Monday Zen: The Farmer's Horse

An old farmer had worked on his fields for many years. One morning his horse ran away. The neighbors expressed their sympathy: “What bad fortune!”

The farmer replied: “We’ll see.”

The next day the horse returned with a whole herd of other horses. The neighbors were delighted: “How lucky you are!”

The farmer replied: “We’ll see.”

When his son tried to tame the new horses the following morning, he fell and broke his leg. Once again, the neighbors expressed their consolation: “Such bad luck!”

The farmer replied: “We’ll see.”

The day after, the army drafted every able-bodied young man in the village. Since the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they skipped him. The neighbors congratulated the farmer: “What a blessing!”

The farmer replied: “We’ll see.”

I have a friend. He’s extremely emotional.

When he gets a new job, he’s over the moon. When he spills his coffee, the morning’s ruined. When we talk about a startup idea, he wants to quit his job and go all-in. When the weather is bad, he’ll boycott his vacation by staying in bed.

Can you see how this makes his life very stressful? It’s only the highest high or the lowest low. Nothing in between. You could say he overreacts to everything.

Now imagine he kept his calm like the farmer.

“I got a new job. Let’s see what happens.”

“I lost some money. Let’s see what happens.”

You can play this game forever and never be wrong. You’ll hold your judgment in mid-air, admit you still don’t know everything, be patient, and focus on learning more.

Don’t live in extremes. Live in the middle. Where balance is. Where calm lies.

Don’t be like my friend. Be like the farmer.


About Monday Zen: Most people hate Monday. Why? In a good life, it’s a day like any other. At the very least, it shouldn’t be worse by default. That’s what Monday Zen is for: To make sure you start the week with calm, poise, and determination.

Let’s not derail our trains of thought before they leave the station. Let’s enjoy the journey.

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