We all want to feel like we are succeeding in life. This is why it is important to have a sense of direction. But it is quite difficult to figure out what that direction is if we haven’t first gotten in tune with our authentic selves.
Seneca once wrote “Above all, it is necessary for a person to have a true self-estimate, for we commonly think we can do more than we really can.” – On Tranquility of Mind 5.2
I believe that it is essential for individuals to understand how to lead and assess themselves before they can successfully guide and be a role model for others.
From this understanding of self is where we can determine our professional pursuit and set the direction for ourselves from a career standpoint. But not before that.
Dokkōdō Principle #4: mi o asaku omoi, yo o fukaku omou (身お浅く想いよお深く思う)
English translation: Think lightly of yourself and think deeply of the world
Musashi is really making a point to bring up the fact that the proper way to look at things is not putting oneself at the center of them and not overestimating the weight of one’s own existence, this leads to egocentrism.
Personally I like to put things into perspective and think about my smallness in relation to a world moving in time and in eternity. We are but a blip on the radar of the existence of this planet. We should not presume to think that we are more important than we really are.
That said we shouldn’t understate our value, as well as the value we can bring to others. This requires connection though. If we are not connected to others and helping others succeed we are just floating through life.
So when I look at this principle I like to think about it from this context, don’t take yourself so seriously and don’t beat yourself up unnecessarily. I do my best to look for natural connections between myself and the world around me.
When I am on the right path, I tend to feel it because it will create resonance within my being. I am then more motivated to keep going and reach for bigger goals that I set for myself.
There is a big gap here still, I know. You might be thinking, well that’s great but how do you do that? Well, you need to have clear direction for yourself. When you do this first, you are much more likely to be able to cast vision for others to follow and to ensure that you are being of service to others.
I refer to this as developing your kokorozashi, your professional pursuit.
“People are silently begging to be led, and the only caveat is they want to be led by someone they unquestionably feel has their best interests primarily at heart.” Jay Abraham
It is important to note that a professional pursuit should be something we deem as a worthwhile endeavor that we are willing to devote many years to see accomplished. And in order for it to create resonance, it needs to flow out of our authentic selves, aka our ikigai.
Sometimes things can take longer than we think they will or how long we want them to but we shouldn’t give into instant gratification in sacrifice of the pursuit we have for ourselves. This will only lead to disconnection from ourselves and we will end up in a place we never intended to go.
So if you want to take a step toward what Musashi is taking about here, I think you really need to consider the other 3 principles. From the place of acceptance, we are able to avoid seeking pleasure for pleasure’s sake and also avoid allowing our emotions to sway us one way or the other.
From that place we can really understand how we fit into the world around us.
Want to learn more about how to discover your authentic self and develop your professional pursuit? Send me an email or a message and let’s set up some time to chat.
#kokorozashi #acceptance #ikigai #selfreflection #hansei