555 Days Towards Level 9000: Day 114.
Time Awake: 8:58 a.m.
I’m in Union Square today among the hustle and bustle of New York City to celebrate returning to my project.
I was away for a bit because I became dissatisfied with the format and I allowed myself to get all caught up in my personal nonsense.
This project is going to feature some exciting changes, elements I have never tried before. These will be fun, if only just for the experience. And I was kicked in the ass to create again by an email I received from Tumblr wishing me a happy three year anniversary.
To which I vocally responded, “What tumblr?”
I’d forgotten that I started one three years ago called Mike Writes About. I picked a relevant topic to the day, weaving in some past experience. There were only two entries. But being reminded of this blog got my creative juices flowing once again.
The topic of today, if there needs to be one, is that everything that happens in Life is your fault. Whether through actions or the response to circumstances.
Everything that happens in my Life is my own fault.
I’ve spent almost the entirety of my Life living passively, “seeing what will happen” instead of actively taking this one and only Life I have by the throat and making the best happen for myself.
It’s my own fault but living fully can be my fault too.
555 Days Towards Level 9000: Day 113.
I am still digesting Miyamoto Musashi’s “The Book of Five Rings.” There is one chapter where he describes various stances and techniques for fighting with swords.
As I mentioned previously, if you take the words “Martial Arts” and replace them with the word “Life,” the principles can be applied to actual living.
There is one area where he talks about “One Strike.” It’s very brief and he doesn’t even go into details about what “One Strike” means. He says to keep it in your mind and in your soul and your actions will follow, but he doesn’t describe what “One Strike” is. He says it is something you will know via practice.
Okay. So what is “One Strike” pertaining to Life?
To me, the answer to that is clear: Everything you do in Life should be done with the most direct method. For example, if you have the option of sending an email or going to a place in person, you go to the place in person. You will encounter people in person and have a better chance of actively getting the thing done that you need to Do.
This is better than sitting back, passively, waiting and hoping something is going to happen.
Every single thing we Do should be active. We’re only going to be alive for so long. We only get so many breaths. We only get so many words. We’re going to be here for as long as we are. So get done what needs to be done, when it needs to be done with the utmost quickness. You then have more time to enjoy everything else in Life.
One Strike, for a sword. One Strike, for all that must be accomplished in Life.
555 Days Towards Level 9000: Day 111.
I sat outside in the sunlight today, reading “The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi.
The book is about his martial arts and the techniques involved, but the words he uses are equally applicable to Life itself. And modern Life itself, especially when you go into his guidelines for using his martial arts.
“For those who would study my martial art, there are rules for putting in into practice:
1. Think without any dishonesty.
2. Forge yourself in the Way.
3. Touch upon all of the arts.
4. Know the Ways of all occupations.
5. Know the advantages and disadvantages of everything.
6. Develop a discerning eye in all matters.
7. Understand what cannot be seen by the eye.
8. Pay attention to even small things.
9. Do not involve yourself with the impractical.
Generally speaking, you should put your mind to these principles in this manner and train yourself in the Way of the Martial Arts. In this Way alone, if you do not take a broad field of vision towards what is true, it will be difficult to become an accomplished martial artist. If you are able to learn these rules, it will be a Way in which you should not be defeated, even alone against twenty or thirty opponents. If you will first and foremost keep your attention unfailingly on the martial arts and exert yourself in the correct Way, you will defeat others with a strike of the hand or overcome others by the power of perception.
Again, if through your training you can freely move your entire body at will, you will defeat others with this body. And if your mind becomes trained in this Way, you will defeat others with your mind. Extending yourself this far, how could this be a Way for your own defeat?”
Substitute the words “martial arts” for “Life” and he’s basically saying to be prepared in all things in Life, to be well-rounded in things, to be fully aware and involved in all that you Do. By knowing the things and being prepared, you can live Life to your fullest, and without surprises or being taken unaware. Living at our best.
Mushashi wrote about it in the 1600s and it still applies today.
555 Days Towards Level 9000: Day 108.
Time Awake: Roughly 9 a.m.
The morning started out slow and calm: sitting outside, soaking in some sun and fresh air. Talking to my sister on the phone about my niece and nephew, which was wonderful.
Now I will see where the rest of this day takes me.
It’s good to have some slow, flow-y days.