Dojo Message “When things are tough, you fight one more round.” Jim Corbett
The warrior spirit is to never give up. Warriors are supposed to develop isshinni (一心に) or “singlemindedness” or “wholeheartedness.” This singlemindedness is supposed to be a resoluteness whereas a warrior will stay focused and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Supposedly, a samurai was supposed to have such a strong spirit or isshinni that they would be able to attack one more time even if their head were cut off. We cannot be taught this determined spirit, but it is something we can learn. We must learn it for ourselves and it begins in training as we learn to gaman (我慢) or “to persevere.” In training, we are constantly presented with hurdles and as we surmount these obstacles, we learn perseverance. The Japanese proverb which typifies this behavior is nana korobi yaoki (七転び八起き) which means “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” Anyone can be defeated, but what defines us is our ability to get up and try again. We only really fail when we give up. The more we preserve, the stronger we become and with that strength comes success. Obviously, nobody can hold out indefinitely, but by building a tolerance for perseverance, we can call upon our inner strength in the difficult times when our character is challenged the most. Archilochus stated, “We don't rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.” Today, more and more we are buffeted by forces and situations which seem out of our control, but they are simply a test of our isshinni and we are getting the opportunity to show who we really are. The true spirit of the warrior is to never give up, especially when times are the toughest.
Today’s goal: Today, make a list all of the times when you give up, big and small. Tomorrow, choose one that you won’t give in to.
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