"I didn't know you like Pooh." This was the question asked by my friend when she saw me holding a thin book entitled "The Tao of Pooh." My response was a simple smile together with a short explanation about the book. I told her that the book in my lap is written by Benjamin Hoff wherein he discusses the principles of Taoism and the secrets to a happy life. The character of Pooh Bear is so powerful because in every chapter, he presents new lessons about life and other things he sees in his surroundings. The innocent and naive Pooh bear reveals the teachings of Taoism.
I finished reading the book last week and it felt great to close the book with a joyful heart. These are some of the lessons I learned from "The Tao of Pooh."
1. We are different. We must not try to be someone we're not or expect things to work out the way we want them to be.
Oftentimes, we end up having a broken heart because we failed into something we gave all our efforts to. Have we taken a moment to stop and think of the real reason why we failed? If we examine the whole situation, the reason why we didn't reach our goal was because we were busy trying to be the person whom we are not. We always expect things to happen the way we want them to be but that is not how life works.
Each of us is different from one another. Some people are capable of doing the things we cannot do. On the other hand, there are also many things that we can do but others cannot. We must value these differences and work together to achieve a common purpose.
2. We have limitations.
These limitations do not indicate weaknesses. However, the moment we deny that we have have limitations is the moment that we lose ourselves. We must recognize our limitations so we can do something about it. When this happens, we can have happier lives. Instead of focusing all our energies to overcoming our limitations, we must accept them and learn to live with them.
Accepting one's limitations can make a great difference. "A fish can't whistle and neither can I... I have certain limitations and I know what they are."
3. The important thing is that we really don't know.
It is liberating not to know what lies ahead of us. Sure, we cannot predict what will happen in the future but it's one of the thrills of living life. At the same time, we do not need to have reasons for everything that is happening in our lives. As the famous Poet Lu Yu said,
"The clouds above us join and separate.
The breeze in the courtyard leaves and returns.
Life is like that, so why not relax?
Who can stop us from celebrating?"
Keep this in mind: "Clear reality that Things Are As They Are."
4. Everyday is a nice day.
Waking up every morning is one of the joys in life. It feels great to know that we have another day to spend with our family, friends, pets and other special things that we value. We must not spoil every single day by thinking of negative thoughts and doing negative actions. Whatever we do and say will always backfire to us. If we do nice things, then better things will come our way. If we think of happy thoughts, then we will attract happy times.
Think that everyday is a nice day and you will achieve it. It's all in the mind.
"In order to take control of our lives and accomplish something of lasting value, sooner or later we need to learn to Believe."
5. Take a moment to enjoy life.
Have you ever noticed that 24 hours a day is never enough? What if I tell you that it is? We are so busy trying to save time without us noticing that by doing such, we are actually wasting time.
I'm not saying that we must procrastinate but it wouldn't hurt to know that "There is no hurry. We shall get there someday."
"Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry. Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitched to-day to save nine tomorrow." - Henry David Thoreau
6. The Pooh Way: Just let things happen. Don't try too hard.
I guess we all know what not trying too hard means. Sometimes, if we take a step back to relax and think of the right things to do, we end up succeeding. There may be times in our lives when we experience heart-breaking failures despite trying too hard but we must never give up. All we have to do is to just let things happen.
Excepts from Benjamin Hoff's The Tao of Pooh.
"A thousand-mile journey with one step."
"Life itself when understood and utilized for what it is, is sweet. That is the message of the Vinegar Tasters."
"Why does a chicken, I don't know why."
"So quite often, the easiest way to get rid of a Minus is to change it into a Plus."
"I survived because I don't struggle against the water's superior power. That's all."
"And when you try too hard, it doesn't work."
"It's really great fun to go someplace where there are no time-saving devices because when you do, you find that you have lots of time."
"More often than not, the things we need are there already; all we have to do is make use of them."
"A lot of people try to buy Happiness and Importance in the same sort of way. But you can be happy and important without doing that, you know."