Concentration Is the Key to Success

June 3, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Posted in Life Lessons, Reflections | Leave a comment

(Clearwisdom.net) The Han Feizi is a work written by Han Feizi (ca. 280 – 233 B.C.) at the end of the Warring States Period in China, detailing his political philosophy. It belongs to the Legalist school of thought.

In Han Feizi, there is a story about Duke Xiang (457 – 425 B.C.) of Jin State. Jin State was one of the prominent states during the Spring and Autumn Period (770 – 476 B.C.).

After Duke Xiang received training from Wang Liang on driving a horse carriage, he challenged Wang to a race. They had a total of three races. Duke Xiang used a different horse for each race, but he lost all three races. Duke Xiang complained to Wang Liang, “You must have held something back in my training.”

“I have already taught you all the skills of driving a horse carriage, but you are not applying them well,” replied Wang Liang. “The key is to allow your horse to focus on pulling the carriage and for you to focus on driving the horse before you speed up. When you fell behind, you were thinking only of catching up with me. When you were leading the race, you were worried that I might gain on you. One either leads the race or falls behind. Whether you were leading the race or falling behind, your thought was only about me. How could you possibly concentrate on driving your horse? That is the true reason that you lost the races.”

The moral of the story is that a man must concentrate on what he does in all of his endeavors once he sets his goal. Only by concentrating on the task at hand, driving away all interfering thoughts, and mastering the required skills can a person attain his goal quickly.

By Yuan Ming

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