The Tale of the Monk and the Samurai

When you are a network marketer, there are many things to consider other than the more traditional aspects of a business. Personal development and life lessons – while they should be a part of everything we do in life, seem to be even more important when engaging in this rewarding business of network marketing.

Through this blog, I have often reflected on humility, facing your fear, listening to others, trusting your leader, accepting your destiny, not running away from obstacles, and so on. All these are so important in living your life to the fullest and give you the most potential for success with the greatest feeling of self-contentment and confidence.

Thinking of all these made me recall a brilliant story I once heard. It is a story of a young monk and it truly captures the very essence of how vital these attributes are in one’s life and personality.

So today, I would like to share this story with you, and ask you to ponder carefully this young monk’s tale. You may be surprised that his story of fear and humility is not at all unfamiliar to you.

A young monk is sent out from his monastery with the mission to find a sword and bring it back to his master. On his way, he passes beautiful gardens and forests and even contemplates abandoning his mission in order to indulge in the beauty around him. But finally he sees a sword, lying on the ground next to a dead samurai. Thinking this must be the sword his master sent him to find, the young monk picks it up. Suddenly another samurai leaps out from behind a tree and challenges the young monk to fight.


“Please! Spare my life! I am not a samurai, but a monk on a mission to find a sword!”


The samurai ignores the pleas of the young monk, and exclaims, “Draw your sword! It is my mission to kill 100 men!”


Shaking and thinking of anything he could say to get away from the samurai, the young monk pleaded, “If you spare my life now, I promise to come back to fight you!” The young monk had no intention of ever returning to face what would surely be his swift death at the sharp blade of this crazed samurai. But the samurai agreed to spare the young monk’s life if he would later return to fight.


Safely back at the monastery, the young monk was trembling as he placed the sword at the feet of his master while telling the terrible story of how he almost died in his mission to bring his master a sword and how he was forced to make a false promise in order to save his life.


His master said, “Now that you have returned with this sword, you must go back and fight the samurai because you cannot turn away from challenges in your life. You must face your fear and complete your promise. This is your mission now.”


When the young monk further protested that he had no idea how to fight and that his life would surely be over if he returned to fight the samurai, his master simply replied: “Do not worry. When it comes time to fight, just pull out your sword, place it up in the air and close your eyes. Just trust me. Do as I told you.”


At first, the young monk did not want to follow his master’s orders. That night, he couldn’t sleep, but slowly he came to accept that this would be his last night alive. In the morning, the monk started witnessing things that he had before taken for granted. On his way back to the samurai, he was calm and detached from the world. He knew he would soon die and in the face of that realisation, he walked confidently and calmly towards his greatest fear.


When the young monk reached the samurai, he held the sword in his hand and a steady expression on his face. “I am honoured that you have returned to meet your promise,” said the samurai. “Now we must fight.”


And with that, the young monk remembered his master’s words. He drew his sword, held it above his head, and closed his eyes. He was steady and calm with the knowledge he was about to die.


As the young monk stood motionless with his sword drawn and eyes shut, the samurai nervously circled him. The samurai was confused at first. Then he became afraid. In all the great warriors he had fought, not one had faced him so calm, so still, and with his confident eyes closed.


“Surely,” said the samurai to himself, “this man is the greatest samurai I have ever come across. He has returned to fight me, and now stands waiting with his eyes closed.” The samurai dropped to his knees.


When the young monk finally opened his eyes, he saw a shrivelling samurai begging for his life to be spared and praising the young monk as being the greatest samurai that ever lived. “I realise how arrogant I have been and how wrong I was to try to kill 100 men,” said the samurai. “Please spare my life, Great One, and I shall never kill again!”


The young monk stood still and said, “I will spare your life if you leave here and never kill anything ever again, and you must leave here and do 100 good deeds.” And with that, the samurai was gone. The young monk returned to the monastery as a changed person with unquestionable respect for his master, and lived the rest of his life without complaint and as if each day was his last.

Please take a moment to ponder… In life, so many things can change if you rise up and face your fear. Be humble enough to listen to authority and respect your leaders. And most importantly, never run away from challenges. Face them head on and use the knowledge of others to help you fight your own ‘samurai’. In life, there are so many times we feel we are incapable of achieving something because we don’t have the skills, the studies, the experience, the right clothes, the right house… but if we think this way and run away from our fear and from challenges, we will never grow as a person, as a business person, or as a friend.


Joseph Bismark

Group Managing Director, QI Ltd


One thought on “The Tale of the Monk and the Samurai

  1. Thank you Mr.Japa for the amazing halped me alot. I had alot of fears in my business which were dragging me backwords.My mentor helped me alot in facing most of them like taking to strangers and being confident.The story helped me that if i want to overcome the rest of my fears , i just have to face them..i have to do the things that i am afraid of, no matter what.God bless you.


    Nuha Shakir

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