The Story of The Chinese Farmer

When bad things happen try this

A Chinese farmer used an old horse to till his fields.

One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer’s neighbours sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills, and this time the neighbours congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”

Then, when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck?

Who knows?

Everything that seems on the surface to be an evil may be a good in disguise. And everything that seems good on the surface may really be evil. So we must bear all the circumstances that life brings with equanimity and resilience an with an attitude that this too shall pass.

. . .

Source: Unknown

My takeaways:

  1. Life happens. Both the good and the bad. The question is, ‘What is good and what is bad?’ Invariably, it is the meaning we attach to the events, not the events themselves that make something good or bad.
  2. We control our mindset and our actions at all times. These are the only two things we have true control over. Accept this and you’ll be more resilient.
  3. Mentally strong people focus on what they can control, they also look for the opportunity and learning in every event.

Questions to consider:

  1. Think back to an adverse event that you faced, how would a mentally tough person have thought about that?
  2. What were you trying to control about that situation? What could you control instead?
  3. What positives might come from that situation if you chose to think about it differently?

Helping people use mental fitness for a great life. Author of Mental Toughness Metaphors — Stories to inspire resilience

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store