You are in the Arena, or a rat in a maze. Really see this. How you interpret your daily life, your daily drive to work, determines what you are. The rat running the maze is moving according to habit and conditioning, as are most on their way to work. But the Ronin considers himself to be in an arena where Death is the hunter. And this is true, there are many furious rats that don’t get the cheese, just as there are many who set off to work with the same mind frame and don’t make it. The man in the Arena will purposely perceive and reject the scripts that were handed him and then write his own. Accepting yourself as The Man in the Arena is life changing. One major shift is how you relate to the world around you, and the other is how you deal with difficulties, and the emotional storms that can sink your boat.
Your life, knowledge and culture have been made by other men’s journals. Now you have iPhones, iPads, and computers, but before that the people of history had little notebooks, sometimes handmade, that they carried with them and wrote down the ideas that became our present time. Leonardo de Vinci has passed down to us 13,000 pages. Marco Polo kept a famous journal that led to his published book, that Christopher Columbus used to take notes in. The inventions of Thomas Edison, that we take for granted, began in his journal. He thought so much of journaling that he ordered all his staff to do the same. Emerson, Picasso, and Issacs Newton are just a few more whose world changing ideas began in a pocket notebook. If the greatest minds of history journaled on a daily basis, then that’s a pretty strong suggestion that you should also.
When you do journal, you join these heroes and savants on a magic carpet of excellence. At one time you would have taken pen to paper, now you type your thoughts, and then look at them on the screen. Still they are real, and your placing them there is a form of commitment. Congratulations., you have begun your Musha Shugyō What you have read in this book is just words, your using the journal has made it all real. It is almost an affirmation for success.
Just this one technique can change your life, and without it, improvement is slow, difficult, and often illusory This is where you plot your course, and your Journey. It is here that you record your inspirations, your failures, and your successes. Personally I have kept a journal of one kind or another for over sixty years. Part of the 1eye system is that you are writing yourself a new narrative, a new story, and when you look deeper into the journals of all the great people of history, you will see that they too used their journals to break free of “The Matrix” of their time. It is crucial that you journal. If you get nothing from this book but the habit of journaling, then I will be pleased, and it will transform you.
You will live and die in your journal and it will become a part of you, and you of it. Here you will record your hopes and dreams, your suffering and efforts, and what you have learned from them. Aristotle said, ” “The unexamined life is not worth living,” and this you will do in your journal. Your journal, whatever form it might take, is the lens for the examination of your life.
Writing it all down is the first step to making it happen. This is project management, and you are the project.
There is really nothing new in this book, except the organization of the material. Everything you read here had been practiced, in one way or another for thousands of years. So I can definitely say that 1eye type of people journal. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius are an example of the journaling of a stoic Roman Emperor. A Book of Five Rings by the master strategist Miyamoto Musashi is another. All the great “Jedi” and their instructors of the past have left journals. It’s vital, but not that hard. Do it. Each day, in some manner, you write your thoughts, keep track of your progress, and check off the things you intended to accomplish. You might use your computer, which is what I do, or perhaps you use a pen with smooth flowing ink in a special journal with quality paper. My handwriting is trash, but that is another story. I use OneNote and Excel. On a spreadsheet, the days of the week go across the top, and in the left-hand column are what you are working on. What I do is have a right-hand column where I write the sayings or quotes that stoke my spirit. For instance, “Win in the Mind First, Better a life of discipline than regret, What we think, we become.” OneNote is a dream application, and you can record and work on a life with it. I do. But you Journal, it is crucial that you do so.
It is within your journal that you will create a mission statement. This is difficult if you are a Ronin to be. Recall I mentioned the caterpillar who had fallen in with worms. Imagine they are working on their mission statements before setting out in life. For the worms this was easy, turn dirt into shit. For the caterpillar, it was almost impossible, because how could he comprehend that he is to be a butterfly? Do it anyway. Write down what you are working on, then keep track day by day how you are doing. This works for physical exercise and mental training. Part of your mission statement is to be a Ronin 1eye, or however you wish to phrase it. Write that down, then as you progress, keep track.
It is obvious that the mnemonic, and other aspects of this book are idiosyncratic to myself. So as you journal, all of this material will begin to change to suit you personally. That is fine. After a time, and you have made progress, share it with us on the website, Ronin1eye.com.
For now I hope the material in this book will help with your journaling, and perhaps your mission statement. It is flattering if you just keep reading this book over and over, but I would rather that you took what meant the most to you, and wrote it in your journal as you interpreted it. You will find that your concepts change as you work at them. At first, you might think this book or one I mention is just the greatest thing, and you will study it carefully taking notes, but as time goes by your understanding will grow beyond what you study. Your mission statement will change as your adventure progresses.
And you must note your weak points. If you have scenarios in your mind that cause rage or jealousy, write them down. Write your dark thoughts, and then read them later, and this will gradually cleanse your mind. It is well to note the great heroes of the cinema who have inspired you. If you read a novel, and a powerful thought that moves you is well expressed, write this down, eventually they will become a part of you. It is very important that you don’t look at this like a school assignment, or some recipe to produce a standard result. This is your life and its plan. What you do in your journal will serve you well.
Journaling is your metaphorical light saber against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, that life must of necessity, place in your path. When bad things happen, you need your journal. Here you write them down, write how you feel about the situation, and what are your possible actions. All strategists and elite military minds do this. When you lose your job, marriage partner, or get a diagnosis of cancer, you will need and use your journal. Here you will organize your research and someday prepare for your final battle.