Maybe Yes, Maybe No

“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”  John Maxwell

We think we know what we want.  We have our sights set on a goal and we know what needs to happen to make it.  Unfortunately, life doesn’t always cooperate with our plans.  Instead of success, we experience ‘failure.’  These so called ‘failures’ are often anything but a failure.  I recently heard an old story which puts this into perspective.

There was once a poor peasant who lived in China with his son.  Their most prized possession was their horse.   One day the boy left the gate open and the horse ran away.  Everyone from the village told the man how terrible it was that his horse escaped.  The man simply responded, ‘maybe yes, maybe no.’  Two days later the horse returned and there were six wild horses who followed him.  The villagers all exclaimed how wonderful it was that the horse returned.  The man again responded, ‘maybe yes, maybe no.’  Several days later the boy was taming one of the wild horses and he was thrown off, injuring his leg.  The villagers told the man how terrible it was.  Again, the man responded, ‘maybe yes, maybe no.’  Several days later the Emperor’s army came through their village, taking all the young men to fight in the war.  Because the boy was injured he was not taken.  The villagers returned to tell him how wonderful it was that his boy was spared, to which the man responded, ‘maybe yes, maybe no.’

This story is a wonderful illustration of letting go of attachment to an outcome.  The wise man knew that what looked like a ‘failure’ could turn out to be a blessing and what appeared to be just what he wanted, could in fact turn out to be trouble.

Life is filled with ups and downs, blessings and disasters.  While it is important to set goals and take action, sometimes life has other plans.  Going with what is and letting go of our attachment to how life is supposed to be, is a blessing.  Is this experience what you wanted? Maybe yes, maybe no….

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