Life: choose a straight line
One of the most interesting principles of surviving says that:
When we are lost (for example) in a forest, if we are certain that no one will ever come looking for us, the best way to get out is to choose an intelligent direction (a straight line) and follow it to the end.
Note – This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).
This reasoning method also applies to our life. As in a forest, there are millions of roads, options, possibilities, dangers and uncertainties:
- If we turn back each time we find a difficulty, we will never reach our destination
- If we change direction at every opportunity (eg. apparent shortcuts, new plans, etc.), we will never come out
- If we walk without first thinking to a reasonable path, we risk ending up in dangerous places
- If we run too quickly, we will rapidly lose our limited and precious forces (read A relentless pursuit)
- If we waste time and energy on unnecessary turns, we will inevitably lengthen the path
- If we do not adapt to the environment (eg. looking for the most useful resources), we will not survive
- If we do not stay away (almost) from the dangers we already know we will not survive (read Measure ourselves with errors)
- If we stand still (and no one is searching for us), we will not survive, we will lose even that single option to have success
A note by Master Kongling – A small deepening about surviving: when we are sure that someone will come to search us, we must remain still, in order not to leave the area in which we have lost contact with our traveling companions (or in which we have left the main road). The researches will start probably from that point.
100 years are 36500 days
We have enough time but not enough to be wasted. We know the time we had, we do not know how much it is left.
The right way to get results in life (and, figuratively, to get out from the forest) is to:
- Prepare a plan (preparation) – Before starting, we must study a good path according to the data / skills we can count on and we need to gain; we can not take anything for granted, every detail must be torn from fate by trying to prevent the most probable pitfalls (however, this should not block us in endless considerations on everything that could or may not happen, we must establish a reasonable but limited planning time)
- Follow the plan (discipline) – To do not be distracted by fear, fatigue, insecurity or discouraged by surmountable difficulties, it is necessary to be strict with ourselves; we must attain the plan, adapt it to reality but never devaluing its essence; even if the temptation to simplify things sooner or later will reach us, it is essential not to deviate from what we have carefully weighted previously
- Be focused like a laser (concentration) – At each crossroads (at each possible deviation from the path chosen), we have to learn to understand if it really worth to change direction or whether if we are simply tired / bored / frustrated (the risk is to start dozens of projects and not complete one); in a man (or a woman) the ability to distinguish real opportunities from illusions / deviations makes the difference between success and failure
There are no shortcuts
No matter what kind of problems we have, what type of goals we want to reach, this is the only way that (could) work.
- Let’s choose carefully our times – The path’s preparation / study is fundamental but cannot last forever (defined times means real results)
- Let’s obtain everything we need – If in our plan we understand that we need tools, training, collaborators, skills, knowledge (etc.), let’s do not ignore it for avarice, pride or superficiality
- Let’s be elastic but not floppy – Discipline in proceeding in a straight line is important but must not obscure the other passable roads
- Let’s be strict with ourselves – The concentration and then the analysis of alternatives in 70% of cases should be influenced by the discipline
- Let’s do not skip the necessary steps – Discipline and concentration help us to understand that is better and more effective to finish one thing before starting another (every goal, worthy of being pursued, sooner or later confronts us with the frustration of fatigue, boredom, errors, failure, etc.)
- Let’s understand that fortune and misfortune are only excuses – It’s always / only us to decide and to have the responsibility of our success, fortune does not exist; each time we pass the blame on others, we are hiding ourselves the fact that our preparation, discipline and concentration were poor
In the next article of this series, we will discuss how to solve any kind of life problems (read How to solve any kind of life problem).
In-depth video courses
- How to build strong self-discipline – A step-by-step path to that kind of self-control that brings results (in life, martial arts, work, etc.)
- Having discipline: do not contradict ourselves – How to develop an effective self-discipline
- Meditation method 1 – How and why to start with meditation
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- In your opinion, what is the difference between a dream and a project?
Author: Master KonglingFounder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
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