Stories from Ancient China: Undivided Attention Always Leads to Certain Success

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In the book Han Fei Zi - Yu Lao, there is a story entitled "Zhao Xiang Zhu Drives a Carriage." It goes like this:

Zhao Xiang Zi (Zhao Xiang Zhu, who was the Emperor of the state of Zhao in the Warring States period) learned how to drive a carriage from Wang Liang and then challenged him to a race. Zhao Xiang Zi changed horses three times but still fell behind in the end. Zhao Xiang Zi then asked Wang Liang: "You can't have taught me everything you know?"

Wang Liang answered: "I have taught you all the driving techniques, but you did not use them correctly. The key to driving a carriage well lies in a horse that wants to pull and the person who concentrates on controlling the horse. Only then can high speeds be attained and great distances reached. However, what you thought about was how to catch up with me quickly when you fell behind, and you worried about being caught by me when you were ahead. In the course of a carriage driving competition, one will be either ahead or behind. But no matter where you were, your mind was on me. How, then, could you concentrate on controlling the horse? That is exactly the reason you fell behind."

This story suggests that no matter what one does in the process of working towards a set goal, one should concentrate with undivided attention, get rid of all the interference from various thoughts, grasp the essentials and be proficient in the necessary techniques. Only then can one reach their destination in the fastest time.

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