Many people have resolved to make a resolution for Chinese New Year. Let’s assume you have made a resolution and have not yet broken it. For an added boost, here are two stories for you to read as you try to achieve your goal.
A monkey wanted to become a human being, but it knew that in order to become one, it must cut off it’s tail. But before attempting to cut it off, the monkey considered three questions:
- Will cutting my tail off be very painful? (Changes will cause a certain amount of pain.)
- Can my body maintain its flexibility without a tail? (Changes come with a certain risk.)
- Will it be hard to give up something that I’ve had for so many years? (Changes will bring some discomfort, both physically and emotionally.)
The monkey eventually decided not to become a man after considering the answers to these three questions.
The moral of this story is that to gain something, you must give up something if you want to achieve your goal. Changes may bring you a certain amount of short-term pain and discomfort, but without changes, you will suffer for life.
Getting on the road
A young monk wanted to leave the temple to wander about the countryside, which is a means to cultivate one’s character. The monk’s Master asked him when he wanted to leave. The monk responded:
“This is a long journey, and I asked the cobbler to make me a few pairs of straw sandals. So, I should be leaving next week.” The Master pondered his response for a moment and said: “I will ask people who come to the temple to donate their straw sandals.”
The next day, there was a roomful of straw sandals in the temple. A man even donated an umbrella. The young monk asked the man why he donated an umbrella. The man replied: “Your Master said that you would travel far and you cannot go without an umbrella.”
By the end of the day, there were 50 umbrellas in the temple. In the evening, the Master asked the young monk if he had enough sandals and umbrellas for his journey. The monk replied: “There are too many, I cannot take all of them with me.” The Master returned:
“You will travel far and cannot run out, so you must take all of them with you, and tomorrow I’ll ask the temple guests to donate a boat, as I am sure you’ll need it to cross the rivers and streams that you will encounter while on your journey.”
The young monk then understood his Master’s intention, and knelt down before him and said:
“I’ll leave right now and I don’t need to take anything.”
The moral of this story is that in order to accomplish anything, the only item needed is your determination. With determination, you turn toward the goal you have set for yourself and walk down the road.
Translated by Yi Ming.