A Zen teaching story tells of a man who prayed continually for awareness to succeed in life. Then one night he dreamed of going into the forest to attain understanding. The next morning he went into the woods and wandered for several hours looking for some sign that would provide answers. When he finally stopped to rest, he saw a fox with no legs lying between two rocks in a cool place. Curious as to know how a legless fox could survive, he waited until sunset when he observed a lion come and lay meat before the fox. ‘Ah, I understand’, the man thought. ‘The secret to success is to trust that God will take care of all my needs. I don’t need to provide for myself. All I have to do is totally surrender to the all-sustaining universe.’ Two weeks later, weakened and starving, the man had another dream. In it he heard a voice say, ‘Fool. Be like the lion, not the fox’.
It may still be early in the year but for many of us the year is in already in full swing. We’re back into our daily life, back to our to-do lists and action items. Our December restfulness (for those of us lucky enough to grab some) replaced with our daily striving toward our 2010 smart goals. We’ve a lot to do! We’re to sell 140 widgets, get 8 new contracts and generate 3 gazillion in revenue! And, if we do that, we’ll have the success that we’re striving for this year.
Unless we’re holding a bigger-picture view, “lots- to-do” can quickly swallow us back into the same routines that we were fighting to shake off before the December holidays. The big-picture view means not only focusing on that which we DO but also that which we BE.
This year, will you be like the lion in this ancient Zen teaching? Will you be magnanimous, kind, unexpected? Maybe not a lion but, maybe ….a river; flowing, deep, single-minded in the pursuit of your goals? Or maybe a ripe fruit which hangs heavy as it matures—sweet and mellowed with experience? Will you be warm, funny, spontaneous, innovative, still, harmonious, caring, loving, driven? What words would you use and/or choose which resonate with the kind of Human BE-ing that you are and/or are planning to be?
If you’re serious about achieving your goals this year, you’ll want to remember this ancient wisdom; “You need to first be who you really are.” When you are BE-ing [BE-ehaving] in an aligned way, you’ll do the right things. When you do the right things, you’ll have what you want”.