A Book of Spiritual Wisdom To Help Discouraged People

Face of a sad-looking light brown and white puppyThink of the last time you were discouraged. You were knocked off balance and became weakened and vulnerable. Possibly something you longed to happen did not happen, or something you dreaded happening did happen. Then you were discouraged. Courage is a thing of the heart. The word “courage” derives from couer,” the French for heart. To be “dis” couraged is to lose heart. You were never too young and will never be too old be to be discouraged. You don’t outgrow discouragement.

 Bordeaux Mastiff dog happily running through waterAction is the most effective antidote to discouragement To rid yourself of being discouraged strive to be a person of action. The happiest and most courageous people in the world have a preference for action. Rarely are they discouraged. They are too busy to be. In high spirits they persist through difficulties, overcoming setbacks, resisting gloomy moods, never losing hope. That is why they are so happy. The samurai of ancient Japan were the most action-obsessed men and women who ever lived.


An Example of What Happens When You Are Discouraged

Good things can come out of bad things. So life taught me.

When you are cheated out of money, it is usually because you were too trusting, and I was to the tune of a sixty thousand dollar loss at a time when sixty thousand dollars might just as we’ll have been six million. I had a wife and four children and I was not rich. I had performed work in good faith, and then did not get paid. My spirit was taken out of me, my once firm faith in peoples’ decency was now shaken, and I couldn’t find Library with shelves full of bookspeace. So I began to search for solace and wisdom.

I had to think. I had to decide what to do now. I was so miserable and angry that I decided, being a writer, to put together a research-based book that would help me recover and would also appeal to other people who were battling the pains of discouragement.

The product of what I thought would be a one year creative venture was to be a book about which people would say, “It saved me from despair. It gave me hope. Once I was discouraged, but now I’m not.” In the book there would be no anger, bitterness, or vengefulness toward anyone, even the two evil men who had taken food out of my children’s mouths. Just good sense, good feelings, and good writing.

White and grey Japanese pagoda style building with blue sky and green treetopsI chose as the basis of the book the spiritual insights of samurai warriors of ancient Japan. It may seem that the psychology of people like that who lived four centuries ago  in a foreign country would have little to say to you, yet if you are interested in ways to strengthen yourself spiritually, that is the place and era to look for information. Samurai had introduced the teachings of Zen into the Japanese culture. Zen was “the religion of the samurai.”  Many samurai were poets.

Were you to acquire the skills of the samurai that the book I wrote is concerned with, the following benefits–the changes in their lives readers told me about–would occur:

Your resilience in recovering from discouragement and other setbacks would be remarkable

Your commitment to your major life’s purposes would be miraculous

Your powers of concentration would be exceptional

You would be afraid less often; old fears would disappear


Committing Yourself to Action

Puppet or doll of saurai warriorSamurai were models of action-oriented people. The essential feature of the samurai “Way” (way of life) is action. (That a discipline is a Way is indicated by the suffix “do.” The samurai Way is “bushido). All samurai spiritual insights and training were designed for one reason: to equip the person (a samurai or you) to make up their mind quickly and firmly and to go into action confidently.

Samurai were consumed by making a decision and taking steps to achieve their goals, and doing so with little time between the urge to action and the action itself, just as the flame appears immediately when you strike a match. A text that guided samurai says, “The Way of the samurai is immediacy. It is doing things NOW.” Another says, “When things are done slowly seven of ten turn out poorly.”

You will have ideal results if like a samurai you commit your entire being when you take action, putting all of your physical, spiritual, and psychological strength into the acts your life requires you to perform– an author writing a book, a sales person making a pitch, a public speaker addressing an audience, a parent listening to a little child as she speaks to you, etc.

Hold nothing back in reserve. Clear your mind of all distractions. Forget everything else. Forget yourself. Forget the impression you are making.  Forget winning or losing. Forget fame and wealth.  Forget setbacks. Concentrate solely on performing the action beautifully. Behave as though your every act is the last of your life.  Behave as though this is what you will be remembered for.

Are you a person of action or are you waiting for someone to save you?


Writing a Successful Book

Clickable (to Amazon page) image of cover of Kindle edition of Fighting to Win: Samurai Techniques for Your Work and LifeI was fortunate to find a good agent who had faith in the project and in me, and we proposed the book to a publisher who accepted it. There would be an advance in two payments. That was good; I needed the money. I laid everything else aside,  not having time to waste, and was excited by the process I loved–studying, reading, writing, revising, using my brain, having insights, then “aha” revelations.  I found that the sections that gave me the most trouble  and took the most time invariably proved to be the most popular when the book was published. That was a profound learning, I worked twelve to fifteen hours a day for two years to finish Fighting to Win: Samurai Techniques for Your Work and Life.

Fighting to Win’s popularity began slowly. There was a minimum of initial publicity. But then the book found its market–men and women looking for strength, a new beginning, and an escape from discouragement. It caught fire in one city after another, racking up sales in the United States, Japan, and Europe. When my article “Fighting to Win” appeared in Success Magazine it was the most read feature Success ever published.


Being Discouraged Is Contrary to Good Mental Health

Smiling, happy-looking young woman with short blond hair and sunglasses with yellow and white tulipsEvery day’s goal of healthy people is to be happy, to love and be loved, and not to be discouraged. But there are many impediments–opponents. In the arts among artists and writers I know so well, and in everyday work and personal life, like a samurai in battle, everyone encounters those opponents. Some are outer opponents–an outrageous person who’s hard to get along with (a harsh critic of your writing or painting, for example if you are in the arts), personal crises, setbacks, failures, Etc. People who steal from you.

But most opponents are inner psychological “dragons” in the samurai vocabulary, powerful opponents such as obsessions, anxieties, fears, and worries. Usually the inner spiritual opponents are the most dreadful. Every person has talents. If you surrender to dragons it makes full realization of those talents impossible. You won’t become the person you had the potential to be.

Golden-colored dragan headAll samurai training was designed to overcome those dragons so that in your everyday life you will progress smoothly from experience to experience, challenge to challenge, achievement to achievement, happiness to happiness.


Be Ready for These Five Dragons

Samurai were trained to overcome five universal spiritual blocks to action, and developed many methods for doing so, as Fighting to Win prescribes. If left alone without dealing with them, these blocks will fester and lead some people to discouragement. Those main inner opponent dragons are described in Chapter Two of Fighting to Win. They are:

  • Fear–of any kind (Everyone is afraid of at least one thing every day)
  • Being afraid to take risks. (That fear makes people timid and cowardly)
  • Thinking too much and not acting at all, or not quickly enough
  • Doubting yourself (the main dragon of many people, particularly people in the arts.)
  • Hesitating

Deep pink and white lotus blossom on dark backgroundAcquiring wisdom from the samurai Way suits people who wish to overcome discouragement and are able to make use of insights and techniques from any era or culture that will help them. What strikes me is the ease with which readers of the book adapt those insights from centuries ago to their current everyday living.

Writing is said to be therapeutic, and that was certainly true of my experience writing Fighting to Win. I overcame my deep discouragement and was happy to find that the book helped many people overcome theirs.


© 2023 David J. Rogers

For my interview from the international teleconference with Ben Dean about Fighting to Win, click the following link:

Interview with David J. Rogers


Order Fighting to Win: Samurai Techniques for Your Work and Life eBook by David J. Rogers

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Filed under Blocks to Action, Conquering Blocks, Eastern Philosophy, Encouragement, Fighting to Win, Overcoming Misfortune, Personal Stories, Samurai Techniques

22 responses to “A Book of Spiritual Wisdom To Help Discouraged People

  1. Freddie Levin

    Wonderful advice that I think I knew instinctively when young but had to learn it all over again as an adult. It is also not a small thing to have partners that support your decisions.


    • Freddie, what a wonderful point you make–how full of wisdom we often are as children, but forget what we knew, and as you say, have to relearn it, sometimes through difficulties and confusions. Yes, it is important to have the support of partners. We’re both lucky that way. And it’s also no small thing to have the support of friends. It’s always so nice to hear from you.


  2. Great post, thanks.
    I remember, about 30 years ago, I was losing out on consulting jobs hand over fist. I drew up a list of my ‘failures’ and stuck it on my wall as a reminder. It was a terrible thing to have done to myself and, thankfully, I snapped out of it.
    I’ve also been diddled by clients, albeit not to the extent that you have. One of them had the gall to ask for more work on the promise I’d be paid if his job got over the line. I politely declined.
    The 5 spiritual blocks to action are very real. I see fear, risk aversion, overthinking and doubt in writers all around me – people who talk about getting their work out there, but never do it. The most successful in my writers group are not only those who have talent, but who are prepared to suck up each rejection and move on to the next opportunity. It’s taken me a lifetime to learn that persistence wins out in the end! Or, as you say, taking action.


    • Rose, thank you for sharing your experiences. We’ve had similar consulting experiences, I see–some wonderful, honest clients whom it was a pleasure working with, but others for whom the concept of fair play was unknown.

      The 5 spiritual blocks I talk about in the post are the essence of FTW, so I’m happy you also consider them important. With the kind of mind I see that you have, you will be interested in knowing that an occupation that Fighting to Win is extremely popular with is traders in the stock market. They live with with fear, hesitating, overthinking, and the need to be decisive and take action, so their fondness for the book is understandable. But people in all walks of life have told me they found the book useful and valuable, and in many cases that it changed their lives.

      You paint a vivd and, I agree, an accurate picture of writers and people in the arts generally, and perhaps all people, who hold dear their goals and dreams but do not take the necessary actions to achieve them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am glad to say that I own your book and often refer to it. Thank you.
    Unless there is a private trust fund (certainly not in my case) – in order to be a professional artist one must have courage….it goes with the territory. On a daily basis, persistence and good working habits help us to feed and boost our courage.

    When we have set backs (and I have had many) we simply need to pick ourselves up – and turn around whatever the disappointment is to work in our favour.

    Happy New Year David to you and your family. Janet 🙂


    • Janet,

      Happy New Year to you and your family too.

      I can always count on you to have something to say that is interesting and useful to people in the arts. You have such a wealth of valuable insights and experiences that you are so generous in sharing with others.

      It makes me feel good to think of you referring to Fighting to Win, and to hear that you find it of value.

      Hope you are well, happy, and productive. We’ve heard that the weather has been uncommonly warm in the UK. We hope that is enjoyable for you.

      Best wishes, as always,

      Liked by 1 person

  4. David, I have Fighting to Win, and it is excellent. Waging Business Warfare sounds like a go-to for any career person too.
    As someone who is discouraged more often than not, thank you for this lovely post — and for the link to your interview. I’m looking forward to sitting back and listening. Hugs!


    • Hello Teagan,

      You say that you are discouraged much of the time. That goes to show you how irrational discouragement and other blocks can be. I could say to you, “You have so much going for you, your writing is so popular, and you’re so talented and liked, how can you possibly be discouraged?” And you’ll say, “Yes, yes, but I wish …..” I think ambitious people are surprisingly often discouraged.

      I’m happy you like FTW. It certainly has paid me back many times over in satisfaction for all the work I put into it. I’m always so happy when you visit my blog. I’m happy for you about your move. I think great things will come of it.

      Best wishes,

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lulu Casarrubias

    Hello David,
    Fighting to win is a jewel.
    It’s one of those books that I’ve read more than
    one time.
    Happy 2023,
    The best for you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lulu, for your nice comment about Fighting to Win. How are you doing? I miss seeing you. Happy New Year to you and your family as well. Are you still writing regularly?


      • Lulu Casarrubias

        Yes David, I am still writing.
        I would also like to see you and your wife shopping at the store soon.
        Have a great Monday.


        • Lulu, I’m very glad to hear you are still writing. What kind of writing are you doing? We haven’t resumed in-person shopping since the start of Covid. We do get into your store once in awhile to pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy. Maybe we will see you. Always good hearing from you.


  6. David, your Fighting to Win book certainly helped me! I find that re-reading it or particular parts of it recharge my batteries and help me focus on the task at hand. Thank you for writing it and being a supportive blogger-friend.


  7. Dear David, Happy 2023! I wanted to buy again as an ebook “Fighting to win” because my tablet broke down, but alas, I can’t since I don’t have a US-issued card; can you suggest another way?


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