Can These 3 Ancient Chinese Teachings Help To Change Your Life?
Ours is an enlightened age – modern society is rich with different philosophies, still studied and taught by some of the brightest minds history has seen.
However, if you’ve ever been interested in or studied philosophy, you will already know that the majority of today’s teachings on philosophy come from some of the world’s earliest civilizations.
Ancient China, in particular, is responsible for the majority of philosophies still taught and celebrated today. I am going to share with you some Ancient Chinese teachings.
Why China? Well, if philosophy is something you’re interested in, you’ll also know that three of history’s most significant pillars of philosophy originated in China – Confucius, Daoism, and Buddhism.
Whilst philosophizing is not exactly a popular modern day pastime, its importance within society is unquestionable. For example, in these age-old philosophies, you’ll find the solutions to countless issues that are still found at the heart of society today.
If applied correctly, these solutions can help to change the way we live our lives for the better. Fancy getting a little philosophical yourself? Here are three important ancient Chinese teachings (put into layman’s terms!), to help you get started…
Follow Your Feet…
It is common knowledge that our minds are largely responsible for controlling our bodies. However, how often do any of us consider what our body can do for our mind? The typical order of things is to make up your mind about something first and then take action second.
For example – you decide to go to the gym, and then you use your legs to take you there. This works quite well the majority of the time. Occasionally, however, it doesn’t, and it can feel as though our own mind is working against us.
This is usually clear when we know that we have to do something, but instead, our mind comes up with endless excuses, fears and rationalized reasons for why we shouldn’t. When the mind is lazy, so is the body.
This is why Chinese philosophy teaches that sometimes, we should let our bodies take the lead when it comes to taking action. The best way of doing this would be to get up and take action before your mind has the chance to start over-thinking things.
It is positive thinking in reverse – taking positive physical action to achieve a more positive mental outlook. So don’t think, act! Put on your running shoes and get to the gym; start writing that novel; jump out of bed…follow your feet and your mind will soon follow.
Think With Your Heart…
Many of us will have been taught growing up, to think with our heads.
However, whilst this may seem the more logical thing to do, the truth of it is that we are all emotional creatures.
We are driven by what we feel; every moment of every day we are all chasing a feeling.
We may think that what we want is a car, a house, a career change or whatever it may be…but it is not these things themselves that we are chasing. It’s the feeling that having these things will evoke in us.
Be it approval, abundance, love, sexiness, excitement… our actions and choices are driven by the emotion we want to capture most.
Chinese philosophers understood this all too well; which is why they believed that when it comes to making decisions, the heart does always know best.
Our emotions should be used as an internal gauge when deciding our next best course of action.
So, got a tough decision to make? Then look at the options before you and ask yourself – how do I most want to feel? And in that case, which course of action would help me to achieve this?
Sometimes life can leave us in the dark, and it is during these most difficult of moments, that you’ve got to feel your way out.
Look at any self-help book or personal development programme and you will find a section on goal-setting. Whilst setting goals can be vitally important for creating a life you love, focusing on these alone can become overwhelming. Today, people’s goals and ambitions are bigger than ever.
After all, the thinking behind this is that if you dream big, big things will happen for you! This may be true, but when you look at ancient Chinese teachings, it is suggested that sometimes, smaller can be better when you’re looking to create change in your life…
These philosophers believed that it is actually the smallest details that come to have the biggest impact in our lives. For example, think about when you are driving – you let another car go and the driver responds with a beaming smile and nod of thanks.
How does this make you feel? Alternatively, whilst in your car, another driver cuts you up and shouts abuse out the window at you. These are seemingly small things – but the effect they can have on our mood is undeniable.
This is what the Chinese philosophers were trying to stress when they spoke of the smallest of actions having the largest of consequences. Whilst it’s good to have a big life destination in mind, it’s important that you don’t overlook the small, everyday steps that will help you to get there.
So be sure to remember the little things – surround yourself with people who uplift you, smile, take regular stock of the things you are grateful for and make time for those everyday mood boosts that will contribute to your overall happiness.
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