Saturday, 23 February 2013

Go to where there are plenty, ask from who can give. Would you do better if you had no fear? With success, his smile and self-confidence returned

Every town has a Saturday market, but in the whole of India, you will not find a tougher weekly market than the one that takes place in Shurasena. A dozen spice merchants compete to offer the lowest prices and, if you are planning to buy a camel, choices in Shurasena are more numerous than the hairs of a squirrel.

Like all philosophers, Krishna loved to go the market. In the morning, he traded his medicinal herbs for coins, and in the afternoon, he used those to purchase fish and salt. Every week, he did the same, and the path he walked to the market was the path he walked to return home.

One Saturday in July, after Krishna had bought a trout and an ounce of salt and was about to leave the market, he saw a kid, barely a man, sitting on the ground and weeping bitterly. "Why are you crying?" asked Krishna to the kid, who stopped sobbing and lifted his head.


Why are you crying?

"Will you have a lemonade?" asked the boy with a trembling voice, as he got to his feet and pointed at a two-wheel cart next to him. Ripe lemons and mountain ice were lying on the cart, as well as six glasses and a tin jar. A banner on the cart read "Dhiren's Cold Lemonade."

The kid's question was as incongruous as misplaced hope can be, since ten yards away, there was a public fountain. "I am Dhiren," he announced shyly. "If I don't sell enough lemonade, tonight I will not have a room to stay." The whole scene was so pathetic that, if Krishna had had any coins left, he would have drunk several glasses.

"Would you sell more if you had no fear?" inquired Krishna. Dhiren nodded and explained that he had not sold a single glass of lemonade in the whole day. The ice on the cart was melting and Dhiren had been weeping because he had lost all confidence in himself.


Would you do better if you had no fear?

"I have done my best," Dhiren went on sadly, "but there must be something wrong with me, since nobody in the world wants to buy my lemonade." Krishna smiled, for he knew better. In Dhiren's doubts, Krishna had recognized the doubts that he had had himself a long time ago.

"Changing oneself is often harder than changing the world," commented Krishna, laying his hand on one of the wheels and signalling Dhiren to push the cart forward. The wheels squeaked as they rolled on Market Square and the narrow streets of Shurasena.

When Dhiren asked where they were going, Krishna just repeated his mysterious words about change. An hour later, they crossed the south port of Shurasena and, right outside the walls of the ancient city, they met a long caravan of pilgrims that had just arrived from the desert.


With success, his smile and self-confidence returned

As soon as the pilgrims saw Dhiren's banner, they dismounted their camels, and walked to the cart. By the time all ice had melted, Dhiren had sold more glasses of lemonade than in the previous three months. With success, his smile and self-confidence returned.

When the day was over, Dhiren was a different man, sure of himself and fearless of the future. He searched long amongst the pilgrims, since he would have liked to express his thanks, but Krishna w
as already gone. The night fell and Dhiren found that, although the stars had not changed, he was living in a different world.

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Fr Antunes under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Do not waste your time trying to impress people who do not care for you. Stay away from markets that are closed to outsiders. Do not get into professions that offer little opportunity

Do not waste your time trying to impress people who do not care for you. Most of the career advice that you will hear comes from ancient times that, actually, never existed. Make a commitment to discard what makes little sense. It is time to reshape your strategy according to reality.

Pick up a pen and piece of paper and write down the names of unsuccessful persons you know. Chances are that your list will be quite long. Look at the names and ask yourself some hard questions. Recall their individual circumstances, assess their challenges, and question their excuses.

 
Let me put forward some controversial truths


Some men and women in your list will be intelligent and educated. From those, a few might deserve being recognized as brilliant. Others will be highly motivated and enthusiastic. How come that they are not progressing in life? The primary reason of their failure might be their belief in false ideas, such as overwork and career planning.

Let me put forward some controversial truths. These are the kind of statements that you might have heard before but that you were too quick to discard. Reality can be disrupting, but you will benefit from acknowledging facts as they are. You might want to sit down before you read this:


Stay away from markets that are closed to outsiders


Ignore the propaganda and examine the facts with a cool head. If you are trying to enter a market dominated by highly entrenched players, the undertaking might require too much effort to be worth it. People might preach openness and fairness to the gallery, while their actions show that outsiders are not welcome. Stay away from those markets. You have better things to do with your life.

Do not get into professions that offer little opportunity


College counsellors usually possess good statistics about the employment market. On that basis, they can tell students about the earnings that they can expect on their initial job should they choose, for instance, to become embalmers. The problem with this sort of advice lies in its short-term focus. 

Instead, go and talk to someone who works in your field of interest and ask how fast people can move upwards from their initial position. If the answer is unconvincing, stay away. There are plenty of professions whose markets are growing. Why on earth would you want to enlist in a losing legion?

Thinking local is a recipe for disaster


National economies and international trade are likely to transform the face of our cities in the next twenty years. Currencies fluctuate and importers might become exporters. Present territories of immigration might give rise to waves of emigration. 

Things are going to change massively in the next decades and nobody is quite sure how cards will be reshuffled. In this environment, thinking locally might bury your professional chances. Spread your risks and boost your career. Learn a foreign language and stay mobile.

Advertisements for jobs and training programmes always fail to tell you the ultimate truth: nobody cares about your career as much as yourself. Those who cheer you up with motivational talk frequently turn out to be exploitative. When it comes to your professional future, as for everything else, you will be much better off if you remain sceptic and think for yourself.


For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Shadowgate under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]