How much does our thinking affect how we perceive the world around us? Can you change your mood by changing your perspective? Can you die alive?
As the Buddha said, "You become what you think (...) Each person is the author of his health or disease." So we have great causative power within us. How we think about ourselves and the world becomes our reality.
As part of a series of inspiring stories, today we present a rather provocative story about a man who died while alive. It is strong, but as one poet said, "The truth pierces like an arrow, and it must hurt." This story comes from the book "Chinese Fairy Tales, or 108 Stories of strange content", and these stories were collected by Zbigniew Królicki.
The story of a man who died alive
Once upon a time, there was a man who was still worried but most concerned about his health. And what terrified him most dearly was the day of his death. One day, overwhelmed by such thoughts, he came to the conclusion that he was not entirely sure whether he was still alive or already dead. So he decided to go to the doctor and ask:
- Tell me please, am I dead or am I alive? But prove it to me.
The doctor laughed and advised him to touch his hands and feet.
- You feel? They are warm! It means you are alive. If you were dead, your hands and feet would be icy cold.
The answer sounded reasonable enough to reassure him.
Winter has come. On a frosty and snowy day, a man went to the forest to cut wood. He pulled off his gloves and began chopping the trunks with the ax. When he wiped his sweaty forehead with his hand after a while, he found she was cold. Remembering what the doctor had told him, he pulled off his shoes and touched his feet. He was strengthened in his horror - his feet were as cold as ice.
Now he had no doubts, his darkest thoughts had come true - he "realized" he was dead.
The dead man shouldn't be walking in the woods and swinging an ax, he thought ...
So he put the ax next to the tree, lay down on the icy ground, and, folding his hands over his chest, closed his eyes. He took a position as befits a dead man. Soon a pack of wild dogs approached the wagon. Seeing that no one was going to drive them away, the dogs tore the sack of provisions and devoured everything that could be eaten. Seeing this, the lying man thought, “They are lucky to be already dead. If I were alive, I'd take the stick and chase them out of here. "
The dogs sniffed on and found a mule tied to a tree. It was easy prey for sharp dogs' teeth. The mule kicked and squealed, and you thought about what he would do if he were alive. How would he swing an ax and a stick in defense of an animal? But he's dead.
The dogs dealt with the mule in a few minutes and began chewing on the bones. Then the cheerful pack sniffed on and carefully made their way around the area. After a while, one of the dogs sensed the human. He looked around and saw the woodcutter lying motionless on the ground. He approached him slowly. He was careful because he knew people were tricky and dangerous. The human, however, did not move. The rest of the dogs quickly joined and, swallowing, slowly began to surround the man.
"Now they're going to eat me," thought the man. - "If I lived, I would show them what I can, and the end of this story would be different."
The dogs hitched and, seeing that the man was not moving, they devoured him.
The most important moral of this story
As an Indian saying goes:
“There are two wolves fighting in each of us. One is evil, it is anger, envy, greed, resentment, lying, contempt and ego. The other is good, it is joy, peace, love, hope, kindness, humility, empathy and truth. Which wolf will win? The one you feed."
It is worth recalling once again. You have tremendous power. What you believe will become your reality. Every day, every moment, you have a choice. And be mindful of your "ifs". They can make you die alive. How? For example, in the way, Pablo Neruda described it beautifully:
"You start to die slowly if you don't travel, if you don't read, if you don't listen to the sounds of life, if you don't appreciate yourself. You start to die slowly when you kill your self-esteem, when you don't let others help you. You start to die slowly if you become a slave to your habits, walking the same paths every day... if you don't change your routine, if you don't wear different colors or talk to people you don't know, you start to slowly die if you avoid feeling the passions and stormy emotions that make your eyes sparkle and your heart beats faster you start to die slowly if you don't change your life if you're not happy with your job or love or your surroundings if you don't risk what is safe for the uncertain if you don't follow your dream if for once in your life you won't let yourself get away from sensible advice."
See also other coaching stories and parables: