21 November 2016

You Only Need this One to Succeed - DaoDeJing 39

When things don't seem to go right for you, there is usually one simple answer. You are trying to do too many things at the same time. It is also possible that you are focusing on the wrong thing. Lao Zi advises you to find the one Key and focus on this key. For leadership, it is humility. Be the rock that others can rely on. DaoDeJing 39
DaoDeJing Chapter 39 Text and Translation:

昔之得一者:
From the beginning of times, the following got their One [key thing]:

天得一以清,地得一以宁,
The sky got it and it remains clear.
The earth got it and it remains at rest.

神得一以灵,谷得一以盈,
The mind got it and it is creative.
The valley got it and it is filled [ with lives of all kinds]

万物得一以生,侯王得一以为天下正。
All things got it to be able to live. 
The kings got it so that the world can be ruled rightly.

其致之也,谓天无以清将恐裂,地无以宁将恐废,
Getting it is most important else all be gone.
So, if the sky is not clear it might split.
The earth if not at rest might be useless [for living].

神无以灵将恐歇,谷无以盈将恐竭,
God without power is dead. Valley without abundance will dry-up

万物无以生将恐灭,侯王无以贵高将恐蹶。
All things without lives will be gone.
Kings without honor will fall.

故贵以贱为本,高以下为基,
Hence, honor is built upon lowliness as a foundation.
Height is built upon low as a foundation.

是以侯王自谓孤寡不谷,此非以贱为本邪?非乎!
Hence, Kings address themselves as the orphan, the alone, the unworthy.
Aren't all these names based on lowliness? Are they not?

故致数舆无舆,不欲琭琭如玉,珞珞如石
Hence, having a few cars ends up like having none. (Family members think that there are so many cars and so each one drive away one leaving nothing for the Father).
Don't be like precious and rare like jade. Be like the common looking rocks [that are useful as foundations and walls].

Focus on the One Key Thing to Succeed.
What wrong with our life or our business? It is usually we are trying to solve too many things and sell too many products or services. Our time and resources are divided among many things and we cannot give enough time and resources to really solve an issue well. Drop the confusion. Simplify your life. Find out what is the most important thing and focus on doing that key thing well. When Steve Jobs went back to save Apple Inc, he removed more than 150 products then and only focus on the developing the new generation of translucent Mac. The company was saved.

The One Key Thing for Leadership and Life
What is this one thing for life that will bring us success? Lao Zi suggests going for the seemingly low honor things. Don't be like jade, beautiful and rare but almost useless except for decoration. Be like the common rock, be in abundance, strong and useful. It does not look beautiful from the outside. It is not its jobs. Its job is buried underground to be the foundation where tall buildings can be built upon it. Or it could the walls of rocks. Some people plaster over them to make the wall look beautiful. Some just leave them as exterior to showing their ruggedness. Leaders are the rocks where their followers rely on.  Consider this 1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Finding this ONE key thing is extensively covered by Gui Gu Zi in The Simple Key to Mastering Your World & Increase Your Power According to GuiGuZi

Lim Liat (c) 21 Nov 2016



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