Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Building Inner Strength

A Chinese story, kind of a Taoistic story about a philosophic farmer.
One day, the farmer’s horse ran away, and all the neighbors gathered in the evening and said ‘that’s too bad.’

He said ‘maybe.’

Next day, the horse came back and brought with it seven wild horses. ‘Wow!’ they said, ‘Aren’t you lucky!’

He said ‘maybe.’

The next day, his son grappled with one of these wild horses and tried to break it in, and he got thrown and broke his leg. And all the neighbors said ‘oh, that’s too bad that your son broke his leg.’

He said, ‘maybe.’ The next day, the conscription officers came around, gathering young men for the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. And the visitors all came around and said ‘Isn’t that great! Your son got out.’

He said, ‘maybe.’

Not internal strength, aka internal power as in Internal Martial Arts; rather, strength of character. The type of mindset of the Stoics or the Wuji of Zhuang Zi. That kind of internal strength.

This article appeared at Fulfillment Daily. Below is an excerpt. The full article may be read here

It's an interesting list. You could do worse.

The Challenge: We all want (and need) inner strength, yet few know how to find it.
The Science: Science suggests 9 keys to developing inner strength that keeps you smiling.
The Solution: Integrate these 9 keys to inner strength in your life for greater fulfillment.

In 1914, Thomas Edison’s lab burned down, and years’ worth of his work was destroyed. This could easily be described as the worst thing to happen to Edison, but the inventor instead chose to see it as an energizing opportunity that forced him to rebuild and re-examine much of his work. Edison reportedly said at the time: “Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start again fresh.”

“In a world that we don’t control, tolerance is obviously an asset,” Ryan Holiday, author of the forthcoming The Obstacle Is The Way, told The Huffington Post. “But the ability to find energy and power from what we don’t control is an immense competitive advantage.”

He’s talking about mental strength, a difficult-to-define psychological concept that encompasses emotional intelligence, grit, resilience, self-control, mental toughness and mindfulness. It’s something that Edison had in spades, and it’s the reason that some people are able to overcome any obstacle, while others crumble at life’s daily challenges and frustrations.

The ability to cope with difficult emotions and situations is a significant predictor of our success and happiness. The most capable individuals in this way are able to turn any obstacle into a source of growth and opportunity. And while much has been made of what mentally strong people avoid doing — things like dwelling on the past, resenting the success of others and feeling sorry for themselves — what do they actually do? What tactics do they use to overcome adversity time and time again?

“Things that we think are obstacles are actually opportunities to do something,” says Holiday. “[To] be rewarded in some way that we never would have expected, provided that we address and don’t shirk from that obstacle.”


tao1776 said...

Good visit (and read) again. I've been away - like wow! Away. A long story but what the heh! Cultivating Stillness / the Taoist manual for transforming Body and Mind (and many other opportunities) is helping to lead me back into the Tao. Hope to read in your Kitchen more often. Thank You!!!

Rick Matz said...

Sir Timothy, if you've been away then welcome back.