coaching story

The Cracked Pot

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This story is about how something can be a blessing even if it doesn’t serve an originally designed purpose.

A water bearer in India had two large pots. They were hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect. The perfect pot always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the house. Whereas, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to the house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. However, the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection. It was miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

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Blind Men and the Elephant

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Are we all metaphorically blind? Our perspective is like a view from the place we stand and frequently influences what we think, say, feel, and perceive. As well as how we act.

One counterpoint to this is attempting to place ourselves in another person’s position. The filters we have in place can also be shifted by paying attention to the things we like about something that we reflexively dislike.

If you take your own personal experience and listen deeply to the experience of another you can gain a much fuller, richer, more complete picture. Imagine how this poem would go if what is being shared is viewed as a contribution for collaboration rather than an assertion for competition. What if time and energy were invested in not jumping to snapshot conclusions?

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The Mexican Fisherman

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A little story about a Mexican fisherman illustrates success. However, success means completely different things to different people as you will see …

The businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while.

The businessman then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The businessman then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy life, señor.”

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Golden Buddha

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This account is based on real events. It provides a great analogy as to how our essence is hidden to protect ourselves. Our conditioning results from things that frighten us. These mindsets often remain even after the threat has passed

During the Burmese Siamese war in 1767, the Burmese army invades Thailand. They are very brutal; ravaging the land, burning, looting, and killing as they make their way to the capital.

In the course of their conquest, they come to a temple. They attack and kill all the monks and loot the treasure. They leave what seems worthless behind. One of the things they leave behind is a large clay statue of the Buddha.

After the war, conquering Thai King Rama I commissions the construction of many temples in the new capital city Bangkok. In 1801, he orders that various old Buddha images should be transported to these new temples from the ruined temples around the country. And so, the clay statue of the Buddha makes its journey by boat on the river to Bangkok. As it happens, the Buddha statue is too large to house inside the temple so they station it under a simple roof outside.

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Maybe

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The following is a well know Taoist story that makes us this about whether the outcome of an event is as good or bad as we think it is.

***

There once was a sage, old farmer who had worked his crops for many years with his beloved stallion.

One day, the farmer enters his stallion into a local competition and wins first prize. His neighbors all congratulate him on his good fortune. “Fantastic,” they say. “Maybe” the farmer replies.

Soon after, having seen the quality of the stallion in the show, thieves steal the horse. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors come to visit. “Such bad luck,” they comment sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replies.

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