Life Is A Wave of Challenges


Posted on November 3rd, by Jai Gopal in Bestblog, Philosophy, Wisdom. 1 Comment

The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or as a curse.  — Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan

If you take everything in your life neutrally, as a challenge, then you’ll be able to keep up with everything that comes to you.  It’s very easy to think that things are against you or that you’re having bad luck.  If you give in to that thought then you’re defeated. There’s so much of us that is seemingly out of our control or invisible to us that when things happen to us in a negative light, it’s very easy to blame it on misfortune.

I couldn’t find the exact quote, but recently I read a Yogi Bhajan lecture where he was saying that, life is a wave, sometimes up and sometimes down.  Night always follows day and there’s always going to be a challenging time that follows good fortune. The mind somehow tricks us into thinking that one day we’re going to cross some finish line and everything’s going to be okay.  The truth is, there is no finish line until you take your last breath.

Life is a lot like surfing.  Sometimes you catch the perfect wave and sometimes you wipe out.  If you wipe out and just take your board and go home, you’ll never catch that next great wave and have the experience of riding it.  The idea is to get back on the board and paddle back out.  Each day you surf a little and your arms get stronger, your skills get better and your intuition tells you which wave is the right one.  In this way, you’ve prepared yourself to enjoy the good waves with all your energy. After some practice you end up catching more waves than you miss and then you start looking for different places to find bigger, more challenging waves.

This is why we do yoga and meditate.  We’re after the neutral mind of a warrior who accepts all as a challenge, good or bad. This takes some strength of mind because thoughts are magnetic and it’s easy to get pulled into emotion and reaction.  Neutrality takes strength of practice.

It’s a lot like that great Taoist parable about the Old Farmer:
A very old farmer lived in a country village. He owned a horse which he used for plowing and sometimes to ride into town. One day his horse ran away. All his neighbors came by to say how terrible this was, but the farmer simply said, “Maybe.”

A few days later the horse returned to the farmer and along with the horse, followed a few wild horses. The neighbors all came by to congratulate the farmer on his good fortune, but the farmer just said, “Maybe.”

A few days later the horse returned to the farmer and along with the horse, followed a few wild horses. The neighbors all came by to congratulate the farmer on his good fortune, but the farmer just said, “Maybe.”

The next day the farmer’s son tried to ride one of the wild horses. The horse threw him and the son broke his leg. The neighbors all came by to offer their sympathies marveling at the farmer’s unexpected bad luck, but again, the farmer said “Maybe.”

The a few days passed and conscription officers came to the village to take young men in for the army. They rejected the farmer’s son because of his broken leg, he wasn’t useful to them. The neighbors told him how lucky he was, and once again the farmer replied “Maybe.”

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One thought on “Life Is A Wave of Challenges

  1. This wonderful article you have written is a magnificent analogy for having a winner’s continuity. So many people give up and give out before they see the full harvest of their labor. Great site by the way. Saw you over at mybloglog and decided to pop in and say great job, here.

    Much love,
    Carmellita

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