Miyamoto Musashi, a Japanese Buddhist, has compiled a list of 20 rules he lived by, which are claimed to be the key to happiness. According to his text, ‘The Way of Walking Alone’ this is how we must all live our lives:
1. LEARN TO ACCEPT LIFE AS IT COMES
Acceptance of life as it is, along with despair, stress and other natural aspects of person`s life , is the key to becoming stronger and living a happier life.
2. ABANDON ANY OBSESSION TO ACHIEVE PLEASURE
People spend a lot of time chasing please, from reaching higher to raises and promotions to giving in to our cravings. According to Musashi, in order to achieve pleasure we should abandon any obsessions and enjoy pleasure when it comes naturally.
3. DO NOT ACT ON AN IMPULSIVE EMOTION
While we are taught to follow our instincts, Musashi suggests that is not as a good idea after all. Following the natural path of a feeling leads to bad decisions, so giving way to impulse is not an option.
4. ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR HONOR
According to Musashi, the only way to be genuine and true to yourself is living life honorably and following your beliefs and ideas.
5. DO NOT PUT PRESSURE ON RETIRING WITH RICHES
While we all save money for our retirement age, Musashi claimed that we don’t need any possessions to live a happy life. The key is living in the present moment instead.
6. DO NOT USE WEAPONRY UNLESS IT IS NECESSARY
Weaponry should be used sparingly and only in instances when it is really needed, such as when defending yourself.
7. HAVE NO FEAR OF DYING
Thinking about dying and fearing death prevents you from living a happy and fulfilling life. Don’t fear the consequences of every single action and live every day individually.
8. RESPECT THE GODS, BUT DO NOT RELY SOLELY ON THEIR GUIDANCE
While Gods are supposed to be respected and looked up to, this doesn’t mean that they can lead you through any situation. It is a person who makes their path, eventually.
9. DO NOT BELIEVE SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE TOLD TO
Form your beliefs and ideas and give them space. Never let the crowd impose ideas and don’t allow yourself to listen others` opinions act according to them.
10. ABANDON POSSESSIONS IN FAVOR OF MINIMALISM
Don’t hold on to things and possessions you no longer use. If it was important for you once, it doesn’t mean that you can live a simple and happy life without it.
11. LEARN NOT TO BE GLUTTONOUS
Don’t obsess over food and the pleasure of fine eating. Musashi believed that it is important to strip meals to be filling, but not necessarily delicious.
12. DON’T BE A SLAVE TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS
While luxury and possessions seem important, there is nothing more important than love and health.
13. KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN
Keeping your options open allows you to reap the best opportunities in life.
14. DON’T LET LUST RULE YOUR LIFE
Humans are sexual, so it`s no wonder that most of them waste their lives on lust. Instead of letting lustful thoughts rule your life, strive for long-lasting relationships and pure love.
15. COMPLAINING SHOULD HAVE NO PLACE IN YOUR LIFE
Musashi claims that complaining is one of the worst things one can do, so it is important to let these things go. Dwelling on the past prolongs its effects on the present moment.
16. DO NOT DWELL ON A SAD SEPARATION
Dwelling on the past and sad separation prevents you from moving on with your life.
17. NEVER LIVE IN REGRET
The past cannot be changed, so dwelling on the past and living in the regret will not help whatsoever.
18. ABANDON ATTACHMENT TO DESIRE
Desire makes us want things we can never actually achieve. So, abandon attachment to desire and wait for things to come to you naturally.
19. NEVER ALLOW JEALOUSY TO RULE YOUR LIFE
Giving in to jealousy will only ruin you! Never be jealous of others and be grateful for the things you already have.
20. NEVER STRAY FROM THE WAY
If you live in a certain way and follow a certain lifestyle, either devote yourself fully to it or reject it.
21. DO NOT OBSESS OVER YOURSELF
Last but not least, abandon self-obsession and strive to separate from your ego and yourself.