A few months ago, I began a Mental Fitness Coach training program with Shirzad Chamine, founder of Positive Intelligence. I have found this program to have profound results, and I have integrated it into my YOU PIVOT™ coaching practice. A key tenet of the program is the concept of The Sage Perspective.
The Sage Perspective encourages us to look for the gift in everything that happens and is grounded in an old Chinese Proverb that goes something like this.
A farmer has a stallion as his most prized possession. One day he enters his stallion in competition, and his stallion wins first prize.
His neighbors bring their congratulations—the farmer replies, who knows what is good and what is bad.
The neighbors go away, puzzled by this strange reply. A week or so passes, and the thieves in the area, having discovered the stallion has won first prize, come and steal the stallion.
The neighbors bring their condolences—the farmer once again replies, who knows what is good and what is bad.
Another week or so goes by, and the stallion finds his way back to the farmer bringing with him two precious wild mares.
The neighbors again bring congratulations—and once again, the farmer replies, who knows what is good and what is bad.
Another week or so passes. The farmer’s son is riding one of these wild mares to try to tame her, he’s thrown to the ground, and he breaks his leg.
The neighbors bring their condolences. —and once again, the farmer replies, who knows what is good and what is bad.
The neighbors are certain this guy is losing his mind.
In this eventful village, where every week, lots of stuff happens, a week later, a war breaks out. Every able-bodied young man is conscripted; the farmer’s son cannot go because he has a broken leg.
By this time in this story, the neighbors don’t even bother to bring their congratulations because they know what the farmer is going to say.
There is profound wisdom in this ancient Chinese story of life. From the Sage Perspective, the message isn’t to passively wait and see; instead, the message is to find or create the gift actively. The gift could be a learning opportunity, or it could be the classic blessing in disguise, or something else, perhaps an inspiration.
Who knows what is good and what is bad.
As you travel your day tomorrow, when S*it happens, remember the farmer and ask yourself, where might be the gift in this.