Yeah, well I don’t really know a lot about samurai despite the title of the blog. But I do know that ronin samurai were masterless samurai, who lost their position through various events. According to Wicker-pedia, in Japan “ronin” also refers to “salarymen” who have lost their jobs or students who failed to get into university and will try again.
In this shifting economy, we can all become ronin at some point. That can be terrifying and at the same time liberating. Furuichi talks about spending 30 minutes each day in continuous improvement. I think in terms of placing little nuggets of inspiration and skill in my samurai mind notebook. I love self-improvement books and one of the ways I reward myself for study “pushes” is by using little five minute explorations of self-help books.
One of my recent nugget discoveries is the career guide What Color is Your Parachute? 2013. What I never realized about this book is that Richard Bolles, the author, updates it every year. Every year he rethinks his advice and also thinks about the economic climate. In the 2013, he makes a point of really addressing folks who are unemployed. He paints a useful picture of the difference between two unemployed folks. One is glum and ready to blame. The other one is not happy about his situation but:
. . . he wakes up each morning glad to see the sun, puts on beautiful music, walks a great deal, counts his blessings, is in a job-support group, focuses on other people’s troubles, not just his own, is a great listener, spends each new day trying to be a better person than he was the day before, remains active in his job-hunt, tries to learn something new each day, essentially sees life as an adventure, and is willing to wait patiently for the next Act to unfold . . .
I think this is great advice even if you currently have a job. Job hunt your own job to make it more interesting. It’s also great as you are approaching your various learning projects. Khatz over at ajatt.com points to this “hunt for the nuggets” approach when he explores how to learn a language:
The journey of getting used to a language is so psychologically long that it can’t merely be a means to an end. It must become an end in itself. It must become its own joy, its own reward. And this perspective, this mental state, doesn’t require too much imagination or discipline or training to reach. Anyone who’s been on a road trip with friends knows: the destination is almost incidental.
Wherever you are in your ronin journey, find something to enjoy. Don’t forget to stop for nuggets!