If your professional pursuit is not grounded in a manner of service to others you will likely not feel as fulfilled as you might want to be. Seeking to serve others in your professional pursuit, and not seeking want necessarily feels good to you, will leave you feeling much better about the work that you are doing on a regular basis.
And as the years pass, you begin to see why your desire to serve can be a powerful motivator for good and a way to not focus on seeking pleasure. You might find yourself doing work that you can actually be good at doing and also something that you build a deep connection to.
Ideally I believe that you can build more work:life harmony if you are striving to connect your authentic self to the professional pursuit that you have. This will create more alignment within you and prevent imposter syndrome and feelings of being a fraud.
Dokkōdō Principle #2: mi ni tanoshimi o takumazu (身に楽しみお巧まず) English translation: Do not seek pleasure for its own sake
Musashi is getting the point across to his students and followers that one should avoid being detained at the level of pleasure, this only distracts from your essential purpose.
During that time, a samurai needed to be alert and ready to fulfill their purpose at a moments notice. Sure the country was not in full civil war at the time, but one still needed to keep their wits. If you are constantly seeking pleasure you may end up straying from your path and not staying ready.
I used to be guided by what felt good and thought that’s what I should be doing. I believed that in order to be truly happy and fulfilled that I needed to feel good all of the time. What I have learned is that you can be happy and fulfilled and still have moments when you don’t feel that way.
Life has its share of ups and downs, we’ve all likely felt them. So it is important not to chase the feelings of pleasure because you will end up in a place that you never intended to be.
We all have a different definition of what pleasure is most likely, this could be money, fame, material possessions or anything else that you think of when you think of pleasure.
I have learned that life also has contradictory aspects that are inseparable from each other: old age in youth, death in life, hatred in love, bitterness in pleasure, etc. And yet with those contradictions exists the possibility of contentment, but not always pleasure.
If you look back to Principle #1 which is the idea of acceptance, you can start to put into perspective where your true path lies. The professional pursuit that you were destined to follow.
If you consider both Principle #1 & 2 together, you could say that you shouldn’t be chasing pleasure but rather just accept things as they are. This is something that I am still learning, and something that I will continue to learn. When you can do that, your pursuit will become much more clear and your true purpose will emerge.
It is interesting to me that almost 400 years ago people were having similar struggles and distractions that we have today. Sure things look different in that we have electronic devices and life seems to move faster, but people are people. Life is still life, and the struggle remains it just looks different.
Time may pass, but we all have things we need to work through in order to fulfill our true intended purpose. Have you found your professional pursuit? Do you want to learn how to find it? Reach out and let’s chat.
#kokorozashi #professionalpursuit #worklifeharmony #acceptance #lifepurpose