Panda wisdom and the secrets to a fulfilling life
I wrote previously about the impact of spending a lifetime living by somebody else’s scripts.
The way this manifests into adulthood takes infinite shapes; here are a few you may recognise:
You know you want to do something different with your life, but you have no idea what
You keep jumping from job to job or country to country or relationship to relationship, but nothing is ever good enough
You experience resentment about the past and wish it were different
The sad part is that these situations often look inescapable.
The truth is that the script can be re-written and you can design the life you aspire to.
Last week my wife and I went to a parent-child matinee screening of Kung Fu Panda 3.
My daughter loved it, and so did we.
In fact, watching KFP3 made me realise that the Essence model I launched in 2015 was within me many years before it eventually saw the light.
Kung Fu Panda came out in 2008. At the time I was working for a large company. After watching the film I created an entire team development event around it, which included watching the full film.
As I was telling my wife about this event, it dawned on me… even though I did not have the language, and had yet to crystallise this into a model, my desire to reconnect people to their essence had always been there. I just hadn’t seen it yet.
My first reflection for today is this: your uniqueness is already within you; it’s just layered by years and years of distracting stuff. Start peeling the layers off and you’ll find it.
Many of us find reason after reason to explain why we can’t really succeed by brining up the past and making excuses.
But as Soothsayer says, “Your story may not have such a happy beginning, but that doesn’t make you who you are. It is the rest of your story, who you choose to be.”
Furthermore, the past holds the clues that reveal your uniqueness. Some clues get in your way, they give you pain and limit your beliefs.
However, as Master Shifu says, “Don’t push past memories deeper inside of yourself. Let those memories breathe and let old wounds heal.”
A pattern I see often, is that of getting confused by the seemingly infinite options, reasons, opportunities, limitations and desires that clutter our minds.
As Master Oogway says, “Your mind is like this water, my friend. If it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle…the answer becomes clear.”
I forgot how many times I have met people who say things like, “oh, I wish I could also do that, but…” and proceed to recount a range of excuses that they have come to believe as true.
We each have the choice to design the life we want, one that is congruent to our essence, our opportunities and our potential. But we’ll never achieve that, if we continue living life within our comfort zone.
In fact, as Master Shifu says, “If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now.”
Infrequently, while growing up or in adulthood, are we told how wonderful, how unique and how talented we already are.
Even though we are lovable and good as we already are, we spend incredible amounts of energy to be filled by external recognition: from our lovers, our bosses, our friends… through a variety of means: emotional dependency, flashy status symbols, addictions…
But actually, as Mr Ping says, “To make something special you just have to believe it's special.”
And finally, many choose to do nothing about their lives because they think it is too late.
The past is gone and cannot be changed; the future hasn’t happened cannot predict what it will hold. The present is the only place where we can take action and shape our lives.
That’s why as Master Oogway says, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”
You may find some of these saying cliché, but there is so much wisdom in them. If only we chose to apply some of them!!!
And so, whether you are stuck in your career or find yourself in an unhappy relationship or trying to figure our your next big idea or looking to be a better partner/lover/parent/leader…look within, peel the layers and uncover the power and beauty of your own essence.
Thank you for reading my post.
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