The Story of the Young Homeless Beggar

One day there was a young homeless beggar that had been trying to gather food.

Each day, he notices that he wakes up with a certain portion of his food missing.

One night he decides to stay up, and encounters the mouse who’d been stealing his food.

Feeling helpless, he asks, “Why are you stealing from me? I’m just a homeless beggar; you can steal from rich people, and it won’t have any effect on them.”

The mouse responds, telling him, “It’s in our destiny that I make sure you only have a certain amount, and no more. No matter how much you beg, and how much you gather, this will be all that you have here.”

The homeless man, shocked, asks, “Why is this my destiny?”

The mouse responds, “I don’t know, you should ask the wise Buddha.”

So, the homeless man gathers his courage, and decides to take the dangerous journey to the place of the wise Buddha.

On the second night of his journey, he comes across the home of a wealthy family who’s willing to let him spend the night.

They let him in, and ask, “Where brings you around this area; where are you traveling to?”

He answers, “I have a question for the wise Buddha. I just need to spend the night then tomorrow I will be on my way.”

The family provides him shelter, then asks, “Can we give you a question to ask the wise Buddha? We have an 18-year-old daughter who can’t speak. We just want to ask what we have to do to make it so she can speak.”

The homeless man thanks them for their hospitality, and agrees to ask the families question to the wise Buddha.

The next morning, he continues his journey and comes to a huge mountain range, which he must cross to reach the wise Buddha.

He climbs up the first mountain, and meets a wizard there.

The wizard decides to use his magical staff to fly them across the mountain range.

While they fly across, the wizard asks the young man, “Where are you going; why are you crossing these mountains?”

The young beggar responds, telling him that he’s going to see the wise Buddha, and has a question for him about his destiny.

The wizard then says, “Can I please give you a question to ask the wise Buddha? I’ve been trying to go to heaven for 1000 years; according to my teachings, I should be able to go to heaven by now. Can you please ask the wise Buddha what I have to do to get to heaven?”

The young man thanks the wizard for helping him get across the mountains, and responds, “Of course, I’ll ask your question for you.”

As he continues his journey, he runs into his last obstacle, a giant river that he cannot imagine crossing.

Luckily, just as he was giving up hope, he meets a giant turtle that decides to help him cross.

As they’re crossing the river, the turtle asks him, “Where are you going?”

The man replies, “I’m going to see the wise Buddha, I’m going to ask him about my destiny.”

The turtle then says, “Since you’re going, can you please ask a question for me too? I’ve been trying to become a dragon for 500 years; according to my teachings, I should be a dragon by now. Can you please ask the wise Buddha what I have to do to finally become a dragon?”

The young man thanks him for helping him cross the river, and gratefully responds, “Of course, I’ll ask for you.”

The young man finally meets the wise Buddha.

The wise Buddha tells him he will answer three questions for him, and only three questions.

The young man immediately became upset; he had four questions, and wasn’t expecting this.

So, he thinks carefully, to himself.

He thinks about the turtle, who’s been living for 500 years, trying to become a dragon.

He thinks about the wizard, living for 1000 years, trying to get to heaven.

He thinks about the young girl, that will live her whole life unable to speak.

Suddenly, his problems seemed so small.

He looks to himself, and thinks, “I’m just a homeless beggar, with a short life; I can just go back home, and continue begging.”

So, he decides to put his question aside, and ask the other three.

The Buddha replies, “The turtle is unwilling to leave his shell. If he is unwilling to leave the comfort of his shell, he will never become a dragon.

The wizard is always carrying his staff, and never puts it down. It acts as his anchor, keeping him from heaven.

As for the girl, she will be speak when her soulmate is ready for her.”

The young homeless beggar bows, and turns to continue his journey back home.

As he’s on his journey back, he reunites with the turtle at the river.

He tells him, “Hey Turtle, you just have to leave your shell, and you’ll become a dragon.”

The turtle thanks him, and takes off his shell.

Inside his shell, there was priceless pearls from the deepest parts of the river.

He gives it to the homeless beggar, and says, “Thank you, I don’t need this anymore.” Then becomes a dragon, and flies away.

The homeless man then comes to the wizard at the top of the mountain.

He tells him, “Hey Wizard, you just have to put down your staff, and you’ll go to heaven.”

The wizard lets go of the staff by giving it to the young man, thanks him, and ascends to heaven.

The young man now has wealth from helping the giant turtle turn into a dragon, and power from helping the wizard get to heaven; he feels like he’s ready for a great life.

He finally reaches his last stop – the family that gave him shelter.

He sits down with the family, and tells them, “Your daughter will be able to speak, only once it’s time for her to meet her soulmate.”

Just at that moment the daughter comes downstairs and says, “Is that the man from last week?”

[vc_row 0=””][vc_column][vc_column_text 0=””][/vc_column_text][vc_message]The stories found in Curious Fortune are not all original Curious Fortune creations; some are sourced from other creative artists who have shared their work online.[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Tao Te Ching – Verse 2 – Relativity

We know beauty because there is ugly.

We know good because there is evil.

Being and not being,

having and not having,

create each other.

 

Difficult and easy,

long and short,

high and low,

define each other,

just as before and after follow each other.

 

The dialectic of sound

gives voice to music,

always transforming “is” from “was”

as the ancestors of “to be”.

 

The wise teach without telling,

allow without commanding,

have without possessing,

care without claiming.

 

In this way we harvest eternal importance

because we never announce it.

 

The Story of the Master’s Gifts

One day, a tall, old-aged, wrinkly skinned master gathered three of his favorite students.

He told them of some alarming situation, and expressed that he was going away for a little while.

Before he left, he wanted to give each of them something to take care of.

 

The master gave one student 5 gifts, another 2 gifts, and the last, 1 gift.

He told them, “Take these gifts, see what you can do with them, and when I come back, we’ll go over them.”

The students agreed.

 

When the master returned, he asked the student with the 5 gifts what had happened.

The student said, “I took the 5 gifts you gave me, and I worked with them. It was a little difficult at first, but things got going; and soon, I had 10 gifts.”

The master acknowledged the initiative with a nod, and expressed that he was pleased. “Well done. You may keep the 10 gifts for yourself.”

 

The master turned to the student with 2 gifts, and asked what had happened.

The student said, “I took the 2 gifts you gave me, and I worked with them. It was a some work that needed to be done, but things got going; and soon, I had 4 gifts.”

The master acknowledged the initiative with a nod, and expressed that he was pleased. “Well done. You may keep the 4 gifts for yourself.”

 

The master then turned to the last student with 1 gift, and asked what had happened.

The last student said, “I took the gift you gave me; and since I had only one, I squeezed tight, held it close, and looked after it with all my attention. I was incredibly careful with it, and didn’t ever want to leave it out of my sight. Now that you’re back, I still have the 1 gift with me.”

The master shook his head with disappointment, and took the 1 gift away from him.

 

[vc_row 0=””][vc_column][vc_column_text 0=””][/vc_column_text][vc_message]The stories found in Curious Fortune are not all original Curious Fortune creations; some are sourced from other creative artists who have shared their work online.[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Elementary Basics of Debt

Debt sucks. Being in debt sucks more. But it happens; it’s a major part to the financial system we’ve created and are apart of.

Plastic IOU cards are some of the easiest things to get, and we always have something in mind that we want to buy.

 

So, how do we make sure we stay out of debt?

From what I’ve learned, the answer is simple – yet still pretty difficult.

It’s this: Live below your means – spend less than you earn.

 

Of course, this topic has a lot that can be written on; however, the general idea does scratch deep through the surface.

If we can create a lifestyle where we’re content with living below our means, we’ll never accumulate debt.

 

Now, if we’re already in debt – there’s a way out.

It starts with a commitment to get out of debt; a real commitment.

This isn’t something we should do, but something we must do.

 

It’s usually a big help to have things on paper.

 

So, on a fresh sheet of paper, we can list sources of income – every dollar that we earn per month (as close as we can get).

On the other side, we can list all our expenses – every dollar we spend per month.

Also, somewhere on there should be a list of all our debts. Starting from lowest to highest, and including the minimum payment for each.

 

We can start chopping down our debt by setting aside some extra money (with intentions of paying more than the minimum payment).

We can consider it an extra tax – if the government established an additional tax, we’d find a way to pay it, right? This is just another tax – a tax for our freedom from debt.

This extra money can come from a number of places. Ideally, they can come from something we cut out from our expenses list.

 

Obviously, things like rent, utilities, and food would stay.

However, things like Starbucks, chips, candy, extra data on our cell phones, cable TV, Netflix, can be cancelled or put on pause – we’re probably better off without them anyway.

If we’re going to be real with ourselves, and if we’re staying true to our commitment – it’s extra stuff that we really cannot afford.

The extra $100-200 can be put to way better use – towards our freedom.

 

Something that can be done in addition to cutting our expenses, is adding more income. This can be done a number of ways, but the best would probably be to create your own job.

 

Once we have some extra money coming in, our focus should be to pay off our smallest debt first.

This will not only create more “extra money” once that debt is cleared (and is added to our funds to make future payments bigger), but will serve as a small victory to motivate us to continue towards to bigger debts.

 

As long as we keep our commitment, and continue to live below our means, we’ll find our way out of the trap of debt.

The Story of Wise Ralph

Once upon a time, there was a wise man named Ralph.

Ralph was a simple man, who was always incredibly grateful for his life, regardless of his circumstances.

One day, Ralph won the lottery.

Ralph’s friends and loved ones came to him and congratulated him on his winnings; they told him he was very lucky.

Unfazed, Ralph acknowledged his friends and loved ones with a genuine smile, and said “maybe”.

One day Ralph was driving down a hill in his new sports car and was sideswiped by an SUV that ran a red light. He ended up in the hospital with several injuries and a broken leg.

Ralph’s friends and loved ones came to visit him in the hospital, offering their support and expressing their warmth. They told him they’re sorry for what happened, and that it was an unlucky situation he was placed in.

Unfazed, Ralph acknowledged his friends and loved ones with a genuine smile, and said “maybe”.

While in the hospital, healing from his injuries, there was a mudslide on the hill where his house was; it destroyed his property and everything in it.

When Ralph’s friends and loved ones found out, they came to visit him in the hospital, and told him how lucky he was to be in the hospital and not at home; surely, he would have lost his life had he been in the house.

Unfazed, Ralph acknowledged his friends and loved ones with a genuine smile, and said “maybe”.

Once Ralph was back on his feet, he decided to move away from the city. He purchased a Ranch with a beautiful white horse.

Ralph’s friends and loved ones came to him and congratulated him on his new home and beautiful horse; they told him luck was on his side.

Unfazed, Ralph acknowledged his friends and loved ones with a genuine smile, and said “maybe”.

One day Ralph’s horse managed to escape the property and ran away into the woods.

When Ralph’s friends and loved ones found out, they came to him and expressed their sympathy, telling them it was an unlucky day for him.

Unfazed, Ralph acknowledged his friends and loved ones with a genuine smile, and said “maybe”.

A few days later, Ralph’s horse returned back to his ranch and brought with him 3 healthy wild horses.

When Ralph’s friends and loved ones found out, they came to him and told him that they were wrong about his horse and that it was the luckiest horse anyone can have.

Unfazed, Ralph acknowledged his friends and loved ones with a genuine smile, and said “maybe”.

6 Ways to Create Your Own Job

Money is an important part to our society; it’s how we measure the value of exchange between people in the market. Without it, it’s increasingly difficult to survive in the communities we’ve built.

That’s why most of us get a job, and work for a company.

More often than not though, we hate our jobs. We get hired to do things so boring, no one else will do them; and that’s why we’re paid – to do the boring things no one else wants to do.

Luckily, that’s not the only way to earn money; there’s actually quite a few different ways to earn it.

Below, I’ve listed a few different ways I’ve recognized people earning a living, relying on their own capabilities (creating a job for themselves):

1. Providing a Service – Our communities need certain things to make progress and continue running smoothly. A big part of that comes from people who provide special services to give us convenience or just keep us going. Some require a license, others don’t. Examples – Baby Sitting, (Web/Graphic) Design, Party Planner/Organizer, Photography, Massage, Real Estate, Dog Walking, Security Guard, Insurance Sales, Personal Trainer, Chef, Consulting/Coaching, Writer, Voice-over, Translations, Etc.

2. Merchant – This is one I’ve been involved in for quite some time. Buying and selling products. You can buy and sell other peoples products, manufacture, or private label your own. If you choose to manufacture or private label, you can build a brand to give your company a personality and increase your companies overall value. Examples – Toys, Food, Electronics, Clothes/Apparel, Fitness Equipment, Office Supplies, Books, Hobby Necessities, Etc.

3. Educating – Lot’s of people have valuable information in specific fields. This is information that other people generally pay to learn about. If you’ve developed a skill and know a lot about a given field, you can start teaching others to earn some money. Examples –  Tutor, Defense/Martial Arts, Cooking Lessons, Drawing/Painting/Sculpting, Languages, Instruments, Etc.

4. Organizing Events – Lot’s of people are looking for things to do, and people to do them with. Another way I’ve noticed people earning a living is by organizing special events and bringing people together to experience it. Examples – Exercises/Boot Camp, Artwork, Hiking, Networking, Speed Dating, Etc.

5. Entertainment – There’s always people always want to be entertained; and they’re willing to pay people in order to get it. Examples – Comedy, Magic, Cartoons, Philosophy, Dance, Singing, Music, Special Talents, Etc.

6. Investments – A great way to earn money is with money that’s already been earned. Now a days, with so many apps and websites available, it’s easier than ever to invest. Examples – Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Commodities, Real Estate, Start-up Companies, Etc.

 

The best part about creating a job for yourself is the option to turn it into a business when it’s grown to the appropriate level. Then, it’s just a system; running on its own, it generating profits for you, while you move onto your next project.

 

From what I’ve seen and experienced, this is how most businesses start – with a job.

 

— In the Resources page, I’ve linked some awesome tools that help me and my business every day. If you decide to start your business, they’ll, without a doubt, be useful to you too.

Opinions in an Age of Too Much Information

Is there a downside to having too much information?

Especially in an age of widespread information, I’d think that it’s completely possible to be entertained with information that doesn’t matter – or isn’t true for us.

Television, social media, YouTube, our friends, family, the barber – everyone has their way of doing things, and many are trying to convince you that their way is better.

Technology has connected us to each other more than ever; and now, we’re exposed to each others thoughts and opinions all the more.

 

Most of us are level-headed people.

We know that we have our own experiences and beliefs; and we know why we believe the things we believe.

So, what sways us into thinking in another way?

 

When I look around me, I realize that everybody is influenced to some degree; and that’s natural.

 

According to marketing professionals, the 3 deepest ways we’re influenced is

  • From information by those we believe to be an authority
  • From information exposed to us several times
  • From information that relates to personal traumatic experiences

 

From what I’ve noticed in my own experiences, there’s lots of distractions that can sometimes cloud judgment, and make it easier for us to be influenced.

We can hear something from someone who seems to have achieved some understanding, and we automatically categorize what they say as truth.

If it makes the slightest bit of sense, many of us don’t think to form our own thoughts; instead, we just adopt theirs, without even understanding their complete idea.

 

Just from my own experiences on social media, I’ve seen how so many of us have developed habits of assuming, rather than verifying – and worse, judging, rather than understanding.

 

At the end of it, it’s our mind and our world view; we decide who’s an authority, and where our attention should go.

We’re the one’s who determine noise from something worth listening to.

And in this way, we’re the one’s who are responsible for our beliefs – which will ultimately shape our reality.

Investments we Don’t Always Have in Mind

The types of investments we make will determine the quality of life we experience.

 

Normally, when we think about investments, we think in monetary terms; investments into stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.

It’s a little less often we hear the term “investments” when it comes to our time/energy/attention.

Being that monetary goods can always be replaced, and time cannot, my feelings tell me the latter is more important.

 

Since time is always in motion, we’re in a way, always in a state of investing. Right?

Unless someone knows how to pause time, they’re constantly directing their energy throughout a 24 hour day; just like the rest of us.

With this way of thinking, it can feel like we’re always making investments with our attention; this is what helps us further realize our responsibility and influence over the results we get in life.

 

Just like we’re in charge of where we invest our funds, I believe we’re in charge of where our focus goes.

Although investments we make with our money is a completely different topic than investments we make with our concentration, the patterns have shown that the ideas to growth run down parallel paths.

By gathering enough information through observation, working a solid plan, and tracking the results, we open the possibility of positioning ourselves a lot better for the long run.

 

That’s what I’ve noticed in great entrepreneurs – they put lot’s of time and effort into research, and they’re always experimenting; they invest in themselves.

They stay aware of where their focus goes, and they regularly guide it back towards the appropriate direction they need.

By keeping their attention on things that really matter to them, they’re more aware of the opportunities that present themselves.

 

That’s what I believe gives them the “luck” of making the right decisions at the right times – they’ve prepared themselves for it by continually making themselves better.

And it shows – the time they spend on themselves is clear from the circumstances and quality of life they’re able to create for themselves.

Where does my Puzzle Piece Fit?

The world is like a giant puzzle board, and we’re all trying to find how our piece best fits.

In today’s fast paced, technology world, it’s so easy to be flooded with so much information. It’s no surprise when the light bulb in the entrepreneurs mind goes off; they’re always finding themselves with new ideas to pursue.

But what determines what they actually move forward with? Which one’s are right for them?

My intuition tells me that there’s a time to really analyse, and a time to jump in, and join the dance.

Sometimes we spend so long thinking about a certain idea, and that’s all we end up doing – thinking.

Days, weeks, months go by, and all we’ve done is think of more things to think about.

It’s necessary to have a plan; but a plan is only good if it’s tried with some good, old-fashioned, hard work.

I’m convinced additional clarity comes through that hard work, and from there, our vision can be re-defined.

 

It’s said that if your first release doesn’t have any mistakes, you waited too long to release.

I think if we’re to find that special spot, where our piece fits, it’s going to be in the daily grind, pursuing our ideas and passions.

Success Through Interdependence

As a teenager, I always dreamed of being completely self-made; I wanted to reach my goals with the satisfaction of knowing I had done so, solely by my own efforts. I wanted the pleasure of knowing I got to where I wanted, without anyone’s help.

Thinking back now… I find humor in my teenage thoughts.

 

Although it’s true that I spent years preparing and building myself and my business, I stood on the shoulders of giants to get here.

The success in my life is possible because of a foundation built from others.

I have an amazing family who’s always believed in me and shown tremendous support. In addition, there’s been countless entrepreneurs, authors, and speakers who’ve helped shape my way of thinking.

And of course, there’s always that kind soul, who shows up just at the right moment, to point a finger in the right direction.

Looking back now, things turned out to be way more connected than I had ever thought.

 

Sure, I had some ambition, but I can’t honestly imagine being in the position I am now, if it wasn’t for all the knowledge and encouragement that came my way.

The influence from those who supported my growth made what I do now possible.

Realizing that the very same giants who supported me, were just like me at one point (all with weaknesses not to be judged on, and strengths/disciplines to learn from), made it that much easier to believe in the possibility.

Had I not been aware of the signals, I wouldn’t have been able to effectively position myself the way I have today.

 

I still have a super long way to go, and a lifetime to learn; and I’m forever grateful for the interdependence that exists in the systems we’re apart of.

All in all, possibly the greatest thing I’ve learned is that we’re more alike and interdependent than we sometimes think.