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  • Writer's pictureJames Evangelista

Having A Single-Minded Purpose

“All that matters is having single minded purpose (Ichinen) in the here and now. Life is an ongoing succession of ‘one will’ at a time, each and every moment. A man who realises this truth need not hurry to do, or seek, anything else anymore. Just live in the present with single-minded purpose. People forget this important truth, and keep seeking other things to accomplish.” Yamamoto Tsunemoto, Hagakure (2-17)

In our society today, media bombard us with distractions wherever we go. When we touch our pockets, we have this little device that distracts us and sometimes makes us mindless (the opposite of mindful). Our attention span keeps getting shorter and shorter.

Distractions such as noise, delusions, and useless thoughts fill our minds. This is the current state of humanity right now. Most of us are unaware of this state, but it’s true. All it takes is to observe your surroundings. You’ll realise what I wrote here is true.

Our ability to stay present and focus on every task is diminished because of certain productivity ideas like “multi-tasking.” As human beings, we cannot multitask. All we do is ‘switch tasking.’ We just switch our focus from task to another, and this leads to ‘half-assed’ results.

To produce great work, we must be at the moment, do our best, even though we are not perfect at what we do. Combining single-minded purpose with constant practice will lead to great results!

What’s worse is that sometimes our minds wander. This takes away our ability to be present and see our current situation. To be present or mindful, just take a deep breath and realize that some of your thoughts are just noise to distract you.

Never worry about the future because it is just another moment that will arrive. What matters is in front of you and your current situation.

Single-minded purpose or Ichinen is a wisdom by the samurai. A samurai always lives at the moment and have an Ichinen to win their battles. We may not face their type of life and death situations but this wisdom applies in our modern lives as well. With all the noise and distractions around us having an Ichinen will help us accomplish our version of success.

Always remember that to accomplish success we must live in the moment and act with a single-minded purpose.


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