The One Who Doesn't Pursue Treasure Will Obtain It

Zheng Wen

PureInsight | December 15, 2003

[] When I was in the United States in the early 90's I read an essay written by a Chinese scholar from Taiwan. I liked it a lot. In the essay the scholar told the story of an old friend of his. The friend lived in the south of Taiwan and the author hadn't seen the friend for twenty years. His friend owned a piece of land that originally was worthless. As a result of the development of the surrounding region, its value went up to one or two hundred million dollars. When the two met after all that time, the first thing the scholar did was to congratulate his friend for becoming a multimillionaire. To his surprise, the friend didn't attach any importance to his suddenly found wealth. He commented indifferently: "Good stuff has been given to a blind guy."

The friend had always been very good-natured and simple. He described himself as a "blind guy." Then, who gave good stuff to this "blind guy?" Of course, it was God! The scholar was reminded of one of Lu Jiuyuan's poems: "Treasure hiding in the remote mountains, only the person who do not pursue it can obtain it." Among the scholar's friends, how many of them had beaten their brains out to make a fortune; in the end they got nothing, they ended up as senile old men.

As to Lu Jiuyuan's above poem, the scholar explained its original meaning as this: while conducting research, one should neither pursue too much nor become too anxious to get some result; otherwise, the anxiety would cause the experiment to fail and yield no result. Many stories illustrate this rule: for example, a favored athlete, who had high expectation and much confidence that he or she would win the gold medal in the Olympic games, or would win the World Championship, came back empty-handed. In Zen Buddhism, Monk Shenxiu wholeheartedly wanted to inherit the mantle of Patriarch Hongren V, but it was Monk Huineng, who had no desire for it, who obtained it. During the Jin Dynasty, a very important dignitary went to visit the family of an official called Wang and wanted to find a husband for his daughter among all the sons and nephews of Wang. All the eligible bachelors in Wang's family dressed in their finest clothes, expecting to be selected. The dignitary finally selected Wang Xizhi, who made no preparation at all. When the dignitary met him, he was lying on his bed considering other matters.

At the beginning of this century, I began practicing Falun Dafa. Falun Dafa's principles put a very high requirement on a practitioner's xinxing. I found that as long as my thoughts were full of desires and I pursued something, even just a little, the outcome would not be what I had hoped for. Whereas, if my heart was very pure, and I followed "...pursue nothing and let everything unfold naturally..." (From Falun Gong) sometimes unexpectedly good results would come my way.

One year ago, I read a story about a salesman in the plastics industry named Howard Schultz who lived in Philadelphia. He went to Italy for a vacation in 1984. While visiting Milan, Schultz found that Milan was a city similar to Philadelphia, but it already had one thousand five hundred coffee shops. And there were about two hundred thousand coffee shops in Italy. What really impressed him was that the servers in the coffee shops made the coffee adroitly and elegantly, creating an atmosphere that drinking coffee there was something especially enjoyable. He suddenly had the idea to open a chain of coffee shops in the U.S. Years later, when he looked back, he recalled that the idea just came into his mind out of nowhere, and he immediately felt a deep urge to respond to it.

After Shultz came back to the US, he founded Starbucks Coffee. Eventually he went from a plastics salesman to the CEO of an enormous chain of coffee shops.

Many famous enterprises have similar stories. One idea, one dream gradually develops on the right path and eventually grows into a large multinational company. These ideas come suddenly. Academic researchers and specialists in the business field often try to find common threads in the experiences of these successful entrepreneurs and try to apply them to other situations. In reality, if we look at it from a high level, the principle is very simple: if something is yours, nobody can take it away, and if something isn't yours, you won't be able to get it even by fighting for it, so let things happen naturally. It's very hard to find two enterprises with exactly the same characteristics and scale, because different owners have different characteristics, and they have different amounts of virtue; therefore, their paths of life and the goals they achieve are also different.

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