I think that we all would say that we have some sort of connection to ourselves. But do we really know for sure that we have one? This is a hard question to answer. But I’d argue that if it were easy, everyone would.
In reality, we keep a lot of things to ourselves that we never will tell to more than a few select people. Sometimes what we are thinking about can take the form of an idea that never goes away, a fear that overwhelms us, or emotional baggage that we never wanted to carry around.
So where does this come from? Usually you can tie these feelings to what I will refer to as the 3 Negative Desires (3 NDs): Desire to be viewed favorably by others, Desire to accumulate material riches, & Desire to surpass or defeat others.
Dokkōdō Principle #5: issho no aida yokushin omowazu (一生の間欲心思わず)
English interpretation: Be detached from desire our whole life long
Musashi was really trying to highlight the fact that Man is tormented by the 3 NDs and we are only hurting ourselves when this becomes the focus of our pursuit. If our reason for being is highly ingrained in one of those then we are most likely lacking a strong connection to our authentic selves.
If we truly had a connection to our authentic self we would realize that kind of desire really doesn’t play a part in that connection at all. In fact, I would argue that when we truly understand ourselves and have a sense of ikigai that those 3 are no where to be seen.
When we are pursuing only the things that bring us closer to our ikigai and support our journey towards our kokorozashi we won’t be swayed by unnecessary desire or enticed into spending, other than when it is necessary to fuel our ambition.
We are all driven by desire. Different desires, varying degrees of desire. It makes sense then to think carefully about which kinds of desires we do and do not want to indulge.
People have a healthy desire to change things, to grow, to have children, to learn, to contribute, to have fun; they have desires regarding their careers, relationships, children, and pets.
The question is whether these desires are aligned with their own higher good and the higher good of those around you. Weed out desires that do not serve you or others and avoid allowing the 3 NDs from creeping into your life.
We have to understand our own ikigai and ensure detachment from negative desires for the happiness of both our own and other people.
When we learn to be detached from those desires, we can focus on the task at hand and on our growth, and utilize what is inside of us to help others find their fullest potential.
If you would like to learn more about how to discover your ikigai or develop your kokorozashi, send me a PM or email and let’s set up a time to talk.
#ikigai #kokorozashi #selfawareness #growth