Chapter X – Part 13

$ I’ve got things to tell you. Today Martin was filling in his bagua diagram and he put down: “a vet” among his priorities in the area of helpful people.

$ Wow! The world would be a better place if everybody treated animals with such respect.

$ You must know Martin is not a vegetarian.

$ I understand him. He knows what is good, which is what I can’t say about you. Vegetable soups, rice, spices… Heaven preserve us!

$ I will eat you out right this second!

$ I will resist! You’d better tell me what you’ve got in the element of helpful people.

$ In the very first place: a balance between giving and taking.

$ Right, if you don’t have it in your blood, there comes a moment when people are fed up with your living off them or on the contrary: your battery is flat and you pour out all your frustration on those whom you were giving without having thought whether you actually wanted to give or not. Do I feel like giving or do I do this because it goes off very well, because that’s what my parents did, because I count with reciprocity? Second priority.

$ To be a part of the whole.

$ Right. Then helping one another occurs in a natural way. One monkey scratches the other; a bird makes a nest to hold its partner and young, a dog barks at burglars and humans feed dogs. Third.

$ Devote 1/10 of my time to charity work.

$ That’s what I hate. I abhor calling it charity work. And this counting: 1/10, 1% etc. It’s completely cold-hearted. If people ask you to give them 1,000 and it’s 2%, will you say ‘no’ or will you give them only a half? During the charity work will you say: oh, 1/10 of my time has passed, can you hear the alarm clock? Bye, bye!

$ So what do you do?

$ I apply no routine at all. Every time I decide spontaneously as if I had never taken such decisions before.

$ And does it always come up roses?

$ What do you mean?

$ Do you sometimes regret your decisions?

$ Are you out of your mind? Who am I to say that a decision of mine was good or bad? One day, Zhou Enlai, Kissinger’s counterpart under Mao when asked what he thought of the French Revolution, replied: “It’s too early to tell.”

$ Right. And what does it mean: “good”? What does it mean: “bad”? The nature doesn’t judge.

$ Now you’re talking. Give me your short-term goals.

$ 1. To find a publisher and all I need to bring out this book.

$ Sounds like a lot of work. To find, to publish… Simplify that. Finding implies searching. Do you need to get tired? Do you need to flagellate yourself with deadlines?

$ Hahahaha! The first million copies of my book has been sold.

$ And you worked your tail off while selling the second one.

$ Hahahaha! My books sell themselves. I just go with the flow.

$ That’s my girl. Go on.

$ . 2. To spread out the idea of self-directed language education all over the world.

$ With a little help of Vera F. Birkenbihl, Neale Donald Walsch, Marshall B. Rosenberg.

$ Helpful people, no more, no less. 3. To pass on my passion for languages on as many people as possible, among others on Paqui and Eva.

$ Do I know them?

$ I used to live in their places. Do you remember? I chose Paqui’s ad because it was very specific: an apartment with the Internet, women only, the owner lives with a 2-year-old child. The idea of living with a baby was very tempting, you know “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Anyway, Paqui always got up late. She used to say: why should I get up early if I don’t have a job? I’ve got nothing to do, so at least I’ll get my sleep. She would switch on the TV after she woke up and keep it on the whole day, have breakfast with her baby, tidy up. She used to live from breakfast to lunch, from lunch to dinner, from poop to pee, Internet was her only entertainment. She hardly ever left the house and if she did she went for a walk with her baby or partied at weekends.

$ Why do you want to pass anything on her? Maybe she was cool with her life.

$ From what she told me I know she wasn’t. She looked for a job as a cleaning lady or a checkout assistant. She didn’t find anything so she learned to live on social security and a little rent. When I got to know her better I wondered: the world is so rich; how come does she have no impulse to learn something new, something that would really interest her, discover new possibilities to her, among other things new job opportunities? She observed me and noticed the difference. For example, the second day of my stay in her place I went to the library and Paqui said: I have been living here for 10 years and I have never been there. And my impression was my attitude irritated her instead of inspiring.

$ Obviously she felt irritated because a part of you despised her life style.

$ I much more envied the producers of soap operas and blind date programs. I thought to myself: Paqui and Eva are so loyal to their favorite programs. How can I encourage people to being so loyal to learning languages?

$ Love and hate are the same energy. As well as contempt and envy.

$ Master Yoda would say: Meditate on this I will.

Chapter X – Part 12

Last but not least: harmony, body, health.

$ I’ve got much to do in this respect. Wherever I go, I go by car and I have put on weight. When I get up from bed or stand up from a chair, my back always tells me something.

$ The backbone, the foundation. You can’t make anything without it. And as for the body mass, what is the main reason why you mentioned putting on weight? Can you feel that your heart needs to make more effort? Do you sweat more? Any signs of poor digestion?

$ Not at all, fortunately. I just don’t like the way I look now.

$ Does your cat like the way you look now?

$ He doesn’t pay attention to such insignificant details.

$ Amazing, isn’t it? I am sure the Creator looks at His or Her Masterpiece in a similar way: I did a perfect job. Even if you change the body mass the whole doesn’t require any improvement. Recently I have been to a very hot country. One day I saw a markedly obese girl. She was wearing a tight-fitting top and a very short skirt. She felt so good in her skin that it was a pleasure watching her. I was wondering whether the climate gave more permission to be happy with the way you look, no matter what size you are because with the omnipresent heat sooner or later you get undressed as much as possible. Another day, two Rubensian women came to the beach. They left only pants on and gracefully started to swim. They were really plus-sized. Can you recall advertising ‘before-and-after’? Be sure, both were bigger than anyone ‘before’ you can see in the press or on TV. A young man, a real dish kept them company. I observed them and I realized that I was up to my ears in schemes: slim – beautiful, obese – ugly. Beautiful – display, ugly – hide.

$ That applies to me too with one objection: to me it’s not a scheme. I just have a look at something and I like it or not.

$ Assuming that my judgment is totally impartial and autonomous. To what extent is it mine, to what extent is it conditioned by the culture? My friend from Morocco, an Islam believer told me how his European colleagues had mocked him once. They invited him to a restaurant and offered a local specialty. After the meal they asked him whether he had like it. Yes, it was delicious, he said. Then they confessed it was made of pork meat. My friend threw up at once.

$ That’s tough.

$ What would you like to add, as far as your body, health, balance and harmony are concerned?

$ I think that I won’t start to take good care of myself until a real shit comes down, like my grandfather’s cancer. That I ask for an aching back in order to have motivation.

$ We’ll get back to this.

Chapter X – Part 11

There is a story about Lao-tzu. When Lao-tzu was old and thought about the beautiful life he had he realized that time came to leave the Earth. He wanted to die in Himalaya.

$ The one who said “without going outside his door, one understands (all that takes place) under the sky” wanted to go to Himalaya.

$ Exactly. Listen to this. A clerk stopped him at the border and said he wouldn’t let him through until he wrote down his teachings.

$ Wonderful.

$ Bagua 8. Knowledge. Development.

$ Meditation is in the first place. I heard that 30 minutes meditation equaled 2 hours sleep. Is it true?

$ Every meditation session is different. Every hour sleep is different. Is meditation for you a kind of trade? Roll my log and I’ll roll yours?

$ Generally speaking, if I do something I do it with a certain purpose.

$ Like an eagle that learns to hunt chamois in order to become the best hunter in the neighborhood and hang as many antlers as possible on the walls in his house.

$ No, no! He eats chamois at once.

$ I’m provoking you.

$ Wait a second. What is it all about? All the time today we’re talking about targets and now you’re questioning the fact that I want to meditate with a certain purpose.

$ One thing is the way that leads to the aim. Another thing is the fixation on an aim. E.g.: one of your objectives is to organize family events. Imagine that in a couple of years your family still hasn’t taken to your idea. Will you give it up? Or imagine that every year the same 4-6 people come. Will you think you waste your time?

$ Definitely.

$ How you climb the mountain is what matters, not how fast you get there or how long you live at the top of the mountain. Meditating (or not) is a way of climbing.

$ Does it mean I’m supposed to meditate without a purpose?

$ Right. For the pure joy of meditating. What else have you got in “knowledge and development”?

$ Spanish and playing piano. And another foreign language, a really exotic one, Arabic or Japanese.

$ Or Bo.

$ Where is it spoken?

$ It’s not spoken anymore. The last speaker of this ancient tribal language died a 3 years ago in the Andaman Islands, breaking a 65,000-year link to one of the world’s oldest cultures. Andamanese languages are thought to date back to pre-Neolithic human settlement of south-east Asia. Have you heard that there are between 6000 and 7000 languages currently spoken, and that between 50-90% of those will have become extinct by the year 2100?

$ Unbelievable!

$ And the English language passed the million word threshold on June 10th, 2009 at 10:22 am GMT. Currently there is a new word created every 98 minutes or about 14.7 words per day.

Chapter X – Part 10

Bagua 7.

$ Children. I decidedly don’t want to have any.

$ Tell me more about your decisiveness.

$ There are people who were born without the gene for paternal instinct and I am just one of them. I don’t enjoy the children’s company. I don’t like playing with them. I avoid going to parties with whole families because everybody think their kids are the cat’s whiskers. Once I invited people for a posh dinner. One couple come 3 hours late and say as if nothing had happened: we didn’t want to wake the baby up. I dropped a hint I had been expecting a message or a phone call because we had an appointment. And do you know what they answered? Of course, if we hadn’t been able to come, we would have called you.

$ Children come to our world and everything gets out of control.

$ Our planet is overpopulated, anyway. I do Mother Earth a favor if I don’t multiply.

$ Apart from children, bagua 7 is about future projects, plans, creativity, travels, art.

$ Traveling fascinates me.

$ Where would you like to go?

$ Egypt, Turkey, India, China, Brazil, vestiges of the Mayas, Incas, Aztecs. Learning tango in Buenos Aires. The list is endless.

$ What do you find so attractive in traveling?

$ I can get away from the everyday routine. I can observe how people live in other parts of the world, learn something from them, change my mind, realize something.

$ Listen to Lao-tzu: “Without going outside his door, one understands (all that takes place) under the sky; without looking out from his window, one sees the Tao of Heaven. The farther that one goes out (from himself), the less he knows. Therefore the sages got their knowledge without traveling; gave their (right) names to things without seeing them; and accomplished their ends without any purpose of doing so.”

$ This is not my level yet. I still need to travel to get my knowledge.

$ How did Lao-tzu do that, in your opinion?

$ He knew that it didn’t matter where he was and what he did. What is important is who you are because the circumstances you create and people you attract depend on who you are. Consequently, you choose to do certain things, refuse to do other things and change places accordingly.

$ I can’t agree more.

Chapter X – Part 9

Bagua 1 and 9 are interrelated, as well as bagua 3 and 7. We’re going to start with 3 – ancestors and get to 7 – children. What have you put down there?

$ For I live hundreds kilometers away from my mum and my sister, and my dad lives abroad, while thinking about this area, I had the idea of staying in touch with them on a more regular basis. That’s what it looks like now: I see my mum a couple of times a year, I meet my dad once a year. I talk to them mainly when they call me. And I’m thinking of a very precise rhythm. E.g.: once a month I go to see my mum, the next month I invite her and my sister to enjoy bright lights, big city. The month after I would go to see them again etc. And the idea of sending a message to one of them every day appeals to me, too. So, that’s my priority. Secondly, design a family tree of my father’s and my mother’s families. Some time ago I even got a special software to create family trees. Now I feel inspired to do that.

$ In fact, a family tree can be a target. A long-term one.

$ One of my long-term targets is to invite the whole family to a party. You know, a bonding event for all of us. That’s how I see it: we would assume that for example the first weekend of July is our family weekend. For the first time, the space in my mother’s house and garden would probably be enough. I would ask all comers to inform as many family members as possible about the first weekend of July next year and to contact me so that I am able to book an appropriate place in June next year or sooner.

$ It’s almost a wedding reception. Only you want to organize that every year. You’re a really family man.

$ I discovered this part of myself today.

$ How about superiors, teachers, masters?

$ I have bad memories from school. I feel so grateful this part is over. I feel sorry for all the kids who still have to go to school. Masters? What if I said: my Master is sitting in front of me?

$ On the one hand I would feel acknowledged; on the other hand, I would ask myself: since you don’t say that your Grand Master lives inside your heart, where did I make a mistake?

$ Modesty is a girl’s treasure. As for superiors, I haven’t had a genuine boss so far. All my superiors, including the present one, make me think: I can do better than that.

$ When you meet a boss, how do you know whether he  is genuine or not?

$ A genuine boss is courageous, he doesn’t hide behind his boss, he’s self-confident, competent, experienced, he has guts, he can tell the difference between important things and odds and ends, he’s able to say: ‘I don’t know’ and ‘It was my mistake’ and mean it.

$ I wish you could find such a boss among your Christmas presents.

Chapter X – Part 8

$ Would you like to continue?

$ Ok. We have discussed 1, 9, 4, 2. What’s next? What do you suggest?

$ Helpful people. Bagua 6.

$ When you first mentioned this name, in my mind’s eye I saw people who could help me. When you were reading the questions, I had no idea whom I could help. Apart from my family, of course. I feel ashamed to confess that.

$ First things first.

$ Priorities: 1. a good employer; 2. Manuel.

$ The man you work with after you leave your office every day?

$ Exactly. 3. Veterinary doctor.

$ O! Somebody loves me more than they love themselves.

$ Meow! Short-term goals: 1. get to the final of the competition “Young at Business.” 2. organize the operation of my company so well that I am able to work with Manuel all evenings and weekends if I choose to do so.

$ Does it mean you want your partners to help you so much that you can forget about doing overtime and having tasks with the deadline: immediately if not sooner?

$ That’s right. And I have a gap in the third short-term goal.

$ Let’s have a one-minute-break. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, take deep breaths and concentrate on nice thoughts.

One minute later:

And? How are you?

$ I was flying. Like a bird. I stretched my wings and flew.

$ Let’s get back to one of the techniques from the today’s coaching. What requirement should be met in the first place so that you can fly?

$ I need wings.

$ Firstly, chickens have wings and don’t fly. A plane wouldn’t fly itself, either. Secondly, what do wings symbolize? I mean the wings from you relaxation session.

$ They symbolize freedom. I move my wings and I can be far from everything, I can leave everything.

$ Let me draw your attention to the fact that we are in bagua 6 – helpful people. Regardless of whether I want it or not, I depend on other people. On the one hand, I dream of separating from them; on the other hand, I don’t want to feel I miss them. How is that for you?

$ O, yes! I am torn between these two extremes.

$ So is your actual target to build your friendships and other relationships based on interdependence and not on dependence on others?

$ Yes, that’s my goal. Thank you.

$ My pleasure.

Chapter X – Part 7

After the wedding your wife can ask for a loan secured by equity value in the house you have bought. When you decide to get a divorce, it’ll take some time to dodge paying the interests. Now, if Carme contributes to your household she’ll be empty-handed when you want to split. And if you have an accident, she won’t be let in the hospital because she’s not family.

$ What are you talking about? Carme tells me anything and I would never ever quarrel over paying her back for what she’s invested in my flat.

$ That’s just the way I see that. Imagine that in 5 years I’m telling you: you haven’t paid an invoice. How would you react?

$ I would ask you what the number of the invoice was, check my files and bank transfers and we would clarify that.

$ That’s it. There are no emotions between us as there are in couples. Besides, we have contracts and other documents that you can always invoke. In a couple, an argument about whose was that second-hand book before they started living together can grow to the size of a discussion about nuclear weapon.

$ What does it have to do with getting married or not?

$ You sign a contract just in case bad times come. In good times the contract turns out to be needless. To get married or not is a very complex decision – I know that from my experience. Somebody told me once: if a couple have been together for about one year and they don’t raise the issue of getting married, one of them or both possibly wait for a better partner. It’s a simplification, of course. Obviously there are people who are hurt and remember the hell of their divorce. They start trembling all over at the very thought of going through this again. There are couples who had been living together for years and then decided to get married. Because one of them stopped waiting for a dream partner? Who knows? Let me tell you how this opinion resonates with me. Thanks to this I am able to know whether I am really interested in somebody or not. When I can hear a little voice in my head saying: Getting married – whatever for? I know that I like him only a little. When it says: Living together – after we get married! I know I do care.

$ Interesting.

$ Bagua 2 is not only about a relationship with your partner but also with friends, acquaintances, clients. What is important for you in this area?

$ The first thought was that I often feel so lonely in these relationships, that it doesn’t matter to me what they look like and how they develop.

$ Do you have the impression that you can’t count on anybody but yourself although you are surrounded by people who you like and love?

$ To some extent.

$ In my opinion it prepares you very well for the role of a manager, a leader, a CEO etc. A person who takes such a responsibility has of course huge groups of people to help them. However, eventually, they are on their own and they make final decisions on their own. Solitude is their defining characteristic.

$ I’m not afraid of this.

Chapter X – Part 6

$ First I need to get a job that allows me to make my dreams come true.
$ A new job is an external factor. What do you need inside yourself?
$ Self-confidence, self-esteem, I need to know (not to think) that I deserve it all.
$ In my opinion, we can consider them your priorities in bagua 9 and let fulfillment be a target or a dream.
$ Rather a dream.
$ You mentioned that for you bagua 1 and 9 have something in common with 4. What have you got there?
$ Surprisingly: everything. Priorities: 1. financial security; 2. savings; 3. investment. Goals: 1. 100,000 net income after tax this year; 2. 200,000 next year; 3. 300,000 in two years. Dreams; 1. a house; 2. a new car; 3. a yacht.
$ Very precise. Imagine that all this is already in your life: your house, your dream car, your yacht, your income. What do you want then?
$ You know, I have just realized that I don’t think any further because in fact I don’t believe it’ll ever come true.
$ There’s not going to be a yacht?
$ Not even 100,000 this year. That this is a pure wishful thinking in my case.
$ So please, do it once again. It is supposed to serve you not to make you sad.
$ I don’t know how.
$ Think about what you want to buy this year.
$ I want to finish the redecoration of my flat and not to think about it within next five years.
$ Great! Bagua 4 it is not only money: coins, banknotes, numbers, accounts. It is abundance from many sources. What you want is a result of the process of renovation and it doesn’t mean you can get it only out of your own work. You can win or get as a present the money you need. Or find an old deposit that you have forgotten.
$ Actually, that’s right.
$ Can you paraphrase one of your dreams?
$ What has come first was the dream of being so rich that I can make an independent decision to buy or to rent any object I am interested in. ‘Independent’ because I think to myself that I have bought many things not because I needed them but because somebody else had it. Or because I wanted to impress people, to show off. For example, I bought a coffee machine. The machine itself cost 1,000. Add special filters, special cleaning tabs and special descaling tabs. Coffee from this machine is very tasty so you drink more of it, you experiment with various kinds of coffee grains, people come to your place more often and they don’t refuse a second or a third cup of such delicious coffee. To sum up, roughly, if you save that money and drink coffee only in cafés you’ll have enough money to do that within 3 years assuming that you go to a café every day, which probably won’t take place: you often drink coffee at work, when you go to your friends’ places, sometimes you go for a big betrayal and buy instant coffee.
$ A very interesting example. Is it all right with you to finish work on bagua 4 on your own?
$ Absolutely.
$ How about bagua 2?
$ Relationships. I feel so happy with Carmen now. Can you see that scar? I used to have such arguments with my ex-girlfriend that even knives flew. I was madly in love with her, she came here to study at the University, obviously I followed her and then we never stopped fighting. When I met Carmen I felt as if I my sight had recovered.
$ Nevertheless, you don’t want to marry her.
$ I find marriage useless.
$ It’s a totally different commitment than saying: let’s live together. Getting married implies regarding many things as common: last name, bank account etc.

Chapter X – Part 5

$ Excellent. Can you describe one day in the life of the fulfilled Martin?
$ I get up in the morning no sooner than after I got enough sleep. I make myself some latte.
$ Where is it?
$ In my house on the outskirts of our city.
$ What comes next?
$ While sipping my latte, I check the emails, read the news. After I have finished, I shave, take a shower and get dressed. Then I go to my office, have meetings with my clients, my business partners, contractors etc. I arrange meetings from 11.00 am on. When I get hungry, I have lunch. I do the cooking. Or my girlfriend does. Or I eat out. Then I either get back to my office or concentrate on something else if I can see that the tasks for today are properly delegated.
$ What does “something else” mean?
$ Sports, playing the piano, organizing a trip. In the evening: a play, a film, meeting friends, watching TV.
$ And where is your Spanish?
$ When I feel fulfilled I have already mastered Spanish.
$ Learning a language, regardless of whether it’s a new one or your mother tongue, it’s a lifelong process. Do you know how many functionally illiterate people there are in our country?
$ More and more.
$ It stems also from media and advertising trash, chat acronyms, texting abbreviations and emoticons, reading pieces not longer than an article online. By the way, today I’d like to show you exercise called pattern-drill. If you do it systematically, it considerably develops your vocabulary. Imagine that one night our fulfilled Martin is reading a Spanish book – as he usually does – and the following sentence appeals to him: El dolor que creas surge de una falta de aceptación, de una resistencia a lo que es; por eso, acepta el ahora.
$ In fact, I do like it.
$ Pattern-drill is about drilling a pattern.
$ Groundbreaking.
$ Hahahaha! What are the patterns in this sentence?
$ I don’t know.
$ Look at a simpler example in English:

My mother-in-law is thinking of having a few days off.
The shop assistant is thinking of having a few days off.
The mathematician is thinking of having a few days off.
The artist is thinking of having a few days off.

My mother-in-law is thinking of having a few days off.
My mother-in-law was thinking of having a few days off.
My mother-in-law will be thinking of having a few days off.
My mother-in-law has been thinking of having a few days off.

My mother-in-law is thinking of having a few days off.
My mother-in-law is looking forward to having a few days off.
My mother-in-law is talking about having a few days off.
My mother-in-law is enjoying having a few days off.

My mother-in-law is thinking of having a few days off.
My mother-in-law is thinking of living in a hot country.
My mother-in-law is thinking of going to Germany.
My mother-in-law is thinking of learning Chinese.

Can you answer now? Step by step.
$ …………. que ……………;
…………….que creas…………….;
El dolor que…………………………;
……………… surge de……………………..;
………………….. de una falta de ………………………;
…………….. de una resistencia a …………………..;
Lo que ………………..;
…………………….., acepta ……………………
$ Right. And now make 8 sentences and change one element in each. Of course, while practicing you can find more patterns and change as many elements as you want as many times as you want.
$ El problema que creas…
$ El problema?! Please! Make an effort! Was it the first or the second lesson when you learned el problema?
$ All right. Las circunstancias que creas… It’s wonderful to know I am able to conceive such smart sentences.
$ Then go on.
$ El dolor que sientes… El dolor que creas es la consecuencia de… surge de una falta de amor propio sano… de una inclinación a … This one doesn’t make sense.
$ It doesn’t matter. If you are able to create senseless and weird sentences you’ll have more fun learning Spanish. Would you like to start now?
$ … resistencia a lo que es encanta a las mariposas…Mariposas transformadas de Very Hungry Caterpillar
$ “La Oruga Muy Hambrienta”. I love this story. .So simple and so true.
$ Sin embargo, acepto el ahora. Por eso me mezclo con… Por eso acepto mis faltas. It really works. It took a couple of minutes and I learned the structure.
$ So now we can get back to your vision of fulfillment. Picture it once again in your thoughts and answer spontaneously the following question: what requirement should be met first in order to make it real?

Chapter X – Part 4

My grandpa had been dying for 14 months. He suffered from a kidney cancer. The kidney was excised, for 8 years he had been enjoying his second chance. Then metastases broke off. 14 months of his illness exhausted us physically and mentally. And Christmas was coming like it is coming right now. My mom and my sister were wondering: should we invite the whole family, as we used to do every year? Is it better not to invite anybody? Can we find another solution? Grandpa couldn’t walk then, so we carried him in his office armchair and obviously he didn’t like the idea of people coming and seeing him in this state. He said: they will come and take pity on me. Do you know when he passed away? On December 23rd.
$ At all costs he didn’t want to celebrate Christmas.
$ I think people hate Christmas. I mean adults. Children enjoy presents, Santa Claus etc. Since my grandpa died I observe how obituary columns change at this time of the year and my impression is people prefer to die than to live Christmas again. That president, this singer, that philosopher and I’m only talking about celebrities. My grandpa is not among them. I must find statistics related to this. Statistics taking into account the climate (these months, the very looking out of the window leads to depression) and religion (what holidays generate similar emotions by Jews, Muslims, Hindu).
$ You were talking about a conclusion that had been growing in you since your grandfather’s death.
$ Right. The conclusion is: I don’t want to have either a grave or a funeral. I came to this conclusion when my grandpa had died and we were not only exhausted but also in despair and I discovered how much red tape there is in funerals. I found it inhuman to force the family to handle this when what they need is to weep the dead in the first place. Adrenaline starts to loosen up its grip, the ocean is still full of tears and tactful people ask you routine questions: have you paid the rent for your cemetery plot? Where do you wish to hold the funeral ceremony? What flowers? Funeral meal menu? Which cinerary urn? It is a huge industry that flourishes because people prefer having a row with a gravedigger, a hewer or an undertaker than to feel grief and loss. My grandpa died a couple of years ago so my decision has not been taken on the spur of a moment. I even put it down in my last will.
$ What does you will say?
$ That I specifically want neither a funeral nor a grave. My will is to be cremated and I want my ashes to be strewed in an appropriate place.
$ I feel moved. It’s so thoughtful of you. You don’t want anybody to get through the usual red tape after you die. Instead, you want them to be able to cry out all their sadness as long as they need it.
$ That’s right. What I can do is to “be the change I want to see in the world.” This business has been burgeoning because we all comply with it, because of the tradition, because of the church. And I say: no!
$ You said the Covey’s exercise had been tough for you since you hadn’t concentrated on the very exercise but on your own reflections on the ceremony.
$.Yes. I escaped into a substitute subject and I was very clever to chose this particular one because it’s tough, too.
$ World championship in substitute subjects.
$ My will solves another problem: there won’t be any speeches. I’m so afraid I’ll fail, I’ll let people down, I won’t meet up their expectations. When you started reading the Covey’s text I sweated like a pig because I thought to myself: then it will be too late to do anything and I will still be there only with my goals, plans, dreams. In one word: disappointment. With one difference: now in a cold corpse. So I switched to the subject of the details of a virtual funeral.
$ The reflection you had after your grandfather’s death came along with the question we are handling today: targets and expectations. Perfect timing.
$ I got stuck at the very beginning because firstly I mocked the word “mission” and then I escaped from working on it.
$ May I suggest something? Have a look at the third part of bagua 1. What are your professional dreams? Remember: sky is the limit.
$ I don’t know how to do that, but my dream is to work not for money. In my dream, money is earned itself, a bit more than I need, and I work only if it’s play: I only do what I like. It implies for example saying goodbye to clients who try to humiliate me at the first meeting. At present, if I come across such people, I think of tactics, defense and attack because I need their money.
$ Confucius said “When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine your own self.” Anyway, as for your dream of money making itself. Could it be a multilevel barter? A gas plant warms your house in exchange for your services, a grocer’s delivers food and a theatre – tickets?
$ No, no, it can’t be like this. A barter doesn’t allow me to change gas plants, grocer’s, theatres easily. Secondly, one day I’ll be old and weak, unable to work. How am I going to get anything then?
$ It can be specified in the contract.
$ Do you think it’s possible?
$ It’s neither about what I think nor about whether it’s possible or not. It’s about igniting your imagination so that you can see your harmonious life and then live it. Two things. One of your priorities is financial security, whatever it means. The other thing: you dream of pure joy at work. Is it so?
$ Yes and yes. Financial security is among my priorities in bagua 4. The other ‘yes’: I wish joy could be my inner barometer telling me whether to do a thing or leave it. Joy, i.e. not duties, contracts, promises, good manners, conventions or financial results. And the interesting thing is what I do is not a core question. I like doing many things: designing furniture, creating websites, human resources management, cooking.
$ To sum up: joy is a priority. What else?
$ Honesty. And integrity. I can’t imagine myself merchandising GMO food.
$ In time you’ll be able to complete bagua 1. Let’s jump to bagua 9 now, where most of your gaps are.
$ There’s one huge gap, hahahaha!
$ I can see something…
$ Yes, I put down one priority: fulfillment.