The biggest lesson Lao Tzu taught me without a doubt is that life is a road, not a destination….you reach your destination by walking on that road.
Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism and one of China’s most revered historical figures, teaches a lot in his writings about getting things done (and no, I don’t mean David Allen’s GTD). He probably was more connected to getting things done 2500 years ago than most of us are now. As an aside, historians say that Lao Tzu is a synthesis of multiple historical figures and I tend to agree with them because no One Man should be that awesome, but that is a subject for a different blog post….
I’d like to share with you some of the words he shared with me, words that helped me shape the man I am today, the company I work in and my goals as I see them:
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu
Lennon explains to his son in his song Beautiful Boy that “Life is what happens to you. While you’re busy making other plans”…A wonderful life = enjoy the journey. Think of the goals you would like to achieve and if you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. Remember, the road is not linear so be flexible and enjoy the scenery.
“Ambition has one heel nailed in a well, though she stretched her fingers to touch the heavens.” Lao Tzu
When I was 13 I wanted to be a self-made millionaire before I reached 26, and retire before 40. I’ve missed the 26 year old millionaire mark and today I love what I do, so I really don’t think that I would like to retire…ever.
But the ambition that drove me to dream, do, and explore things as a 13 year old helped me to develop knowledge that serves me even today. I think that mick jagger had it right – You can’t always get what you want, But if you try, sometimes well you might find you get what you need!
“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened” Lao Tzu
Taking a harsh look at reality and teaching yourself not to succumb to comfort or delusion is life changing. When you become accountable for your actions and stop copying others, you start to work on developing the habits that will lead you to success…You become unique.
“An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.” Lao Tzu
The road has an arrow and it’s pointing straight ahead. It doesn’t matter how large the obstacles in front of you…you’ll have to pass them!
Your comfort zone is a nice place to be in until you realize that everything you wanted to do is no longer in your there. Life, technology, relationships, the universe…they are all moving, be always on the move too.
Lao Tzu teaches that “even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. So after a series of quotes from him (and from the Mick and Lennon) I think that you are ready to tackle your week.
…What are you waiting for?