful success – Part 3

Miyamoto Musashi, principle 3Circa 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 third post in a series where I interpret each one with the lens of a creative entrepreneur.

Today’s principle is:

Cultivate a wide range of interests in the arts

As creative professionals, this one should be easy. Most of the artists and creative people I know have a love of many, if not all, expressions of creativity. Yes, we have our favorites and we have our favored methods that we use, but we can appreciate artistic expression is a wide variety of forms.
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9 principles of graceful success – Part 2

Miyamoto Musashi, principle 2Circa 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.
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9 principles of graceful success – Part 1

Miyamoto Musashi, Rule 1Circa 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. Today, and over the next eight days, I’m going to interpret each one with the lens of a creative entrepreneur.

Today’s principle is:

Do not harbor sinister designs. Think honestly and truthfully.

This is the first rule, and this concept has been expressed in a number of ways, including:

  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • Doing well by doing good

When it comes to your life and your creative business, it is always best to come from the truest, most grounded place. When your heart is clear, free and true, your creativity flows most efficiently. People are magnetized to you because of your radiant honour.
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