Lately I’ve been reading up to 25% of Tao Te Ching a day, either in the bedroom or the bathroom. No disclosure neglected here. The feat sounds impressive unless you’ve actually read Tao Te Ching and realize it’s less like reading the Holy Bible and more like reading the 4 Gospels – except for the religiousness. Folks get scared of Tao and such Eastern thinkin’. It’s a shame and a blessing. There’s great experiential wisdom found within it and more people should read it; that’s a shame. It’s a blessing because it means there’s more wisdom for me to leverage.
Sometimes the Tao Te Ching is as vague as a tarot reader. Other times it’s as poetic as Robert Frost: simple, naturesque , soft prose.
The Chapter that keeps hitting me over and over again is the 19th Chapter: Simplify. Pending on your translation it goes like this:
If we could abolish knowledge and wisdom
Then people would profit a hundredfold;
If we could abolish duty and justice
Then harmonious relationships would form;
If we could abolish artifice and profit
Then waste and theft would disappear.
Yet such remedies treat only symptoms
And so they are inadequate.
People need personal remedies:
Reveal your naked self and embrace your original nature;
Bind your self-interest and control your ambition;
Forget your habits and simplify your affairs.
[Source translation: ZenGuide.com]
If I could copy and paste from the 2 iPhone apps I have of Tao Te Ching, I would. It’s a sweeter, subtler translation.
It’s like cutting dead weight and rising to the surface.
We’ve been cutting off projects – or at least backing them up if they want to stick around. FIFO – to the ones we hadn’t yet signed. Right now, in addition to existing clients, we’re focusing on 5 startup projects…4 startups and a content marketing strategy for Projec t03 that we might parlay into actual printed materials.
Hell. I might get published afterall.
I had drinks all Friday afternoon with Brad Best, a Project 03 supporter. We go back to the Livemercial Days. Hell, I don’t meet Katie if it wasn’t for him. He was the one who recommended her to use to help Bake and I work on BakedFinn branding. But for the pun, Brad’s the Best of people.
Anyway, during the catching-up, we talked about doing some publishing with the content that we’re creating for Project 03. It’s been talked about before. Several times before. But until now, there simply wasn’t time. But now…
…he has the ways; we have the means.
Now I said I’d never be that guy who wrote those damned Digital Marketing books or regurgitate my years blogging into hardcovers with the help of an editor like Seth Godin does – and more power to him, but Brad put a Helluva spin on the approach so I didn’t feel so cheap about it. More to the truth, I felt ecstatic. The 2 tall Bobblehead’s from Evil Czech Brewery might have helped.
But without the simplification of the last few weeks, the new opportunity wouldn’t have been possible.
And, like the other projects we’re diving deep into, it directly builds Project 03. As Bruce Pandolfini, mentor to Chess God Bobby Fischer, would say:
“Make every move have a purpose.”
I’m wondering what more will come our way once we’ve completed these 5 projects. Especially if we focus on leaving ourselves in position to be flexible once the projects take off.