If you tend to jump to conclusions, remember this story about a village, a young boy, and a Zen master.
When the boy turns 14, his father buys him a horse, and everyone in the village says, "Isn't that wonderful? The boy got a horse!" But the Zen Master says, "We'll see."
A year later, the boy gets thrown from the horse and breaks his leg very, very badly. And the villagers say, "Isn't that horrible! Now the boy will be crippled." But the Zen Master says, "We'll see."
Then the village goes to war, and many of their young men are killed in battle. But the boy couldn’t go because of his crippled leg. The villagers said, "Isn't that wonderful! The boy will be spared!’ But the Zen Master says, "We'll see."
We're like the villagers, because we're quick to judge and label things as good or bad. We tell ourselves that things happen for a reason, but they don’t! You need to think like the Zen Master.
The Zen Master doesn't judge and doesn't try to explain the unexplainable. Only time will tell. Like the Zen Master said, "We'll see."
History is written after the fact. It's not captured in the moment. But when we jump to conclusions, we're writing history before it even happens. We're basing our thoughts, our emotions, and future behaviors on limited information and understanding. That's why we overreact, and get ourselves worked up.
The Zen Master stays neutral and accepts “what is”, without judgment. They focus on the present moment, the facts at hand, and things within their immediate control. And if you can do the same, you'll avoid the emotional rollercoaster, needless worry, and stress that leads to burnout. And you can also help others do the same.
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