Self-esteem and self-worth are important qualities to have, but sometimes we can get too caught up in our own sense of importance. We can become overly focused on our own achievements, our own goals, and our own desires. However, this kind of self-centeredness can often be counterproductive, leading to feelings of isolation and dissatisfaction. In contrast, when we focus on the world around us and work to improve the lives of others, we often find a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment.
This idea is captured perfectly in the quote by Miyamoto Musashi, “Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.” Musashi was a legendary Japanese swordsman who wrote “A Book of Five Rings,” a classic guide to strategy that has been studied by martial artists, businesspeople, and military leaders for centuries. In this quote, he is urging us to place less emphasis on our own ego and more emphasis on the world around us.
The Dangers of Self-Centeredness
Self-centeredness can manifest in many different ways. Some people may be overly focused on their own physical appearance or material possessions, while others may be obsessed with their careers or personal achievements. Whatever form it takes, self-centeredness can be harmful to our mental health and our relationships with others.
For example, if we are constantly preoccupied with our own needs and desires, we may neglect the needs of others. This can lead to strained relationships with family members, friends, and coworkers. We may also become overly critical of ourselves and others, leading to feelings of frustration and unhappiness.
The Benefits of Thinking Deeply of the World
When we shift our focus from ourselves to the world around us, we can experience a number of benefits. For one, we may gain a greater sense of purpose and meaning in our lives. By working to improve the lives of others, we can feel like we are making a positive difference in the world. This can lead to feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment that are difficult to achieve when we are solely focused on our own goals.
In addition, thinking deeply of the world can help us to develop a greater sense of empathy and compassion. When we are more attuned to the needs of others, we are better able to understand their perspectives and experiences. This can lead to more harmonious relationships and a greater sense of community.
Of course, it is important to strike a balance between focusing on ourselves and focusing on the world around us. We need to take care of our own needs and pursue our own goals in order to lead fulfilling lives. However, we also need to be mindful of the impact our actions have on others and work to make a positive difference in the world.
One way to do this is to seek out opportunities to volunteer or engage in acts of kindness. By actively working to help others, we can develop a deeper sense of empathy and compassion. We may also find that our own problems and worries seem less significant when we are focused on the needs of others.
In conclusion, the quote by Miyamoto Musashi, “Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world,” encourages us to shift our focus from our own ego to the world around us. By embracing a more selfless perspective, we can experience a greater sense of purpose, fulfillment, and empathy. While it is important to take care of our own needs and pursue our own goals, we should also strive to make a positive difference in the world and help those around us.