9 principles of graceful success – Part 3

by | Jun 12, 2013 | Entrepreneurship, Mindset

Miyamoto Musashi, principle 3Circa 1645, famed samurai Miyamoto Musashi wrote The Book of Five Rings, a text on kenjutsu and the martial arts in general. Within that book, he wrote of nine principles one can practice and embody to achieve the success that comes with grace and excellence. This is the third post in a series where I interpret each one with the lens of a creative entrepreneur.

Today’s principle is:

Cultivate a wide range of interests in the arts

As creative professionals, this one should be easy. Most of the artists and creative people I know have a love of many, if not all, expressions of creativity. Yes, we have our favorites and we have our favored methods that we use, but we can appreciate artistic expression is a wide variety of forms.

Throughout the centuries, people who were considered wise or learned also cultivated a wide range of interests. They were well-rounded. This makes me think of the sailors who were on the Endurance with Henry Shackleton. They were all rough at the edges manly men … but they also enjoyed reading poetry. Not something you’d expect from that stereotype of man.

Another way this principle can come into your life and business is by being knowledgeable, to some degree, in the various arts of business. You need to have a basic understanding of business and finance and marketing and more so that if you aren’t doing them yourself, you can recognize when who you hire is doing them well or not.

Here are some activities you can do to cultivate a wide range of interests in the arts:

  • Visit your local art museum(s). When a particular work of art grabs you, spend some time studying it. What about it appeals to you? Take notes in a journal. Write about the emotions that work of art evokes.
  • Attend a symphony, live jazz festival or other musical event. What kinds of music speak to you? What common threads can you find in the songs that you like the most? Take notes in a journal. Write about the emotions that piece of music evokes.
  • Take adult education classes in business, art appreciation, crafts and more. You are never too old to learn. Taking classes in new things helps expand your mind and you can make new friends, as well.

commentNow Its Your Turn:
How do you cultivate your interest in a wide range of things? Do you visit new places? Take classes? Something else? What suggestions do you have for others to help them expand their minds and free their creative expression? Please contribute your wisdom in a comment below.

Did you miss the first two posts in this series? You can read them here:

  • Part 1: Do not harbor sinister designs.
  • Part 2: Diligently pursue the Path of Two-Swords-as-One


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