‘Ichi go ichi e’ is Japanese for ‘One encounter, one chance.’ This is a Buddhist phrase that was adapted to fit the samurai Way.
For Buddhists, they take this to mean that every encounter with someone, even someone you see every day, should be treated as if it were a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Because it is. That moment is a once in a lifetime moment. The combination of the exact place you are in with regards to your life and the exact place the other person is in his or her life, is once in a lifetime.
You cannot get any moments back. The lesson being that you should make them all count. It’s a good lesson.
With respect to the samurai, I first heard this phrase in regards to sword fighting. If you commit to a kill with one big swipe of your sword…and you miss, you leave yourself vulnerable and you are dead. One encounter, one chance. You need to make that moment count.
There are two kinds of people in this world…killers and nots. When an opportunity floats by, some people casually take a few swipes at it. Those are the ‘nots’. They are the can nots, the will nots, and therefore the have nots.
Killers do not carelessly flail their weapons, but they give smart, well-timed strikes with everything they have. I’m a huge believer that if there is something you want, you need to put your entire being into getting it. Use every weapon you have in your arsenal. And if you miss after putting everything into it…it’s not good. So don’t miss. You get one encounter. You have one chance.
But you have to swing that sword. How many opportunities have passed you by without you swinging?
I’m not a big regret guy, but I’ve missed a few. I know that. And while they don’t haunt me, I don’t want that to ever happen again.
In order not to miss, you have to be ready, with your eyes wide open, and you need to be expecting that opportunity. You need to be frothing at the mouth ready to kill.
I played a lot of basketball growing up. And I was always taught, that whenever you catch the ball, be ready to shoot. It’s not that you are going to shoot every time. But when you get that ball, you better be ready. Or the defense is going to close in quick. And your window of opportunity will be shut.
Make missed opportunities a thing of the past. That’s personal. That’s professional. That’s financial. That’s even everything.
Get yourself ready. Wait for the right time…your time…then go at it. One encounter, one chance.