To Choose Death

So how hard am I going to go at this thing? When I first thought about becoming a samurai, I figured I’d read a few books, take a karate class or two, maybe change my diet. Then I read something in BUSHIDO: The Way of the Samurai that changed my whole mindset…

‘The essence of the Way is when faced with the choice of life or death, is to choose death without hesitation.’

This is the most important concept to grasp when entering into the world of the samurai. If you can grasp this concept, the bushido, or the Way of the samurai, will come to you naturally. If you can’t, every aspect of it will be a struggle.

Now, this isn’t to say as a samurai, I should jump in front of the next subway car I see just to die…just to choose death. But if there was a child in front of that train, and you knew that saving that kid might end your life…you choose the way of death. You save him. But that’s even an easier choice than what this concept is all about.

The Way is to accept death. To be ultimately prepared for death every morning and every night. If you were going to die today, how would you want to prepare your last meal? Or go through your next workout? Or spend the last hour with your kid? The samurai were prepared for death at all times and therefore lived life in almost perfection.

That goes the same with respect to achieving a goal. Put everything you can into achieving a worthwhile goal. Don’t be a coward and bail out at any point, even if the obstacles seem like they are too much, or too stressful, or too embarrassing. Put it all out there…every time. They might call you crazy for dying (failing to achieve that goal), but in the end, they will respect that you did not fear that death. And more than that, it will give you increased self respect, knowing that you did everything in your power to make something happen.

That’s how hard I’m going to go at this thing to become a samurai . I’m going to choose death rather than half-assing it. Nothing in my life will be half-assed anymore. It’s either worth doing wholeheartedly and going after until my dying breath, or I’m not f-ing doing it.