Miyamoto Musashi’s Nine Principles for Strategic Living

Ink Painting by Miyamoto Musashi

Miyamoto Musashi: the master swordsman, the incomparable strategist, and the ultimate loner, a ronin or masterless samurai, who roamed Japan, spending  many of his years living off the land.

Through rigorous training he made his body as hard as the steel of his blade and his mind as sharp as its edge. Yet, he knew the value of soft words, and as an artist, he could wield a gentle brush.

His Way was Heiho, the Way of Strategy, which he explained in The Book of Five Rings, a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy still studied today, not only by martial artists, but throughout the business community, as it is considered a classic text on Japanese management.

To Musashi, strategy was the path to awakening. He said, “Having awakened to the the principles of strategy, I apply it to various arts and skills.”

These principles were crafted for warriors. We are all warriors and the battle we are engaged in is the battle to win over ourselves.

1. Do not think dishonestly.

2. The Way is in training.

3. Become acquainted with every art.

4. Know the ways of all professions.

5. Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.

6. Develop the ability to see the truth in all matters.

7. Learn to perceive those things which are not obvious.

8. Pay attention to even small things.

9. Do nothing which is of no use.

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