Understanding one of the most important skills of a Japanese warrior, or “samurai”, can improve our daily life, including our attitude towards apparently unsolvable issues.
This skill is called “gaman”, a word that can be translated as “patience”, “endurance”, “perseverance” and which deals with the capacity of living “without complaint whatever problem may throw in your path”.
“Gaman” is a fundamental aspect of the samurai’s code of life, or “bushido”, but it is not necessary to fully practice this tough philosophy in order to experiment a truly fulfilling “gaman attitude”.
Broadly speaking, something similar can be found even in Western societies: ancient Romans, for instance, used to practice self-conditioning by following the stoical conduct of enduring hardship without a word of complaint.
Nevertheless, it is even unnecessary to face pain or disasters in order to experiment “gaman”.
In fact, a simple and achievable “gaman-ese” code of conduct can be summed up by 5 tips, useful to face our daily issues:
1- Stay consistent
2 – Set small goals for yourself, and achieve them
3- Take your time
4- Be human, with dignity
5 – Breathe!
More about GAMAN here
How to make your life ‘flourish’, living up to your potential? Here are three good tips in Aristotelian thought, developed 2.300 years ago:
1. Having to do with our conduct, this is a matter of ethics and you have to cultivate Eudaimonia, which may be translated as ‘having good demons’. This indicates the capacity to raise all the functional, concrete aspects of life of humans as rational creatures who live in societies.
2. What enables you to flourish is also virtue: this essentially means knowing to what extent traits of human personality should be used and exploited on each occasion to achieve an optimal result.
3. You can become more virtuous through education, looking at accomplished, flourished people and through good habits you may develop, which help you flourish.
For more details have a look at this article: The 3 Key Ideas from Aristotle That Will Help You Flourish by Charlie Gilkey
On September 6, 1996, Bryan G. Dyson, then Vice Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, delivered a commencement speech at Georgia Tech’s 172nd where he made an extraordinary and wise set of remarks.
“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them Work – Family – Health – Friends – Spirit, and you’re keeping all of these in the air.
You will soon understand that WORK is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls FAMILY, HEALTH, FRIENDS and SPIRIT are of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life. How?
1. Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.
2. Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
3. Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, or without them, life is meaningless.
4. Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.
5. Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
6. Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. IT is this fragile thread that binds us together.
7. Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
8. Don’t shut love out of your life by saying its impossible find. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
9. Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going.
10. Don’t forget that a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
11. Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.
12. Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.
You are what you believe. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!”
Brian G. Dyson
Image source: Flickr – Mads Johansen – (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Asking active questions it is very important in our daily life. Simple, active questions can change our behaviour because they reveal where we are succeeding and where we need further improvement. And in doing so, they rivet our attention on what we can actually change. In his book, Triggers: Sparking Positive Change and Making It Last, Marshall Goldsmith outlines six active questions that fully engage us in life and work.
The Daily Questions are immensely useful for three reasons because they help us identify what we really want, not what we think we want and they motivate us in areas where we need it.
There are six daily questions in total.
- Did I do my best to set clear goals today?
2. Did I do my best to make progress toward my goals today?
- Did I do my best to find meaning today?
- Did I Do my best to be happy today?
- Did I do my best to build positive relationships today?
- Did I do my best to be fully engaged today?
By asking The Daily Questions, we remind ourselves that if we want we can control our lives.
Read here the full article
Image Source: Flickr – Noelia (CC – BY – NC – ND 2.0)