The Secrets of the Rainmaker
When the Rainmaker arrived in the parched village, he set up his tent and disappeared inside for four days. On the fifth day, the rain started to fall. The people of the village asked what he did to accomplish this miracle.
The Rainmaker replied, "I have done nothing."
And so the story begins.
In our modern age, we seem the opposite of the Rainmaker. We busy ourselves to the point of exhaustion, give up sleep to do even more, rush here, rush there, go everywhere, and get nowhere. We believe that an enormous effort is required to achieve success, and if we fail, it is because we did not work hard enough.
The Rainmaker, however, teaches us that the most successful people do not necessarily work harder. In fact, they are often more at ease than the people around them. The truth is that success comes to those who find a balance between effort and ease, striving and compromise. For those who know the Rainmaker's secrets, prosperity seems more like the result of good luck or being in the right place at the right time--the pieces just come together.
Using simple metaphors and exercises--and offering immediate applications--Chin-Ning Chu explains how you can discover the Rainmaker's power of doing less and achieving more. She teaches the arts of fine-tuning and focusing your actions, putting your mind at ease and seeing the fun in the game of life, and discovering the unlimited, miracle-producing power of giving in to and working with--rather than fighting against--your successful destiny.
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Chin-Ning Chu is the bestselling American author in Asia. She is the chairperson of the Strategic Learning Institute and the president of Asian Market-ing Consultants, Inc. Through her books, speeches, seminars, and tapes, she has touched millions of lives in over forty countries and counts a number of prestigious multinational corporations among her clients. She lives in Northern California.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Do Less, Achieve More
When the Rainmaker first arrived in the village, the drought was severe and disastrous. If he were like you and me, he would get very busy very quickly: talking to the villagers about the history of rain Patterns and setting up a ceremony hall to pray for rain -- but he didn't busy himself at all.
The Chinese word for "busy" consists of two parts. One part symbolizes the human heart, the other part symbolizes death. The meaning that can be extrapolated is that when one is excessively busy, his heart is dead. Yet in our society today everyone praises the virtue of busyness. When people ask you, "Are you busy?" you are most likely to answer, "Yes, I am so very busy; I have no time to chat." You will never say, "No, I have nothing to do," even if it is true. We associate busyness with success; only not-so-successful people are not busy. In reality, we find there are plenty of people who are very busy but going nowhere. "Busy" is not always a virtue; it often means the heart is being neglected.
Our Rainmaker's objective is to make rain, not to put on a show. He does not need to feign being industrious to impress anyone. In order to bring about his desired result, he does very little -- he settles himself down in a tent and glides into meditation. By doing very little, by embracing ease, he brings a state of harmony unto himself, and from him it overflows into the whole village. By doing less, the Rainmaker achieves more.
One of the main principles taught in hatha yoga, the Indian system of physical postures, is to allow the body to relax into a given yoga stretch instead of pushing the body into the desired posture. When you are anxious to get into the full extension and you coerce your body into position, your body inevitably resists.
When you are open and relaxed, working without effort, not attempting to get anywhere, the body opens from inside naturally and allows you to ease into deep and complete stretching. Our attitudes to ward success and the obtaining of the symbols of achievement work much the same way.The Dilemma Of Action And Anxiety
When you are pursuing any task with great anxiety, it takes a tremendous effort to realize a meager result. You are desiring and thinking so much; you are tired even before you start to work. Though your body has performed no task, your mind has been working hard at fighting and resisting your perceived circumstances.
Prior to moving a single muscle, the mind has traveled high and low, through glory and defeat. So much energy is expended within the mind before you have had the chance to engage it in the valid pursuit of your goals that the anxiety of wanting has driven you ever further from achieving what you want. You become as ineffective as a wound-up mechanical doll, spinning involuntarily. You want to be relaxed but don't know how to let go of the thousand details that should have been done yesterday. When you force yourself to slow down, you feel guilty.The Rhythm Of Ease And Effort
We think that making an effort is the opposite of being at ease. The paradoxical truth is that effort and ease are not in opposition -- they complement each other. Like an Olympic runner, to win a competition you must put forth much effort. Yet in order to ensure maximum performance, you must strike a balance between the effort of striving and the ease of fluid action. The same holds true for figure skating. When skaters put forth too much energy, they overspin and fall. On the other hand, if they don't give their optimal mental and physical effort, they will fall short of their best performance.
The goal to seek in the expending of effort is to have it become effortless. As a ballerina dances on her toes, her beauty and grace show through because of the endless hours of practice she puts in. Luciano Pavarotti has trained himself to sing an entire opera with his voice totally relaxed. In order to have this relaxed voice, he had to train every part of his body to handle the exertion that allows his voice to be relaxed. You have to become strong in order to relax and surrender to life's challenges. Grace and relaxation are supported by great strength. This secret of success that guides the mastery of a world-class singer, runner, or dancer stems from the same principles that lead to a superior person in any endeavor.The Harmony Of Compromise And Striving
Within the dualistic nature of achieving is the power of compromise and striving. Think of how a river embodies these two natures. It compromises with the geographical terrain, eroding and smoothing the way as it goes while relentlessly flowing forward, striving to achieve its ultimate purpose of uniting with the ocean. These two natures are always simultaneously in balance.
The river prioritizes its effort: Gushing on to the ocean is its first goal, and removing or getting around the rock is its first goal, and removing or getting around the rock is its second. While achieving its second objective, it never loses sight of its first objective. The river has no time to stop flowing and focus on destroying a single obstructing rock before pressing onward.
In this same manner, while you put forth your exertions in striving to accomplish, remain ever diligent with a watchful eye, seeking out the rhythm of ease on the way to your goal. This principle runs throughout every aspect of our lives. In our marital lives, the first objective is to strive for sustaining and creating a loving and harmonious environment for our family...
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