Flávio Rodrigues Vieira en Lifestyle, beBee in English, Marketing Analista Técnico de Seguros • Mainland 3 29/9/2016 · 3 min de lectura · 1,3K



In the 1920s, a German named Eugen Herrigel moved to Japan and started training in Kyudo the Japanese martial art of archery.

Herrigel was taught by a legendary master Kyudo called Awa Kenzo. Kenzo was convinced that beginners must master the fundamentals of archery before trying to shoot a real target and took this method to the extreme. During the first four years, Herrigel was only allowed to shoot a straw roll only seven feet away. (1)

When he was finally allowed to shoot at targets in the practice room of the extreme, their performance was dismal. The arrows left of the course and he became more discouraged every rebel shot. Herrigel was convinced that his problem was poor goal, but Kenzo said he is not as objective you have, but how you approach your goal that determines the outcome.

Frustrated with his teacher, Herrigel blurted out, "So you should be able to hit it blindfolded."

Kenzo stopped for a moment and then said, "Come see me tonight."

Archery, blindfolded

At dusk, the two men returned to the courtyard where the practice room was located. Kenzo walked to their normal location shooting with hidden target somewhere in the middle of the night. The shooting master archery launched the first arrow in the courtyard darkness.

Herrigel wrote later: "I knew by the sound that he had hit the target."

Immediately, Kenzo took a second arrow and shot again at night. Herrigel jumped up and ran across the courtyard to inspect the target.

In his book, Zen in the Art of Archery, Herrigel wrote: "When I turned on the light on the target, I discovered, to my surprise, the first arrow has hit the middle of the black, while the second arrow had splintered the butt the first and into the shaft. "

In practice, however, Zanshin has an even deeper meaning. Zanshin is to choose to live your life intentionally and acting with purpose rather than acting as a victim of everything that comes in your way.

Improving the enemy

There is a famous Japanese proverb that says. "After winning the battle, tighten your helmet" (2)

In other words, the battle does not end when you win. The battle ends only when you get too lazy, when it loses its sense of compromise, and when to pay attention. Zanshin This is also the act of living with the alert, regardless of whether the goal has already been achieved.

We can apply this philosophy in many areas of life:

  • Writing: The battle does not end when you publish a book. It ends when you consider yourself a finished product when it loses the necessary surveillance to continue to improve their craft.
  • Fitness: The battle does not end when you reach your ideal weight. It ends when you lose concentration and ignores training, or when you lose perspective.
  • Entrepreneurship: The battle does not end when you make a big sale. It ends when you become arrogant and complacent.

The enemy of improvement is neither failure nor success. The enemy of improvement is boredom, fatigue and lack of concentration. The enemy of improvement is a lack of commitment to the process because the process is everything.

The art of Zanshin in everyday life

"One must address all activities and situations with the same sincerity, the same intensity and the same consciousness that you have with the bow and arrow in hand." - Kenneth Kushner

We live in a world obsessed with results. As Herrigel, we have a tendency to put so much emphasis on the arrow will reach or not the target. If, however, we put the intensity, focus and sincerity in the process - where we put our feet, as we hold the bow, we breathe during the launch of the arrow - to hit the target is simply a side effect.

The question is not to worry about hitting the target. The question is whether in love with the boredom of doing the job and embrace each part of the process. The point is to take this time to zanshin, that moment of mindfulness and focus, take it with you everywhere in life

It is not the target of interest. It is not the finish line that matters. It's the way we approach the goal. Everything is objective. Zanshin.

Everything is goal

Great shot masters arc often teach that. "Everything is objective" Where you put your feet as you hold the bow, the way you breathe during the launch of the arrow - all this determines the end result.

In the case of Awa Kenzo, the master archer was so aware of the process that gave an accurate shot and was able to replicate the exact number of internal movements, even without seeing the external target. This full consciousness of the body and mind from the target is known as zanshin.

Zanshin is a word commonly used in all Japanese martial arts to refer to a state of relaxed alertness. Literally translated, means "the mind without rest." In other words, the mind completely focused on action. Zanshin is to be constantly aware of your body, mind and surroundings. It's a surveillance effortlessly.


1. When Herrigel complained about the extremely slow pace, Kenzo replied: "The path to the goal is not to be measured! How important is weeks, months, years? "

2. The actual phrase is "katte kabuto in the the shimeyo" which literally translates to "tighten the rope Kabuto after winning the war." The Kabuto was a helmet worn by Japanese warriors. As you would expect, it looks amazing.

@Ben Pinto there are so many teachings that eastern culture can bring us, thank you for reading this information, that's my goal.

Ben Pinto 30/9/2016 · #4

This is a beautiful story and the lessons it teaches are as much so. I was hoping to hear that the second arrow had split the first, but I did not expect it to be so. It was a nice bonus! Thank you for sharing this!

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#2 great teaching, much like Bruce, I think he is one of the first who showed the patience linked to a good strategic plan, it can not be beaten.

Pedro 🐝 Casanova 29/9/2016 · #2

Dicen que repetir algo 10.000 veces " bien hecho " conduce a la maestría. . Bruce Lee dijo ...yo no tengo miedo de alguien que ha practicado 10.000 patadas. Pero si tengo miedo del que ha practicado la misma patada 10.000 veces ...

It s been say that in order to became a master of any ...you have to practice...and well made...that any 10.000 times...Bruce Lee said...Am not afraid of someone who has been practicing 10.000 kicks. But I do respect the one that had pratice same kick 10.000 times...

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