Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai p. 113
It is said that every time, the late Oki Hyobu’s group gathered and after all their affairs were finished he would say,
“Young men should discipline themselves rigorously in intention and courage. This will be accomplished if only courage is fixed in one’s heart. If one’s sword is broken, he will strike with his hands. If his hand are cut off, he will press the enemy down with his shoulders. If his shoulders are cut away, he will bite through ten or fifteen enemy necks with his teeth. Courage is such a thing."
Intention and Courage
You need to hold in your heart your intention, your purpose, your mission in life. If you do not have a goal to reach in the short and long term as part of a bigger purpose, you will never achieve greatness. Just like you intend to go to the grocery store you NEED to intend on greatness. Set your mind on your purpose and go headlong into it with courage. Nothing of value will be achieved without getting uncomfortable. Outside one’s comfort zone lies greatness, mastery, and mastery of fear. Courage is such a thing. The more you overcome fear and come closer to mastery the bigger your courage muscle gets. The bigger your courage muscle the more freedom you have of your own life.
Do the thing and you will have the power.
This is what Emerson was talking about. Do what makes you scared. Do it over and over. And then pick something else. Because it is an obstacle allowing you to become free if you choose to partake in it.
Courage is such a thing
Setting out on your Hero’s journey will require you to get outside your comfort zone. More than you ever have in your whole life. So why not start now? Start doing things outside your comfort zone daily.
Little and often over the long haul
Little courageous acts daily build up the muscle. Just like physical exercise in training, these courageous acts continue to allow us to grow. The powerful feeling you receive as a rite of passage is amazing. Passing through this life existing rather than living is the greatest mistake. LIVE. Make mistakes, grow, learn, and make a new mistake.
Failure is one the best teachers you will ever encounter. I’ve failed so many times I would bore you. But all those failures add up to one moment of achievement and overwhelming emotions take over. It’s truly amazing to work so hard for something and finally achieve it, with only you knowing all the times you failed. On the outside, it looks like that person is successful and gets it right every time. On the inside, the person knows how many failures it took to get to that point.
Every time you flex your courage muscle and overcome fear you come one step closer to mastery of fear. Fear will never leave but its hold on you will be less and less as you overcome it. And when you face a difficult challenge—the biggest obstacle you’ve ever encountered, look back on your experience and know you’ve done this countless times.
AND CRUSH IT!