by: Brian Klemmer

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In seeking to 'make a difference', it is easy to notice two types of people: those who are nice, good-hearted, and compassionate but can't make much happen, and those who can make everything happen, but with it they are self-centered, greedy, and unethical. Thankfully, Brian Klemmer's compassionate samurai are the perfect blend of someone with strong ethical values who can make absolutely anything happen, whose whole life is about service in living to help others win in life. Here he explores ten codes by which you can embrace the way of the compassionate samurai - commitment, personal responsibility, contribution, focus, honesty, honour, trust, abundance, boldness and knowledge. When practised as your daily regimen, they will help you to always be satisfied and motivated regardless of your circumstances. Through thought provoking discussion, searching exercises and journal writing you will enjoy success with integrity and peace, becoming the best possible you.
245pp, 152mm x 224mm, Paperback, 2009

'We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.'
? Winston Churchill

What is the bigger picture in life? For the compassionate samurai, looking at the bigger picture always leads to the question How can I serve this person, organization, or country? In fact, the true meaning of the word samurai is 'to serve.' The average person always asks, What's in it for me? The average businessperson leads an ordinary life; an extraordinary one makes a great profit and always wins in the marketplace. But compassionate samurai businesspeople, in addition to being highly successful, choose to make a great contribution to their community, their society, the people who work with and for them, and their customers.

Compassionate samurai also give to those they?ll never see in this lifetime by leaving a positive legacy. They not only make contributions; they are living gifts. These individuals realize that whatever they have isn?t solely for their own use; it's also for the benefit of others. This includes their finances, time, talents, even life itself. No matter where they are, compassionate samurai are always looking for ways to contribute.

Sometimes there's something in it for them and sometimes not. At some points they have lots to give and at others they don?t. Regardless of their personal circumstances, they live a life of giving. In 1570, during the war for the unification of Japan, the battle of Anegawa took place. The armies of Asakura Yoshikage and Tokugawa Ieyasu, two great daimyos or warlords, were engaged in battle when Asakura's army became surrounded. To give Asakura an opportunity to retreat and reorganize, one of his grand champions, Makara Jurozaemon, offered a challenge.

A champion from Tokugawa's army accepted his challenge. Makara won the fight, and then another of Tokugawa's champions fought him. This continued until eventually Makara was beaten and beheaded. His son stayed beside him during these battles while the rest of Asakura's army retreated. The son was beheaded as well. Makara gave his life to save the army, and his son gave himself to support his father. Not only did they save the army, but also they gained honor and a legacy that exists to this day, more than 400 years later.

Compassionate samurai are willing to give their lives for a great cause or for their principles. An average person values his existence above all else; he wants to survive at all costs. This isn?t to say that compassionate samurai are martyrs who always give until they have nothing left. Some people do adopt this mind-set. They give their time to their children, job, and community, but they never spend time on themselves. This results in burnout, and then there's nothing left for anyone. Some folks donate money to their churches and other causes but never invest anything for themselves. As a result, they generally don?t have large amounts for any cause. They?re willing to give everything if the circumstance requires it, but martyrs neglect themselves under the cloak of nobility.

Giving to Yourself
In terms of giving, what's the difference between a martyr and a compassionate samurai? The difference is what is at stake. Compassionate samurai take care of themselves as they lead a service lifestyle. Giving to themselves is okay; they don?t feel guilty receiving. Martyrs, on the other hand, often feel guilty when they gain something for their own purposes, thinking that it may violate their objective. Being generous with yourself increases your capacity to help others. In fact, it's part of the giving lifestyle. Giving to yourself is not acceptable, however, if it's done at the expense or to the exclusion of others.

If you give all your money away, you live like a pauper and have no reserves to sustain yourself or others in challenging times. If you don?t spend time on yourself to take care of your body, you won?t have a life to give. Don?t mistake this for selfishness; it's appropriate self-worth that says, 'I am worthy, as are others.' Compassionate samurai give continually, and that includes themselves. They appreciate the value and blessing of life.

From The Compassionate Samurai, ?2009 by Brian Klemmer, published by Hay House.

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