Answers From An Old Master

Time: 5 minutes.

What can we in our modern fast world learn from Laozi, also known as Lao-Tzu, meaning Old Master. Laozi was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. Most people know him as the founder of Taoism. The Tao philosophy, meaning 'the way' or 'the path', is based on simple and humble living. Of course Laozi had no idea about rush hour, smartphone's and super fast internet, I mean 2,500 years ago the world looks a little bit different, but he did know and had really good thoughts about ordinary day human phenomena like distraction, confusion, happiness, acceptance, desire, freedom etc.

While reading his book, Tao Te Ching, I discovered some amazing and powerful tools. He believed that happiness was tied to acceptance. And I embrace that totally. The moment you can let the things be, the moment you choose to be with whatever there is to be with, like yourself, the circumstances or the people around you, freedom and happiness will occur. You already hold the answer to life's questions, but you are blinded by your mechanized and automatic way of living life.

So what are Laozi answers to our modern way of living? What can we learn from his wisdom? I like to share these powerful insights:

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. When you look within, you will find everything you need.

By letting go, you become free. 
If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial. If you want to become straight, let yourself be crooked. If you want to become full, let yourself be empty. If you want to be reborn, let yourself die. If you want to be given everything, give everything up. Things become a big deal because we make it so. The louder we complain, the bigger the problem seems. While we cannot ignore our problems, we must also not give them more attention than they deserve. Be with it exactly the way it is and if you want to get rid of it, you must first allow it to flourish.

Stop fighting.
Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself and allow things to flow naturally.  Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself? Be like the forces of nature. Express yourself completely, then keep quiet.

Make time.
Time is a created thing. To say 'I don’t have time,' is like saying, 'I don’t want to.' We all have exactly the same amount of time, down to the second. Why then do some of us accomplish so much more than others? The secret is in “making” time. You are the creator of the time you set aside to undertake important tasks. It’s not that we have so little time. It’s that we waste so much of it.

Watch your ego.
Your ego will never give you true pleasure. When you try to shine, you dim your own light. But be confidence to be yourself, but without caring what others think. If you care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner. When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you. Caring too much about the opinions of others will leave you eternally unhappy. There is one person you’re forgetting whose opinion counts the most – your own. And if you are a leader, you must place yourself below the people you're leading. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.

Avoid overthinking.
Stop thinking, and end your problems. Silence is a source of great strength. Laozi believed in just being quiet in our minds. Mind pollution in which we relentlessly think and re-think our problems, is a threat to our well being. Most startling is that it doesn’t create solutions, it prevents them. When we are relaxed, of clear mind, solutions then make themselves known.

Change is inevitable, so embrace it.
If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve. New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. But whatever happens, be yourself and be kind. Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. 

Be good to all.
Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Not to favor the other or to favor your own accomplishment. Let your accomplishments speak for themselves. It’s good to be proud of your accomplishments. But boasting, bragging and talking about them excessively will make you unattractive. A confident person does not need or seek the validation of others. She or he only needs their own inner validation.

Many of us seek a simpler life. Things have become complicated and overly fast-paced. But it doesn’t need to be that way. As long as you maintain your connection to your ground of being, your internal source of self, you can move on in your life with integrity, dignity, clarity, and grace. There is no reason to defend, resist, or control if your true desire is to maintain a healthy connection with yourself and the circumstance you are being with. Ultimately there's no good and bad, it's just your interpretation of the situation.

About the Author

Joeban Machiel. Life Enthusiast. Possibilizer. Coach.

With today's stand of more than 1 million visitors and tens of thousands subscribers I want to leave you here with an experience, rather than to merely impart new information. Don’t just take it as value what you read, test it out and see if it works for you. In any case, even the truth, when believed, is made up. You must experience the truth, not believe it.

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