9 principles of graceful success – Part 6

by | Jun 15, 2013 | Entrepreneurship, Mindset

Miyamoto Musashi, principle 6
Circa 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 sixth post in a series where I interpret each one with the lens of a creative entrepreneur.

Today’s principle is:

Nurture the ability to perceive the truth in all things

We all wear our own “rose colored glasses.” That is to say that we see things through our own filters. These filters were created by our experiences up to the present moment.

Nurturing the ability to perceive the truth in all things is developing the skill of removing those filters, or at least recognizing how those filters may be distorting our perception of what is before us.

It is acknowledging that our truth may not be someone else’s truth and that neither of these truths may be THE truth.

When you nurture this ability, you make it a habit to step back and ask yourself, how does who I am color what I am seeing? It is making a habit of attempting to see things from a perspective other than yours.

This can be easier said than done, but when you put the effort into it you’ll find that several things start to happen:

  • Peace and harmony increase in your life
  • You are better able to forgive
  • You find yourself filled with gratitude
  • People seek your counsel more
  • Life flows more smoothly

Occasionally, strong emotion may overcome your ability to see the truth in the moment. But, as long as you come back and look again when you’ve calmed down, you are still on the path.

Here are some things you can do to nurture the ability to perceive the truth in all things:

  • Count to 10 before acting on a strong emotion. Hold you tongue. Breathe. If you still feel you are in the right, say so with love, honouring the other person’s perspective.
  • Learn about other cultures. Different cultures view the same things differently. What is acceptable in one culture may be offensive in another. Learn about how others around the world view life and open your mind to the range possibilities of perspectives.
  • Seek to see things from another person’s viewpoint. What life experiences have colored their vision of the situation? How has your sum of life experience colored yours?

Now Its Your Turn:
Are you able to take off your “rose colored glasses” and see things from another’s perspective? How do you do that? Have you learned from an experience that opened your eyes to new perspectives? Share your story so others can learn from your experiences. Please contribute your wisdom in a comment below.

Did you miss the first five 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
  • Part 3: Cultivate a wide range of interests in the arts
  • Part 4: Be knowledgeable in a variety of occupations
  • Part 5: Be discreet regarding one’s commercial dealings


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