The Higher the Water, The Higher the Boat

I saw a report this weekend that said “50% of N. Americans say they’re dissatisfied with their jobs.” I hear this alot from my friends too (and unfortunately, there are more days than not that I’m a part of the 50%.)

Being unhappy at work has nothing to do with the work available or what you’re doing. It has everything to do with your fear and inability to decide to go after what you want because at the end of the day (literally) your happiness has everything to do with how you’d spent that day. “Economic uncertainty is the perfect opportunity to seize control of your career, why? Because you have little to lose. You know everything you need to know now, but what you don’t have is the ability to make a decision in the face of uncertainty.” stated the report. It’s fear, it’s scary to dive into something unknown or different. But to change is to progress, especially if your unhappy right now. It’s a big challenge.

To have progress, you have to suck first. The single best lesson is that you have to learn that there is no right choice, no right decision, no right path in the beginning. All decisions have opportunities, and all opportunities have a chance of success. Pick the one that seems the most interesting and run with it, make the best of it. Once it opens up and you learn more, you’ll be able to decide if it is the right choice, but without change or action, it’s a 100% failure rate.
Starting over is risky no? Off of your comfort zone, off the familiar path into uncharted territory. Lets look at the risks in your life. Your risk is that you will have to lose what you have, is it all that much? Imagine you shifted your focus on ‘the opportunity that existed’ as opposed to ‘losing what you have’ if you changed your life. Is it possible that the true risk is continuing your life as is? Most people get complacent and end up lowering their life standards due to comfort and contentment. The ambition that they once had to climb the corporate ladder, to innovate new ideas, to start new ventures…those all fade away with the unhappy daily grind that one accepts as a result of the fear of change. What do you risk losing if you do not change? Your energy, your enthusiasm, your dreams. Your greatest risk now, is the status quo, what society looks on as safe is now what you look at as safe. Comfort trumps change, even though the ‘comfort’ you are experiencing now is the dumps.

A new life is calling for you! Don’t be scared of change but welcome it with the happiness that new possibilities are around the corner. When you look at a task with happiness, it turns into something you want to do (as much as you don’t want to do it) and it makes your passage smoother. Something else I’d read: “Difficult situations should be faced with courage and joy, the higher the water, the higher the boat.”

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Somethings I’d Heard

I just got back from China and there were 2 things I’d heard there that really stuck with me.

I was in a scripture store where the artist himself worked out of. He was a student of Confucious and he did a painting of a man on top of a rocky mountain, fishing off of the cliff into air. There was no water, no fish, but he sat there with his bamboo rod and string hanging off the side of the cliff. The painting had the chinese characters “Goh Shan Chui Diu” which means ‘high mountain fishing’. The meaning of it though was that no matter the outcome, the end, you should always enjoy the journey along the way. The fisherman knew he wasn’t going to get fish at the top of the mountain, but he enjoyed the climb and view along the way, so it wasn’t a wasted journey regardless of his outcome. If we’re able to enjoy the process as much as the outcome (the design and fabrication of fashion as well as the finished beauty of the end product, the cruise in your car along the highway as well as reaching your destination, the run along the seawall as well as the physically fit body), if we can enjoy the journey, then we’ll be happy all of the time.

I liked the meaning so much I had the calligrapher write those 4 characters for me on a scroll.

On the plane ride back, I was watching a chinese movie, where they’re dressed in armor and fighting with swords on horseback. Crouching Tiger styles. Leon Lai (Lai Ming) was one of the actors in the movie. He was the last remaining warrior of his clan and now lived in solitude in the forest until he ran across a Princess who was being attacked by her enemies. He saved her, though she was shot with a poison arrow. He took her back to his camp and when she awoke he showed her around. He was building a blimp, to carry him high above the forest and so that he could fly. In those days, people coudln’t fly yet and he was trying a new idea. She said to him “You’re such a dreamer, you’re never going to fly” and he said back “Men need to dream, before dreams come true.”

Keep dreaming, and one day your dreams will come true. (it takes action too though!!) Enjoy the journey, enjoy life right now, at this exact moment that you are living it, because it doesnt ever get any better than the present moment…and find inspiration anywhere and everywhere, from a little old calligraphy shop to movies that you watch.