I get embarrassed when I read articles on the internet explaining me what person should I be.
Healthy, athletic, rich, successful, full of experiences, traveler, blogger, entrepreneur, good manager, good listener, charming and shoot laser from my eyes. Seems like there is a teleportation machine – bang and you’re there – under the glowing aura of success and achievement.
I understand that there is marketing, some people want to sell some stuff to me and you. I understand that there are so-called goals. If you want to achieve some goal, you must think about it, dream about it, and visualize it. Then you will work 20 years to achieve your 15 minutes of fame. Then what?
All these people forget about the WAY. If there is some state of mind – there is a WAY leading to it. For ones, it is short, for others it’s long, but there is always a WAY.
I promised you Chinese emperor, but let Jim Carrey talk first.
I wish everyone could get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they would know that’s not the answer.
How can he talk things like this, when he already has everything – this richness and fame. First world problems?
He explains what happens when you reach a goal, and there is not what you expected and I guess he talks from his experience. I guess this is time to raise a question: is your GOAL leading you the right WAY? Is your way leading to the goal you want to achieve?
What should be the way?
The Chinese emperor
Here we have some help from the Chinese emperor, seen in a movie called Hero with Jet Li. What kind of wisdom can we find in a fighting movie? I think that wisdom is not the thing we can find only in dusty libraries. True wisdom is what helps us to fight better, to write a better movie scenario, to rule the country better.
The story in a movie is like this: there are 20 different Chinese characters to write the word sword. Everyone knows those 19, but the last one is hidden somewhere. And that last one resembles the true meaning of the word sword.
This character somehow appears in the movie and Jet Li spends all night staring at it and trying to understand its true meaning. Too bad he is not wise enough and he cannot do this.
Luckily, the Chinese emperor sees this character and he gets the true meaning in about three minutes.
So, the true meaning of sword:
- At first, a man trains a lot to be master of a sword in his hand. So he can cut enemies with that sword skilfully.
- Then, a man trains to be master of a sword in his heart. So he does not need a sword in his hand anymore. He can cut enemies skillfully with his bare hand.
- Then, a man does not have sword nor in the hand nor in the heart and lives peacefully with himself and others.
That means you never know where your goal will lead you. You seek money and fame, but when you reach it, you understand it is not important to you after all. You become the master of a sword in your heart, so you don’t need it anymore.
Also, if you want not to care about something (to have lots of money and not to work), first you must care about this a lot (to have lots of work and no money). If you want not to carry a sword in your heart, first you must train to use a sword in your hand.
What are we going to do with this?
If you want to achieve something, sometimes you need to seek opposite goals.
If you want peace, learn to fight first. (Sometimes we must fight for peace and defend it.)
If you want to do nothing, learn to do everything first. (When you’re effective and productive enough, you’ll have more time to do nothing.)
If you want not to care about money, learn to care about them first. (How to earn, save and invest. All books teaching how to get a million quickly and not to work, actually teach how to work.)
If you want to do your job better, learn how to be lazy first. (Laziness makes us optimize activities, this leads to efficiency. Also if you want to be productive, you must take regular rest.)
If you want to talk in public, first learn how to be silent in public. (It is easy to read a prepared text. It is difficult to stand wordlessly with your mind blank. Who is a master of silence – he has no fear to talk.)
If you want to improve, regress first. (I know some people who had very inappropriate lifestyles and damaged their health seriously, but now they are strict yogis and vegans.)
If you have a lack of courage, learn to fear first. (Courageous is the one who acts no matter of fear. Fearless is the one who has some problems of the mind.)
If you want to be self-confident, learn to doubt yourself first. (Doubt will raise questions. When you answer them, you will have solid inner fulcrum then.)
If you want to create, learn to copy first. (Creativity is actually connecting old things in a new way. I have seen this quote so many times, that don’t know where does it come from.)
If you want to sell, learn to buy first. (You can sell better if you understand how people buy.)
If you want to be spontaneous, learn to plan first. (So you can juggle your tasks easily.)
If you want to win, learn to lose first. (How can you win if you surrender after first losing?)
If you want to know one shore, try to move to the other shore, and see everything from a distance.
And get ready – sometimes you might see that your goal you were working for is not the goal you really want to achieve.
The way of improvement
After considering the principles of the Chinese emperor, we can draw the way of improvement.
Water always moves to the perfect place – closer to the center of the Earth, when there will be no pull of the gravity anymore. Zayts in the illustration also moves to the perfect place – as low as possible. Sometimes he gets stuck because he meets a hill. Then he must move the opposite way, away from his goal. But after climbing the hill, he can move down again.
That is a strange way of depicting improvement. Usually, we go up to the skies. But just for one moment leave the mystic image of hell and move with the laws of physics – to the state where nothing is pulling you away.
We have periods in our lives, when there are no hills, we flow down like a waterfall. But sometimes water gets stuck and may become a swamp. Sometimes, upon going downwards it generates electricity.
The path for each of us is different. But after reading this you might get an idea what to do if you got stuck.
Let’s learn to fight with a sword, so, we don’t need to carry a sword in the heart at last.