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LinkedIn Post #6 - August 3rd 2023 - The Chinese Farmer

💩 Have you ever had something sh*tty happen, like you didn't get the offer for that DREAM job, or your favourite coworker gave their notice, or you got fired or laid off, and you felt like everything would just be so much better if that hadn't happened?

I recently came across an old Chinese proverb that shifted the way I think about these "sh*tty things."

An old Chinese farmer saved up small amounts of money over a year to buy a new horse. Just a day after the farmer bought the horse, it ran away. His neighbour expressed grief, but the farmer himself was calm. “I hope you can get over this bad news” said the neighbor. “Good news or bad news, can’t say” replied the farmer.

The next day, the horse returned to the farmer’s house by itself, and brought another stray horse with it. “Cheer up, we’re going to multiply our farm income. That’s great news” said the farmer’s son. “Good news or bad news, can’t say” replied the farmer and carried on with his work.

A week later, the farmer took the first horse to his farm and his son took the second horse to follow his father to work. On the way, the second horse pushed the boy down and ran away. The boy’s leg was fractured badly. That evening back home, the farmer’s wife groaned “We will have to spend all our extra savings on our son’s broken leg. What a terrible news”. Once again, the farmer replied: “Good news or bad news, can’t say.”

A month later, the farmer’s King announced a war on the neighboring nation. Citing a lack of foot soldiers, the King ordered all non-disabled men in the nation to get drafted into the military without excuses. The farmer’s son was spared because of his broken leg. Later, the inexperienced soldiers got slaughtered in the war. “You are lucky that your son did not get drafted. Mine returned with severe injuries. Many have been injured or killed” complained the farmer’s best friend. Unabashed, the farmer responded: “Good news or bad news, can’t say”.

And so on...

☁ Life is hard, and we all experience pain, discomfort, and suffering throughout our lives. It's not about denying these experiences, I think it's about seeing them as part of the bigger picture.

🌈 Reminding ourselves that just because things could've been different, doesn't mean they would've been better. Who knows how it would've actually played out, maybe that dream job would have turned out to be a real dud, etc.

Have you ever had an experience that you felt super sh*tty, but now you look back on it and have a different perspective?


🙋‍♀️ Hey there! I’m Gill, I'm a certified Leadership and Performance Coach. I partner with people who want to turn off autopilot and craft their career intentionally, on their terms.

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