I would like to share with you a story which I have applied at an early stage of my career and have gained much more than lost. It is commonly shared in martial arts training because of its origins – Japan and is required to build patience and humility among the fighters. It is called the “Empty your Cup” story. It is about an ambitious city boy who came from a rich family wanting to pursue martial arts. So, he searches where the best martial arts master is and goes to his rural village up the mountain to learn from the best. However, he was not passing the fighting tests and being promoted for the higher belts due to his ego. His ego kept him from learning and the true purpose of his training with the master. Seeing the master and his partners from a less wealthy background permitted him to judge them by not following exactly what the master is preaching but what his mind was telling him in the training. Finally, he broke his ego and asked the master why am I not being promoted like my other partners? The master had a smile on his face and said “finally !” I can speak while you listen to me. So, he brought him to his room to explain with an illustration of two filled water cups. He made his rich student egoic brain understand his point by pouring the water of his cup into the student’s filled cup. So, the water started falling outside the filled cup. He clarified to the student that your brain represents your cup, your filled with your false knowledge and belief in my specialty because of your rich background & too shy and afraid to follow my training & rules. The student pondered for a moment with a look of absolute confusion. Then a look of enlightenment came over him, followed by a smile, and a look of receptiveness. If you truly seek understanding, then first empty your cup!


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