Last few months have been really hectic as we build our product, our company. Sleepless nights, anxious moments, multiple ups & downs, meeting people with or without expectations, lots of advice – good or unwanted (I won’t call any advice bad), and a list of endless attempts to get things right or at times even just to get things in place.
As an entrepreneur – you get lot of advice. On product, on user experience, on marketing, on capital utilization, on technology – through multiple sources like users, advisors, investors, other entrepreneurs, or by reading blogs, tweets and all sorts of information one would be exposed to.
In middle of this information or advice overload (at times) – I always end up remembering this one small story that I read few years back. Sharing this because I truly think this is a best advice any entrepreneur can ever get.
Here is the story…
Once a king called upon all of his wise men and asked them, “Is there a mantra or suggestion which works in every situation, in every circumstances, in every place and in every time. In every joy, every sorrow, every defeat and every victory? One answer for all questions? Something which can help me when none of you is available to advise me? Tell me is there any mantra?”
All the wise men were puzzled by the King’s question. They thought and thought. After a lengthy discussion, an old man suggested something which appealled to all of them. They went to the king and gave him something written on paper, with a condition that the king was not to see it out of curiosity. Only in extreme danger, when the King finds himself alone and there seems to be no way, only then he can see it. The King put the papers under his Diamond ring.
Some time later, the neighbors attacked the Kingdom. King and his army fought bravely but lost the battle. The King had to flee on his horse. The enemies were following him. getting closer and closer. Suddenly the King found himself standing at the end of the road – that road was not going anywhere. Underneath there was a rocky valley thousand feet deep. If he jumped into it, he would be finished…and he could not return because it was a small road…the sound of enemy’s horses was approaching fast. The King became restless. There seemed to be no way.
Then suddenly he saw the Diamond in his ring shining in the sun, and he remembered the message hidden in the ring. He opened the diamond and read the message. The message was – ” THIS TOO SHALL PASS”
The King read it . Again read it. Suddenly something struck him- Yes ! This too will pass. Only a few days ago, I was enjoying my kingdom. I was the mightiest of all the Kings. Yet today, the Kingdom and all his pleasure have gone. I am here trying to escape from enemies. Like those days of luxuries have gone, this day of danger too will pass. A calm came on his face. He kept standing there. The place where he was standing was full of natural beauty. He had never known that such a beautiful place was also a part of his Kingdom.
The revelation of the message had a great effect on him. He relaxed and forgot about those following him. After a few minutes he realized that the noise of the horses and the enemy coming was receding. They moved into some other part of the mountains and were near him.
The King was very brave. He reorganized his army and fought again. He defeated the enemy and regained his empire. When he returned to his empire after victory, he was received with much fanfare. The whole capital was rejoicing in the victory. Everyone was in a festive mood. Flowers were being showered on King from every house, from every corner. People were dancing and singing. For a moment King said to himself,” I am one of the bravest and greatest King. It is not easy to defeat me. With all the reception and celebration he saw an ego emerging in him.
Suddenly the Diamond of his ring flashed in the sunlight and reminded him of the message. He open it and read it again: “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”.
He became silent. His face went through a total change – from the egoist he moved to a state of utter humbleness. If this too is going to pass, it is not yours. The defeat was not yours, the victory is not yours. You are just a watcher. Everything passes by. We are witnesses of all this. We are the perceivers. Life comes and goes. Happiness comes and goes. Sorrow comes and goes.
Now as you have read this story, just sit silently and evaluate your own life. This too will pass. Think of the moments of joy and victory in your life. Think of the moment of Sorrow and defeat. Are they permanent ? They all come and pass away.
Life just passes away. There is nothing permanent in this world. Every thing changes except the law of change. Think over it from your own perspective. You have seen all the changes. You have survived all setbacks, all defeats and all sorrows. All have passed away. The problems in the present, they too will pass away. Because nothing remains forever. Joy and sorrow are the two faces of the same coin. They both will pass away.
You are just a witness of change. Experience it, understand it, and enjoy the present moment - this too shall pass!
As an entrepreneur if you are building a product, I’m sure your vision for the company is to be the next Facebook / Google / Amazon or Apple. Startup journeys are long, it took Mark Zuck 2918 nights to be an overnight success before Facebook filed for its IPO, is it end of story – No.
Always stay motivated – for your next milestone. Keep rocking, celebrate every success and failure. Keep learning and moving ahead. At any stage of success or failure, remind yourself of these 4 words – “This Too Shall Pass.”
I was thinking of adapting this story to today’s world of tech entrepreneurship cycle, but left it as it is. Best wishes.