How not to make mistakes at work How to overcome the fear of making a mistake? How not to be afraid of responsibility? How to deal with adversity? Or even how to deal with procrastination or Impostor Syndrome? Let's see what the Wise Mentor will tell us in the parable of flying a kite.
The Parable of the Master and the Kite Flying
Master, since I left you and the monastery, I am unable to overcome my troubles, the student complained. It seems to me that everything is uphill. Everything is much more difficult for me than for others. All the time against the wind, and this wind is also throwing sand in my eyes. I have logs under my feet all the time. You have told us to go out on your way of life, but I constantly stumble on it. Everything is conspiring against me. Maybe I should go back to the monastery? Maybe I'm not ready?
"I am very busy now," replied the master, "and I do not have much time to talk to you." I'm in a hurry because the time is right.
The master was visibly excited and was rushing around the room, picking up some bamboo sticks, rolling rolls of paper, and rolling a ball of string.
- An appropriate time for what? The student asked.
"To fly a kite," replied the master with a smile. - A strong wind is blowing.
The student was surprised and disappointed. His master goes to play carefree, and flies kites when he asks for help! What nonsense and stupid thing, and it ignores me.
"Come with me," said the master. "It's a very wise and educational activity," he added, as if reading the student's thoughts, and gave him a huge ball of string to carry.
- Be careful, don't get confused, and don't let go. - And he himself took bamboo, paper, and some other elements that seemed useless to the student.
Reluctantly, the student followed him. They went up the hill. The master scattered the bamboo sticks and began tying them carefully in an order known only to himself. He put some parts into holes in the paper, he tied something, he tied something up. The student saw it as "black magic". He saw no purpose or sense in what the master was doing. For him, there was only a pile of sticks and paper on the ground all the time. The master tied the string, unfolded some of them, and placed this messy "pile" against the wind.
- Ready. Stand here, hold tight, and slowly unfold the ball.
The wind that actually blew this lifted the master's intricate structure into the air. The apprentice held the string and focused his full attention on not letting it out of his hand while the wind tugged violently.
- Look up! The master shouted.
The student looked and saw a magnificent colored paper bird with a long tail, soaring majestically against the backdrop of beautiful mountain peaks. The view was amazing.
- Always look up to the tops. People do not stumble over mountains but over molehills. - He smiled again.
Sometimes something seems pointless, useless, useless. You don't see that purpose. But then suddenly the right conditions come, and it all makes sense. Understand?
The student thought: "Maybe flying a kite is not exactly such a stupid activity?" The master's sharp voice broke him out of his thoughts.
- Why are you holding the string so tightly with you? Why are you imprisoning him? Let it grow. Develop!
The kite soared higher, higher, and higher as the apprentice uncoiled the string. Only when it was very high did it present itself in all its glory. The student understood the meaning of this activity and was already sure that flying a kite could be the source of many interesting observations.
- Do you like it? The master asked.
"Yes, something fantastic," the student answered sincerely, staring at the sky.
- Do you know why kites soar so high? Because they face strong opposing winds!
What else is the moral of this kite-flying parable?
We will answer the above question with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt:
"It's not the critic that counts; and not the man who points out where the strong man has stumbled, or where the man of action could have done better. Praise goes to the man who is actually in the arena, his face stained with dust, sweat, and blood who fights valiantly, who errs, who fails again and again, who sacrifices himself for a just cause, who at best knows in the end the triumph of great achievements, and at worst, if he fails, at least fails, having great courage, so that his place will not be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
The parable comes from the book "Chinese Fairy Tales, or 108 Stories of Strange Content" by Zbigniew Królicki.
Highlights from Empowerment Coaching
See also other coaching stories and parables: