Ancient Taoism in Contemporary
Management Training & Martial Art
Choose your Career Path with care, delve deeper into the wisdom of Taoist philosophy and explore how it can guide us in our career paths.
As a self-driven person, you may have approached work as if you were going to war - with determination, focus, and a warrior-like mindset. While these qualities can be valuable in certain contexts, they may not be sustainable in the long run. According to Taoist philosophy, it is important to approach our work with respect, surrender, and an open heart. This means being mindful of our intentions, acknowledging our limitations, and cultivating a sense of humility and gratitude towards the opportunities and challenges that come our way.
Before embarking on a career path, it is important to ask ourselves: does this work contain a heart (the Tao)? In other words, does it align with our deepest values, aspirations, and sense of purpose? If the answer is no, it may be wise to choose a different career path. However, as the original text points out, many people do not ask this question until it is too late. They may find themselves trapped in a career that lacks heart, meaning, or fulfillment, which can lead to emotional and spiritual exhaustion.
If you find yourself in this situation, remember that you always have a choice. You do not have to continue down a path that does not align with your true self. However, it is important to make this decision free of fear and ambition. Taoism teaches us that true freedom comes from accepting and embracing our natural flow, rather than striving for external validation or success. By cultivating a sense of inner peace and clarity, we can make choices that align with our true path, even if they may seem unconventional or challenging at first.
Here are some additional tips to help you cultivate a career with heart, based on Taoist principles:
1 Act self-driven, but also be mindful: It is important to have a sense of direction and purpose in your career, but also to be open to new opportunities, challenges, and perspectives. Be mindful of your thoughts, emotions, and actions, and strive to cultivate a sense of balance and harmony in your work.
2 Select vigilantly and choose your career path wisely: Take time to reflect on your passions, strengths, and values, and choose a career that aligns with these qualities. Don't rush into a decision based on external pressures or expectations. Be patient and trust the natural flow of your life journey.
3 Stop being guided by forced or confused haste chosen careers: Avoid making impulsive or reactive decisions, and instead focus on what truly matters to you. Embrace the Taoist concept of wu-wei, which means non-action or effortless action, and allow your natural flow to guide you towards the right opportunities.
4 Select that which gives you peace and satisfaction, work that you deliberately use to grow and solidify you: Look for a job that brings you a sense of peace and fulfillment. This can help you stay motivated and engaged, even during challenging times. Focus on personal growth and development, rather than external rewards or achievements.
5 Cultivate the moral powers associated with work with a heart: Approach your work with integrity, honesty, and a desire to contribute positively to the world. These qualities will not only make you a better employee but also enhance your personal growth and development. Embrace the Taoist concept of te, which means virtue or moral power, and strive to cultivate these qualities in all aspects of your life.
Remember, a job without a heart is rarely pleasant or sustainable. But a career with heart can nourish your soul and make your life journey much more fulfilling. By aligning your career path with the Tao, you can find meaning, purpose, and joy in your work, and social life.