Miyamoto Musashi, incredible swordsman and famed ronin wrote what’s called the Way of Walking Alone or the Way of Self Reliance. It’s a guideline for living life all by yourself. I want to let this list pretty much stand on its own today, because with the exception of ‘do not have a liking for delicious food for yourself’ I think it is incredible.

The one thing I will say is that it is amazing how people that lived hundreds of years ago, in a completely different culture, can write something relevant to our lives today. But it happened time and time again, reminding me that no matter how dire any situation seems, people have been through it before.

  • Do not turn your back on the various Ways of this world.
  • Do not scheme for physical pleasure.
  • Do not intend to rely on anything.
  • Consider yourself lightly; consider the world deeply.
  • Do not ever think in acquisitive terms.
  • Do not regret things about your own personal life.
  • Do not envy another’s good or evil.
  • Do not lament parting on any road whatsoever.
  • Do not complain or feel bitterly about yourself or others.
  • Have no heart for approaching the path of love.
  • Do not have preferences.
  • Do not harbor hopes for your own personal home.
  • Do not have a liking for delicious food for yourself.
  • Do not carry antiques handed down from generation to generation.
  • Do not fast so that it affects you physically.
  • Do not be fond of material things.
  • Do not begrudge death.
  • Do not be intent on possessing valuables or a fief in old age.
  • Respect the gods and Buddhas, but do not depend on them.
  • Though you give up your life, do not give up your honor.
  • Never depart from the Way of martial arts.