April 11th, 2011

Dalai Lama

Tao 道

The hardest thing to do in life is to know what to do.

Many therefore, do nothing. Or at least always take the path of least resistance. Which is pretty much the same thing as nothing when you look back over the span of your life. Some have gotten lucky in doing nothing, and/or been able to inhibit their desire for personal success (I even know one young man who considers himself successful because his goal in life was to fail) but is that the same as being happy?

I also know a successful individual who's known what he wanted to do since he was five-years old and has relentlessly pursued that dream with all his heart and soul. Is he happy? How could he not be with the fulfillment of raw, driven passion?

If the hardest thing to do in life is to know what to do, then knowing when to do it is a close second.

Wu-Wei, or "non-doing" is the Taoist principle that involves knowing when to act and when not to act. Not a lifestyle of active passivity as the English translation might suggest, rather a concept that (in a really round-about way) I've only just been introduced to, and, paradoxically, how I've managed to not only survive in this life, but also obtain the peace which has lead to my happiness. With a twist of course. There's always a twist, and that twist usually seems to make all the difference.

"You have to strike when the iron's hot," my dad would say. Which, as a young man was difficult to conceptualize when coupled with the knowledge that by his own admittance he led a charmed life and fell into opportunities at every turn. I therefore followed mostly in his footsteps, allowing myself to be carried along the shoulders of this mighty river we call life.

Or did I?

While I never gave up living in the moment for things which would create financial independence later, looking back I see a pattern of choosing that which would challenge me personally. The twist - which I'm currently working on further exploiting (and bear with me as I haven't fully figured out where I need to go with this entirely) is manifesting those opportunities in which to choose. So that its always the right time to strike the iron. Which would appear to be, to some degree or another, what I've always done.

I'm now going to go create my own path...and then follow it.