I was outside pulling weeds in my garden and I had a moment of reflection. I thought I’d share it with you. It’s sort of like that old Zen adage “Before mastery – chop wood, carry water. After mastery – chop wood, carry water.”
You see, a few years ago, I thought that weeding was trivial and a waste of time. Growing up, I did many chores like weeding and thought, “Hey, if I made enough money, I could pay someone to weed and will never need to do it myself again.” So, I went on to advance my career and we purchased a home with a community association that did everything for you (for a price).
I thought, “This is great! If I work even harder, I could afford to pay others to do other menial tasks for me too.” So I did. I found myself marching up the corporate latter, working more and more, but I had others doing most of the menial stuff like eating out almost every day instead of cooking, cleaning people, lawn service, etc.
Where did living this way get me?
Well, I was burn out, unhappy, and stressed out. My health suffered because of poor eating and lack of exercise. My relationship with my wife and family hit all time lows because I was always working and never home.
Basically, the quality of my life sucked. I needed a change or risk having a nervous breakdown. I decided at this point to quit my stressful corporate job and totally engross myself in my passion for teaching the martial art.
Since that decision, my health has returned. I can support my wife and family physically, emotionally, and spiritually – giving me a happier family life. On top of it all, I rediscovered that wonderful, positive, and enthusiastic attitude I maintained in my youth.
Fast forward to today, I am grateful that I get to pull my own weeds. It’s sure better than working that stressful corporate job - even if that meant give up the gardener. I am much happier now.
“Before mastery – chop wood, carry water. After mastery – chop wood, carry water.”