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All men have a tinge of the warrior in them, but as humans have advanced beyond hunter gatherers, not every man needs to be one anymore; thus society created the elite class of warriors to protect it.

With this came the formidable Samurais, and among their greatest is Miyamoto Musashi. At just 13 he killed his first opponent, and he would go on to fight over 60 duels – losing none of them.

After becoming the most feared swordsman alive, he wanted to pass down his wisdom, emphasising the value of discipline over your mind and body, which he considered supreme.

A week before his death, he wrote the Dokkódó, meaning “The Way of Walking Alone”, which is a list of instructions for how to conduct yourself as you walk your own path in life:

  1. Accept everything just the way it is.
  2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
  3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
  4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
  5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
  6. Do not regret what you have done.
  7. Never be jealous.
  8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
  9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
  10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
  11. In all things have no preferences.
  12. Be indifferent to where you live.
  13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
  14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
  15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
  16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
  17. Do not fear death.
  18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
  19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
  20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
  21. Never stray from the way.

You don’t need to be a Japanese Samurai for these to apply because his advice centres around self-control. However, even though these are true for him, not all of them need to be true for you.

A great part of wisdom is being able to listen to other viewpoints, especially of those who are highly accomplished, then evaluate the truth and relevance of their beliefs with your own.

But the core principle of his teaching is that if you wish to do well in your career, your health, or wherever you find yourself in life, discipline, above all else, will bring you your greatest triumphs.