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Embracing the Ebbs and Flows

I very often bring up the story of the Chinese Farmer.

In a nutshell, the story revolves around the wisdom of a farmer who continually encounters situations that are labeled by those around him as "good," "bad," "lucky," or "unfortunate." The farmer, however, simply responds with a noncommittal "maybe."

The wisdom lies in recognizing that as humans, we tend to hastily want to categorize events as definitive outcomes when, in reality, they are part of an ongoing and unknowable process. Embracing this requires humility and courage, acknowledging our limited understanding of the phases we encounter in life.

In fact, it is one of the qualities of mature masculinity—accepting the inherent uncertainty and flux of existence.

We strive to fulfill our responsibilities to the best of our abilities, welcoming all experiences, whether perceived as "positive" or "negative." Through each outcome, we learn the lessons, grow, and continue moving forward. It is the essence of stoicism and the quality of the mature warrior archetype.

This does not mean we should approach life dispassionately. We certainly should celebrate our achievements and cherished milestones.

As coaches, we are very familiar with the types of sessions where clients come in with the "I'm on top of the world!" energy. Everything seems to be working out. Major shifts, all the good stuff. While we wholeheartedly share in their joy, it is equally important for us to gently ground them and emphasize that the true value lies not in their external accomplishments or manifestations, but in the essence of who they are becoming. It's about their capacity to attract all of these positive things but equally their resilience in the face of adversity, demonstrating humility, composure, grace, and gratitude. The tide is going to turn. We don't know how or to what degree, but it's a certainty.

As we evolve and mature, we embrace this perspective and develop a deeper sense of resilience and wisdom in the face of the ebbs and flows of life.



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