Do you have a personal manual of life principles to live by? What adages do you use to guide you in your everyday living?

Today, we’d like to share a list of 21 principles of life to live by from Japanese Buddhist master and expert swordsmen Miyamoto Musashi.

These rules are deeply relevant to our lives today. They explain the Buddhist way of life so brilliantly, helping us to live a life of purpose, meaning and detachment.

But before we show you Mushashi’s 21 rules of life, let’s talk about who the great man named Miyamoto Mushashi was.

Who was Miyamoto Musashi?

Mushashi was a Japanese Buddhist master and expert swordsmen who fought many duels in the seventeenth century.

He authored a famous book called The Book of Five Rings which is still studied today for its wisdom and philosophy on how to live “the way of the warrior”.

Musashi was also famous for developing the below 21 rules of life, which describe concisely how to live a life that is purpose driven but non-attached.

How can you use this list?

Even though this list has 21 points, don’t overwhelm yourself by reading and applying all the points right away. These principles are meant to be read and reflected on over time, as opposed to being a checklist that you tick and check off. As you read each point, think about the truth behind this principle, how it applies to your life, and the actions you should take in light of this principle.

Miyamoto Musashi’s 21 Rules of Life

So without further ado, here are Musashi’s 21 rules of life. Each line contains a different idea one would live by. Enjoy!

“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.”

This article was originally posted on Hack Spirit.

Photo: Adawak

Once you learn these ten hard truths about life, you’ll be much stronger and wiser.

Life is no picnic. All too often, we have to overcome obstacles in order to survive. Sometimes we try to deny these obstacles because they’re too difficult to bare.

But as hard as they are to confront, it’s necessary if we want to live a truly fulfilling and free life. Whenever I need to confront the difficult aspects of life, I look to this quote by Alex Karras:

It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more manhood (or womanhood) to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.

~ Alex Karras

So if you want to grow stronger and more wise, check out these 10 truths about life that we all need to accept.

1. Life is not easy

There will always be suffering. But we must not suffer over the suffering.

~ Alan Watts

The first noble truth of Buddhism says that suffering is inevitable.

However, accepting this is crucial if we want to liberate ourselves. You don’t have to be positive all the time. You don’t have to be perpetually happy.

Low emotions like sadness are crucial aspects of life. The more we’re able to accept them, the better we’ll be at dealing with them.

2. You will fail sometimes

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

~ Winston Churchill

So many of us avoid situations because we’re afraid to fail.

But the best way to learn important lessons in life is through failing and trying new things.

Once you accept that failure is part of life, the more you’ll be comfortable with failing. So get out there and live life!

3. Right now, there’s a lot we don’t know

Live as you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

There’s so much to learn in life. Yet, sometimes our ego gets in a way and we avoid learning lessons from others.

But there’s ALWAYS something to be learned. Embrace new information and think about it and use it to advance yourself.

4. There may not be a tomorrow

Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.

~ Chinese Proverb

A difficult truth to bare, but the fact is, someone on Earth right now is planning something for tomorrow without realizing that they’re going to die today. Remember to enjoy the present moment, because it won’t be around forever.

5. We don’t have much control

Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.

~ Roy T. Bennett

A lot of us experience a great deal of anxiety thanks to our preference to control everything in our lives.

But the truth is, it can’t be done.

Think about your body right now. Your hair grows by itself. The heart beats by itself. Your glands secret their essences by themselves. If you’re going to be human, you just have to trust yourself that everything will work out.

It’s fundamental to accept that in life we don’t have much control. On some level, you’ve got to let go and accept what you can’t control, so you can spend more energy focusing on things you actually can.

6. You can’t be successful without providing value

Don’t find fault. Find a remedy.

~ Henry Ford

Ask someone what their main goal is in life and they’ll likely say they want to be successful at something in life. But a better answer is describing what kind of value you want to provide. That’s what really leads to success.

7. Someone will always have more than you

The only person you should try to be better than is who you were yesterday.

~ Unknown

Whether it’s money or friends or success, there will always be someone who has more than you.

Remember that limiting your happiness to comparisons and what you don’t have places a huge limitation on your ability to experience happiness. Remember to appreciate what you have right now.

8. The only person who can make you happy is you

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

~ Buddha

The root of your happiness comes from your relationship with yourself. External entities will have fleeting effects on your mood, but in the long run, nothing matters more than how you feel about yourself.

9. There will always be people who don’t like you

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something.

~ Winston Churcill

You can’t be everything to everyone. No matter what you do, there will always be someone who thinks differently. So concentrate doing what you know in your heart is right.

10. In life, you get what you put in

You get what you give. What you put into things is what you get out of them.

~ Unknown

If you want love, give love. If you want friends, be friendly. If you want money, provide value. It really is simple.

Do you have more hard truths about life to share? Comment below.

This article was originally published on Hack Spirit.

Quotes from Ideapod.

The mind and your reality.

The world is a looking glass, it gives back to every man a true reflection of his own thoughts. We live in a world created by our own thoughts. There is no reality, but a reality created within ourselves. Rule your mind or it will rule you. There’s no point living for the future if you do not know how to live now.

This moment is all you truly have, because happiness is not a destination, but a way of life. The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment. Watch this inspired and thought provoking video:

 

Video credits: TJOP (The Journey of Purpose)

Do you want to be more productive? In this article you will find out what highly productive people do differently and enjoy life to the fullest.

No matter what numerous roles you have in life, and what your profession is, the daunting task of becoming more productive usually inspires images of the Shiva goddess with her four hands, because how else would you manage to do more in the same amount of time, when you are undoubtedly already doing your best?

However, there are mere mortals around you who seem to get everything done in a fraction of the time it takes you, with a rich social life and a soaring career. Let’s take a look at some of the traits they share and that you can start nurturing in your own mindset in order to become more productive and enjoy your life to the fullest!

1. Take the reins of your life

Instead of leaving your decision to others and allowing everybody else to guide you, be your own Northern Star, and your key decision-maker. It all starts with having enough faith in yourself to make all those calls and acknowledge the power you have over your own life journey.

2. Stop the unhealthy comparison

Highly successful and productive people only overcome their own limitations and aim to become better in comparison to their previous actions and beliefs, and not to others and their achievements. By comparing you with you, there’s a greater likelihood of progress and you will be able to build high self-esteem and grow your confidence.

3. Start goal-setting and problem-solving

An important skill is your ability to set short, mid and long-term goals, decide on milestones, measuring your progress and focus on ways to overcome obstacles and find solutions to problems. This is one of the key qualities of people who take action, enjoy challenges and perceive every problem as an opportunity to grow and advance.

4. Practice visualization and meditation

By incorporating meditation and visualization into your daily life, you will be able to tap into cognitive and emotional abilities you never knew existed. You will increase your focus, emotional stability, and mental acuity, among many other important abilities, while visualizing your goals will guide you towards them, empowered by positive thoughts.

Just like the awareness of the big picture is an important perspective to have in life, it’s equally essential to be able to anchor yourself into the present moment, clear your mind, and let go of negative thought patterns.

5. Stay realistic

Having faith in yourself is one thing, but getting carried away and losing your head in the clouds over a possibility is completely another. Highly productive people know how to stay firmly on the ground while keeping their confidence and self-esteem intact.

Staying realistic means that even the negative events in your life have meaning, and you know how to use them to advance, without losing your enthusiasm for achieving your goals.

6. Be an early bird

Not only is it important to start your day early, but also to have a healthy sleeping pattern, from going to bed at a reasonable hour, to rising after eight hours of quality sleep. Productive people know how to balance their daily responsibilities without resorting to late-night work or study sessions.

Sleep deprivation is a major cause of cognitive dysfunction, immune system problems, among many other issues, so it’s essential to sleep well in order to stay sharp.

7. Be health-conscious

A healthy life is based on numerous healthy habits, such as rising early, balanced nutrition, physical activity and stress-reducing techniques. Little things such as starting your morning with a freshly squeezed lemon in lukewarm water, packed and ready fitness clothes for your workout, a prepared meal and a bottle of water will help you build a healthy routine.

Taking care of your health should not be a chore, but a foundation of a healthy lifestyle which is an important segment that promotes your productivity and fulfillment.

8. Surround yourself with inspiration

If you take control of your life and spend time immersed in positive meditation, you are bound to attract like-minded people and things that will inspire you to advance in life. Steer clear of those who deplete your energy levels and surround yourself with those who support you and share a similar mindset.

9. Always learn

Once you start perceiving everything as a lesson as opposed to a failure or success, you will be able to move forward at a quicker pace, viewing everything as a learning opportunity. Learning by doing and not being afraid of uncharted territories will help you leave your comfort zone, which is where the most important lessons are learned.

These are 10 life lessons from the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Indian text dense with wisdom.

1. Change is the Law of The Universe

“What you have taken, Has been from here
What you gave has been given here

What belongs to you today
belonged to someone yesterday
and will be someone else’s tomorrow

Change is the Law of The Universe”

Nothing is constant. No-thing is permanent. True stillness comes from embracing movement – the ebb and flow of life. The earth is moving through space. Night follows day. Each moment is completely new. To be wise is to accept change. To be enlightened is to love change.

2. Everything Happens for a Reason

“Whatever happened was good
Whatever is happening is good
Whatever will happen will also be good”

This mindset empowers you. This mindset attracts more of the good. What has happened has happened. There is nothing more to be done. The future is a picture, an illusion. It will never come. It is always now. You control the present. Live it to the fullest.

Watch: Live in the Here and Now

3. Love the Process Without Depending on the Outcome

“Set thy heart upon thy work, but never on its reward.”

Never engage in action for the sake of reward. Do your work with love. Expect nothing. You are rewarded in the present. Do from a place of joy. Create from a place of no-mind. Give from a place of love.

4. Give Without Expecting Something in Return

“A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return”

Be pure when giving. Love grows when shared. Give and you shall receive.

5. Let Go of Attachment

“You came here empty handed, and you will leave empty handed.”

Attachment to material things can weigh you down. We do not possess things, yet things can possess us. Sensory pleasures are short-lived. When they disappear they can cause suffering. The wise do not attach their happiness to such pleasures. They go beyond them. Take no possessions. Always travel light.

6. The Soul Is Eternal

“For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.”

Birth and death are of this realm. Birth and death are of the duality. Energy can never be created or destroyed; it transforms from one form to another. Energy is in essence non-dual. Consciousness is not of the human body.

7. We Are All One

“The man who sees me in everything
and everything within me
will not be lost to me, nor
will I ever be lost to him.
He who is rooted in oneness
realizes that I am
in every being; wherever
he goes, he remains in me.
When he sees all being as equal
in suffering or in joy
because they are like himself,
that man has grown perfect in yoga.”

Treat every being the same. Treat others as you want others to treat you. See the inherent goodness in all beings. See through labels and stories. We are all God. We are all One.

8. You Are What You Think You Are

“We behold what we are, and we are what we behold.”

“Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.”

Mind over matter. Think happy thoughts and you are happier. Know you can, and you can. Look for things to be grateful for. Look for the good. You will find it.

9. Meditate

“When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.”

Meditation makes you happier. It is a timeless truth.

10. Dream Big

“We’re kept from our goal not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”

See it, feel it, become it. Have no fear when dreaming. Dream as big as you can. Let how you feel be your guide. Move your dream into the present moment to manifest it.

This post was originally published at Global Harmony Crew.

About the author

Vegard Paulsen is one of the two founders of Global Harmony Crew. Global Harmony Crew points you towards deep realization, and guides you towards powerful manifestation. For more timeless truths and life-enhancing material, join the crew by subscribing. You will get their video course on Inner Peace for free. Follow Global Harmony Crew on Facebook.