19 February 2015

Year of the Goat and Three Rams bringing Abundance

Today, 19 Feb 2015, is the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Goat. My Chinese New Year wish for all is "三羊开泰" "Three Rams bringing great blessings of abundance".  Understanding the origin of this good wish will bring brighten your mind and help you realise the abundance of your wish. Take the initiative, follow the Way of righteousness and remove any blockages to a year of abundance and joy.
"三羊开泰" "Three Rams bringing great blessings of abundance" comes from the Hexagram #11 泰 tai , of I-Ching, the Book of Change. The pictorial icon for 泰 meaning great flow of abundance, is

The first 3 lines of the Tai hexagram are yang lines. Goat or Ram in Mandarin is also pronounced as yang. It appears then that the 3 rams bring forth the hexagram of Tai. What is the meaning of the Tai hexagram? Tai stands for great flow of abundance in peace. The bottom, or the beginning of the hexagram represents the trigram of Heaven, which flows upward. The top 3 lines of yin, represents the trigram of Earth which flows downward. Hence, Tai represents an exchange of upward and downward flows resulting in production of abundance of things and blessings. Economics 101 tells us that exchanges bring forth great abundance. The description of the Tai hexagram is 小往大来,吉亨.
Giving little but getting great returns. Good fortune and Smooth Flow.

We can know the wisdom for getting abundance:

1. Getting comes from Giving First. 小往大来
Great returns comes from investing wisely first. Invest in hardwork to learn the trade and spending effort will bring forth abundance. Chinese zodiac signs teach complementary values. We must be as smart as the rat and as hardworking as the bull. Be brave as the tiger but be cautious as the rabbits. For more see Complementary Values from Chinese Zodiac Signs.

2. Get the flow going. Remove any blockages and bottlenecks. 
Smooth flowing brings forth great productivity. Removing any blockage or bottleneck in the flow helps improve the flow. Jams, stoppages, conflicts, defects all impede the flow and slow things down.

3. Follow the way of Righteousness bring forth blessing. 吉祥
羊 yang with sacrificial altar representing worship of God, becomes 祥, xiang which means auspicious, propitious, or simply great blessings. How can we acheive smooth flowing of point 2? It is by following the way of righteousness, following the commands of God, I-Ching teaches that profits come from harmonizing one's ways with righteousness. This is exactly the teaching of Matthew 6:33 about seeking God and His kingdom first and all these blessings of abundance will be added to you.

May your New Year begins with a worship of God by following the ways of righteousness, removing any blockages of bad habits and intentions to gain a smooth flow, and by being the examples and taking the initiative for other to follow. Then, there will be no regrets but great joy of celebration at the end of the year.

Lim Liat (c) 19 February 2015

See also Ancient Chinese Wisdom for understanding of I-Ching.

24 January 2015

U SAID it - Your New Year Wish

Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year has not any assurance that you will get them. It is only good manners that may perhaps bring some little happiness and optimism to you. However, giving you the know how to be happy and successful may indeed make your New Year Wish come true. The actions you need to take is captured in U-SAID. Here are the details:
 USAID stands for Unload, Stop, Add, Increase and Decrease.

Unload - Bring Closure to Your hurtful Past.
The better life for the New Year begins with Unloading. You can't move forward easily until you unload your heavy loads, accmulated in the past, all the way from the day you were born til now. Some of the loads are:
  • hurtful experience, rejection, abuses, bullied, cursed, violence in family, abortion, etc.
    Need healing for the hurt, guilt and also forgiveness, even of self.
  • lies - May be due to the hurtful and bad experience, certain incorrect mindsets are formed such as 'I am a useless nobody or a loser or a failure',  'Men are big bullies', 'Money will solve all problems", "I need to be loved to feel worthy" etc.
    Find the lies (the assumptions, the limitations, the prejudices) and replace the lies with truth. May be need to find the truth first and then the lies will be exposed and self-destruct.
STOP doing the harmful and evil things.
Dr Henry Cloud wrote Never Go Back: 10 Things You'll Never Do Again" and here is the NEVER DO list from his introduction:
  1. Return to what hasn’t worked
  2. Do anything that requires you to be someone else
  3. Try to change another person
  4. Believe that you can please everyone
  5. Choose short-term comfort over long-term benefit
  6. Trust someone or something flawless
  7. Take your eyes off the big picture
  8. Neglect to do due diligence
  9. Fail to ask why you are where you are
  10. Forget that your inner life produces your outer success
ADD new fruitful and strategic things to do.
Fruits are the produce of your inner virtues like love, righteousness, wisdom, etc. You must first find out your own purpose in life and the values that you believe in. Write out your personal mission statement; your motto in life. With a mission, you can tell what are strategic and important things to do  .... those that accomplish your mission are strategic. Those that contribute nothing or even lead you away from your mission are unimportant or distractions that you should stop.

INCREASE those strategic activities.
With your mission defined, you can quickly find out the many good things that you have be doing. Do more of such strategic things. But you may complain that where can you find such more time and resources to do more? Extra time and resources can be found in the stopping of harmful and unfruitful activities and also in the following:

DECREASE those essential but not contributing to mission activities.
Many things are needful, such as eating and being healthy. But they are not sufficient in achieving your mission.  Any champions, be they in sports or in academia, need more than just being healthy. Excessive eating and exercises do not make anyone healthier. DECREASE such activities to the minimum levels to free up resources for the strategic things. This process is known as PRUNING.

Here is a mind-map that summarized the above and apply SAID into relationship building. STOP harmful relationships, ADD new helpful relationships, INCREASE uplifting relationships and DECREASE or maintain necessary relationships.
Before the Chinese New Year, 19 Feb 2015, can you Unload and bring closure to your past hurts and lies, and list down a set of activities to Stop, Add, Increase and Decrease. You don't need a big list, but just one or two in each categories. When you have done them, review again to come out with the next 1 or 2 activites for SAID.

Don't wish but rather be sure to take the USAID actions and have a better year ahead.

Lim Liat (c) 23-1-2015