The Zen Master and The Villagers


There once was a small village where a young child was bought a horse for his 9th birthday.. the villagers heard about this, and said that this was fantastic news… but when the Zen Master heard about this he simply said “we shall see”…


Three years later the boy fell of his horse and broke his legs, the villagers were distrought, “what terrible news” they said.. but the Zen Master simply said “we shall see”.

One year later the country went to war, and due to his injury the boy was able to stay at home instead of fighting, “what great news” said the villagers, and once again, the Zen Master simply said:

“we shall see”.

The purpose of me sharing this tale with you is to reinforce the fact that life is a series of ups and downs, and if you are at a low point right now, it may be for a reason, and if you are on a high, don’t take it for granted, don’t get too comfortable or lethargic, keep on working, and keep on having fun.

Remember, Life is just a series of peaks and troughs. And you don’t know whether you’re in a trough until you’re climbing out, or on a peak until you’re coming down. And that’s it you know, you never know what’s round the corner.

  • Courtney A. Walsh

    Yes…too true…and it’s also a little like waves cresting and crashing and rising…a rhythm that we must embrace rather than struggle against.

    Float on,

    Current score: 0
  • Sandy

    This post really touched me because I am in the bottom of the curve. The low part. Thank you for writing this article. It gives me a chance to stop thinking of negative things and start looking for that ray of sunshine.


    Current score: 0
  • Sandrine

    Just like Sandy, I am also hitting the bottom right now…trying to hang in there but finding it hard lately to expect success. This post is inspiring for people like us, and brings us back to reality. It is always easier to admit ourselves defeated rather than keeping our spirit up and thinking positive. Thanks for keeping us in line with your always useful posts/comments!

    Current score: 0
  • Alan Cox

    Another great article Dean and how poignant and true.
    Like Sandy I am pulling my way up from probably the worst experience of my life and as Sandy says you have to stay positive and look for that ray of sunshine that will undoubtedly come.
    I’m heading fast for my 61st birthday so I have a few years experience under my belt and I can vouch for the fact that life is full of ups and downs but in my experience the best way to deal with the troughs is this.
    When I was a young high flying executive I had a great boss and mentor and he told me this one thing that stayed with me. He said “be careful how you treat people on the way up because you never know who you will meet on the way down”.
    The moral of that of course is if you are a good person and you always give, then when your are down you will always find people ready and willing to help you.
    It has certainly been the case for me.

    Current score: 0
  • Teresa Caldwell

    Your past two post have been like you were writing directly to me. Wow. I too, like the others who have commented above me, am at a very low point in my life because of some family issues. It is hard to concentrate on trying to be successful, much less trying to excel at it. I was so down and ready to just go curl up in bed to avoid all the stress. When I got the email from Shawn Collins, from Affiliate Summit asking if I would like to help them by heading up a certain group, to help new people coming to the Affiliate Summit. It gave me a ray of hope. It gave me something to look forward to.

    I also received a quote in my email today from another Internet marketer, and it was as if he was talking directly to me. It said:
    “Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, Certainly I can!” – and get busy and find out how to do it.

    That is exactly what I did. I have no idea what I am expected to do, and I am usually not a leader, but how could I turn down an offer like that. I just decided I have to overcome my shyness, and fears, and just “Do It”

    I am hoping for a high point soon, but yes,
    We Shall See.

    Teresa Caldwell

    Current score: 0
  • http://WHOA!!!: Anjum Azad

    You are an amazing person from Spain.

    Love to read your wonderful writings, but lethargic is lethargic. Would you do me the honors of checking this one out? PLEASE???

    anjum azad

    Current score: 0
  • phil walker

    Ey up Anjum,

    If you really want to go to town, that should be a comma after simply said and a capital W for “We” in the first paragraph above the photo.
    Three years later, the boy didn’t fall of his horse, but off it. The villagers weren’t distrought, but distraught.
    Like you say, lethargic is lethargic, not lathargic. Life shouldn’t really have a capital L, but what the L, it’s a very uplifting post, so does it really matter? What’s more important – content or spelling? :D

    Current score: 0
  • phil walker

    And to think I only got a grade C in my English Language ‘O’ Level!!! :)

    Current score: 0
  • Chris

    I don’t know what proverb to reply with so I will post the 2 that came to mind when I read this post:

    – A successful man falls down 7 times and gets up 8

    – Life is what happens to you when you are planning it

    Current score: 0
  • Sandrine

    Here are some more:

    - There is the greatest practical benefit in making a few failures early in life.


    - During the first period of a man’s life, the danger is not to take the risk.

    Current score: 0
  • Kevin

    Thanks. I am in a bit of a trough, and it’s nice to get a ray of sunshine.

    Don’t wrry too much about the other comments – they new wot u ment ;o)

    Current score: 0
  • Dean Hunt

    I don’t have my inbuilt spellcheck on my laptop, and was highly jet-lagged, so apologies for the spelling errors.

    Actually, I am not sorry, who cares?!? ;-)

    Current score: 0
  • Krishna

    Of course heared in the movie Charlie Wilson’s War, but like this version better. ;-)

    Current score: 0