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A New Year in the Journey of Art & Life

Every year, at the same time, you make decisions to change into a better version of yourself. As an artist of combat and life, the journey is fraught with battles within that test your philosophy and perseverance. It’s true that this journey isn't for everyone — The only reason a warrior is alive is to fight, and the only reason a warrior fights is to win. Otherwise, why be a warrior? It is easier to count beads.

Determine that today you will overcome your self of the day before, tomorrow you will win over those of lesser skill, and later you will win over those of greater skill.

Looking Back…

Objects in the rear view mirror are larger than they appear. But let no journey forward begin without a look back at where you've been. Peer into the past. Who is this person you want to change? What are the characteristics that disturb or maybe even disgust you? It’s time to take a good, hard look at everything that you don’t like about yourself. Peel away the layers, strip yourself bare and let the light of introspection illuminate every blemish. Make that hit list of attributes to assassinate.

The purpose of today’s training is to defeat yesterday’s understanding.

Easy Does It

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Don’t dash forward in haste… just yet! It’s time to realistically assess what you are capable of changing with least effort. Yes, you heard me right. Don’t aim to struggle and sweat it. Pick the battles that you can win easily, while sporting a smile :) Now that the hit-list of yours seems cheerfully doable, get your weapons ready and go in guns blazing… Yeehaw! Get into your groove, settle into a rhythm, find your flow and keep up the momentum. There’ll always be a time to shake things up again ;)

It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.

In the Heat of Battle

When the going gets tough, the tough get going! You will find yourself in a spot when you want to drop everything and run back. This is usually the time when you bite the bullet and embrace the suck. That may involve a bull headed charge forward or a tactical pause to reassess your progress and bash on regardless. Such a phase may strike you midway through the year when you have made significant progress yet there’s massive resistance wanting to drag you back where you started from.

Image Credit: Jungshan
True warriors are fierce because their training is fierce.

Pat yourself on the back.. You deserve it!

It’s the time to wipe the sweat off your brow, look gleefully at what you've accomplished thus far and grin from ear to ear. On the quest to glory through strife, the most important thing you can do is to smile as often as you can. Take the time to say hello to the new you. Does it excite you to see how far you've come? Do you feel inspired to go further towards the ever expanding horizon? Feel the open skies of infinite possibility ahead of you as you sail forward with the wind in your face.

No man is invincible, and mastery is something a man never stops seeking to attain.

Celebrate with Gratitude

Celebrate your steadfastness and sure footed progress on the journey of a lifetime. You may have reached your goal, but you’re now enthused by the spirit of constant progress and evolution. Express gratitude to the Teacher who is with you in every strike for victory and every tear of defeat. Share the fun with the people who walked with you on your journey thus far. Remind yourself of why you choose to do what you do and reinforce your choices. It’s the time to embrace your new found buoyancy and walk on… yet another trip around the sun!

Never stray from the Way…

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All quotes used in the article by Miyamoto Musashi

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