The Art Of Living
“The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying without reaching one’s aim is to die a dog’s death is the frivolous way of sophisticates. When pressed with the choice of life or death, it is not necessary to gain one’s aim.
We all want to live. And in large part we make our logic according to what we like. But not having attained our aim and continuing to live is cowardice. This is a thin dangerous line. To die without gaining one’s aim is a dog’s death and fanaticism. But there is no shame in this. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. If by setting one’s heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling.”
As you sit in your deathbed and gaze softly upwards, what thoughts will comfort you? Will you sigh a happy sigh as you dissolve into nothingness or will a longing sense of chances lost steal into your last moment, as you try to put your foot into the door that is closing before you.
Live your days with consciousness and purpose. Embrace death. Let it comfort you with its certainty. Allow it to counsel you in your daily decisions.
How trivial the risk seems when the end remains the same!
As I wake I should ask myself what choices shall I make today so that someday I can smile as I close my eyes and sigh the happy sigh of a life well-lived.
The Value of Trying
If you try, you may fail, but at least you give yourself a chance to succeed.
How often to we talk ourselves out of pursuing our goals before we even try to take the first step towards fulfilling those goals? What purpose does it serve to convince ourselves that it is better to not try at all and be sure of our chance of success when, by trying, the chance of success is unknown but the outcome is at least potentially positive?
Is it a Brain Thing?
What part of the brain assesses and values risk and reward, pain and pleasure, and what would cause someone to always overestimate the probability of failure and to undervalue the reward of success?
All I had to do was pick up the phone, dial a number, and ask a simple question. Sure, I could have dialed the wrong number or I could have received “no” for an answer but why should these mere possibilities have stopped me from at least trying? Was a 100% chance of not being told “no” more valuable than a 30% chance of getting to ride along in a Life Flight helicopter?
The importance of trying
I could have easily have put down the phone and picked up some magazine to read while I waited, but something in the back of my head called out and reminded me that I had always wanted to ride along with Life Flight. Rather than dismiss the thought as being boy’s dream, I picked up the phone and did what any successful person must do. I just did it.
and so should you.
Daniel Millsap | Life Flight Ride Along Houston Texas 2010
- Life Flight – official website
- Life Flight – Wikipedia article
- Eurocopter EC145 – type of helicopters used by Life Flight