It’s not always easy to be ourselves, especially in today’s society where the pressure is high. There are times where it is tempting to be something we are not in order to get more recognition, or a raise or even a new position.
But it is important that we remain true to ourselves because the world needs more people like us. In fact, the world needs you just the way you are. The world needs us to do the things that bring us joy, to tell others about those things so that they are encouraged to do the same, like hiking to the top of a hill to catch a view.
Sure we all have some areas of opportunity to make adjustments to ourselves, that is part of life, but the world needs you, the authentic version of you, not a fabrication of someone else.
One of the biggest reasons I believe this is true is summed up in a simple statement, but first…
Dokkōdō Principle #20: mi o sutetemo myori wa sutezu (身お捨ててもみょりわ捨てず) English interpretation: You can abandon your own body but you must hold onto your honor
Musashi was enforcing the idea that no matter what happens to your body you need to retain your honor. That was of the utmost importance to the samurai. Without their honor, they were just a guy walking around with swords and weapons.
The Japanese word used here by Musashi for honor is myori, which can be interpreted to mean our reputation and honor. That word isn’t used much in the modern language of Japan, the more common word used to refer to honor is meiyo (名誉) which when interpretation can mean: honor, credit, glory, fame, dignity, & reputation.
The main point I believe he was trying to get across is that we should not compromise our values and beliefs just because someone else tells us to or a circumstance or situation presents itself.
I believe it is important to stay true to yourself because it’s the only way you can find your purpose in life and live a fulfilled life. We should not follow others blindly and always think for ourselves.
I have found the best way to do this is to have a personal code of ethics that I can live by, so that I can be happy with who I am and know where my areas of opportunity lie for improving myself.
The path to leading a full life is found in fulfilling my purpose and my professional pursuit which lies in understanding who my authentic self is. Then looking for ways to constantly improve upon my current self will ensure that I stay on that path.
#kokorozashi #ikigai #kaizen
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