How to be a ninja. Everyday #93

I'm light years away from my old MBA days, so these days I pick up the Financial Times purely for entertainment purposes. (I love that. Suck that, sensible career!) Sometimes this means that I sit there and scoff/drool at what rich business people in England do with their money (maybe I miss the career, just a bit), and sometimes it means I take away more than I bargained for. I may not be an investment banker but I loved this article where the writer takes a working vacation to dabble in the japanese martial arts -- namely sumo wresting, which was meh, and a class with a ninja master, which was, predictably, awesome.

For example, ninja are supposed to "be good at 100 things" -- can you imagine? Despite being physically agile and super sneaky (plus deadly, the part is that most impressive to my boys) you are also supposed to cultivate interests outside of kicking ass. So ninja dabbled in gardening and calligraphy and poetry or whatever it is they wanted to learn. I want to be good at many things too; definitely not 100, but I'm going to work on a list of things I want to get good at. And then I'm going to take lessons. And I'll sit in my sewing class not feeling lame for turning into a grandmother, but feeling sneaky because what I'm really doing is training to be a ninja.

Also, they felt that training should be fun because you learn more if you enjoy it. Makes perfectly good sense to me. And don't forget the importance of learning by doing -- endless research on the internet isn't going to turn you into a ninja

But my favorite paragraph has to be this,
The ninja's special skill, really, is to think outside the box and do the unexpected, In a land famed for its strict adherence to tradition in all things, you can see how effective a technique that can be.

Reminds me of the Coco Chanel quote: "In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different." Now that I think about it, she wore black an awful lot.