Very often I come across people who are so tied up feverishly putting time and effort in everyday activities such as family matters, work, study, friends, aspirations, check list travelling (ticking off more places and tourist attractions) even shop-around self-development (jumping from one self-development work to the next in search of the latest and the best) ; all the way down to unhealthy habits of addictive aimless web surfing, becoming social media junkies, gambling, drug and alcohol, etc. This reminds me of my own days of obtaining meaning from my activities and achievements, from my so called “progress”! And what a hellish prison that place can be despite worldly successes?!
In this process of feverish activity and supposedly “moving forward”, we neglect the most important thing. We forget our true self! Yes we work so hard on other things that we forget to work on knowing who we truly are. It reminds me of this insightful story which I’d like to share with you:
The busy man and his saw
A man passing by a farm notices his friend feverishly sawing away at a tree with his hand saw. Few hours later, the man on his way back notices his friend is still struggling cutting the same tree. He says ‘Hello my friend I reckon you may want to stop and sharpen your blunt saw. Don’t you think?’ To which the man replies while still cutting the tree: ‘Yes I think so, but I’m running late as it is…I don’t really have time to stop’.
Instead, we must turn the table around and put our true self first. This does not at all mean that we stop working or studying or paying attention to our family and friends. No, in fact by channelling our resources towards knowing our true self we would become heaps more capable of doing all those things more easily and more effectively. For we will gradually find clarity where to put our precocious resources; we contact our own inner guide to know better what to do and what not to do. Most importantly we learn to be relaxed even if we seemingly do not do anything, or achieve anything based on external worldly criteria.
By getting to know our true self we allow ourselves to simply be. After all, isn’t simply being our innate birth right? The doing should always come after being, not before it as it typically does!