Hagakure, Chapter One – Planning and Preparation

“Among the maxims on Lord Naoshige’s wall there was this one: ”Matters of great concern should be treated lightly.” Master lttei commented, “Matters of small concern should be treated seriously.” Among one’s affairs there should not be more than two or three matters of what one could call great concern. If these are deliberated upon during ordinary times, they can be understood. Thinking about things previously and then handling them lightly when the time comes is what this is all about. To face an event and solve it lightly is difficult if you are not resolved beforehand, and there will always be uncertainty in hitting your mark. However, if the foundation is laid previously, you can think of the saying, “Matters of great concern should be treated lightly,” as your own basis for action.”

(Hagakure, Tsunetomo, Trans. Wilson, 2000, p27)

Phenomenal.  This verse (No. 21) shows the value of proper planning and preparation, it echoes the advice found in many modern books upon the subject. Hearing the advice reflected back from the past is really satisfying.