Excerpt from The Shogun's Scroll
Shunko Zabayashi knew the importance of using his own resources when he effected a coup against his cousin in Tarama Province. He carefully thought about his actions before moving into position to take control of the clan. Although his cousin was a man of wealth, he was a squanderer, always insulting others who had less than he had; he would throw lavish parties and cause dissension in his own court by inviting certain people and excluding others. Zabayashi observed that many members of the clan were beginning to resent his cousin. Slowly, he built up his resources of men and funds until he knew that his cousin would be hard pressed to stop any advance. Forgoing the pledged assistance of others, he moved when he knew the time was right, and because he did not rely on the aid of people who would follow him regardless, he maintained control of the clan for the rest of his life and was never indebted or obliged to anyone.
Accomplishment is based on definition and redefinition of goals, which has to do with good fortune and good planning. Good fortune usually accompanies determination and desire. Good planning is always better. As much as is humanly possible, nothing should ever be left to chance. Careful examination of the works of great men will show that they did not rely on the inconstancy of fate. They saw opportunity and took it because they were emotionally and physically prepared for succes. As a result of this mentality, they accomplished great things and prospered. It may be necessary to strive hard, but once the goal is attained, it is very rare that it will be lost.
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