Welcome to tales my Mother told me…
Tale Two: “Your Mind is Powerful”
This week I want to share with you a story about my mum when she was a little girl.
The story took place in her new home over 70 years ago. Mum was adopted by her aunt and migrated from China to Vietnam when she was only 8 years old. In her new family there were also 5 other children who were also adopted. My grandparents did not have any children of their own so therefore they wanted lots of children to bring noise and joy to their big home. Unlike the other 5 children, mum was alone, her parents and siblings were all still in China, she was lonely and scared in this new family.
Mum was the newest member to the family and it was difficult for her to adjust to this new life, new family and new place and the worst part of all she missed her family terribly. Her life was not easy in the beginning as she was bullied by an older boy whom I called Uncle Quin. Uncle Quin also has a sister and who was younger than my mum and her name was Aunty May.
Uncle Quin would pick on my mum a lot and whenever there were house tasks to do he always insisted mum had to share the work load with him. One day, his job was to fill up water in the two huge ceramic urns. He was not happy that he had to do it all by himself and so he made mum fill up the water urns with him as mum was the eldest girl out of the children and he was the eldest boy.
The other children all yelled out to him and said “that’s not fair, Big Sis is a girl and smaller than you, you can’t expect her to carry water from the well with the heavy buckets and the water urn is bigger than her. There is no way she can do that”.
He grinned and said “well that’s too bad! She still has to do it even if she can’t and no one is allowed to help her”.
So my mum was left with this big task ahead of her and she had no idea how to get the job done and the more she thought about how big the task was the head chatter in her mind confirmed that it was too hard and too big a job for her to do. She was crying the whole time as she tried to get the water from the well. Crying for her mum back home and crying for her help.
“Don’t cry Big Sis” said a little girl, it was my Aunty Le. Your mum is not here, she can’t help you and I am sorry we can’t help you either. We are too small and too weak. Why don’t you have a rest, your mum wouldn’t like to see you like this. Then mum stopped and started to think back at what her mum said to her before she left home. “My dear child, I won’t be around you from now on, so make me proud, there will be times when you don’t feel so good away from home so just remember this “be strong for me, my love, if you are strong, your mind stays strong and you can do anything you want if you believe in yourself”.
Mum then stood up tall and walked to Uncle Quin and said “Stop picking on me just because I am new to the family and because I am small. I know you are bigger and stronger than me and I’m not here to compete with you. I may be small and weak and yes it will take me longer to fill up the water urn and that’s okay as I have the time, even if it takes me till midday to finish the job and I will get it done.
With the heavy bucket, mum filled it half way each time and slowly poured the water into the urn. Although it did take her awhile, she did it and eventually filled up the urns. She achieved this because she changed her thought process.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think”-Buddha
So, from this tale, I learnt that our mind is incredibly powerful. Your life and your business is a reflection of your thoughts. When you think about that, there is nothing that is too hard or easy…your thinking just makes it so’
Buddha also said “The mind is everything. What you think you become”.
In life and business if you think you are weak and hopeless then you are formed by your thoughts. Just like mum, she thought she couldn’t do it in the beginning until she reframed her own mind and instead of giving up she became determined. Her goal at the time was to fill the urn with water and the task was bigger than she could chew so she filled the bucket halfway and slowly she was able to fill the urn until it was full. Just like your business lifestyle if you have a big goal and it’s too hard to achieve, what you can do is to break down the goals to sub goals and into small tasks so it makes it easy for you to manage, so you don’t get discouraged, overwhelmed and end up procrastinating.
Have you heard the funny joke about how to eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
So if you throw away those harmful thoughts and negative actions and cultivate all the positive thinking and goodness you CAN change and inspire your business lifestyle and the world you live in.
Tune in next Friday for tale 3: “The Importance of Self Understanding”
More Tales My Mother Told Me…