Saturday, July 4, 2009

Make Room In Your Cup

An expert on Eastern philosophy, a professor, travels to the East to learn more about Eastern philosophies. He travels to the East to meet with this Eastern guru who he has always wanted to meet. When the professor finally meets with the guru, he sits with him to have tea. As this guru explains things, the expert/professor constantly interrupts the guru. The professor frequently interrupts with what he knows from his own studies. Finally the guru stops talking and begins to serve tea to the professor. Although the professor's cup is already full, the guru continues to pour. Consequently, the tea overflows onto the professor's lap. The professor jumps up and yells, "Stop pouring. The cup is already full!" The guru calmly responds, "You are like this cup. You are so full of what you already know that you have no room for my tea."

For those of you who are or were mixed martial artists over the age of 30, you probably have heard this story in the past. This story applies to mixed martial arts. However, it also applies to many different areas in life.

We all have the natural tendency to not leave room for new tea. We all have the natural tendency of rejecting new tea that we have never tried. I see that many people suffer from this (including those who proclaim themselves to be open-minded).

I have learned long ago to always approach new things or new people with an empty cup. This may mean that I am setting aside my old tea temporarily, but not permanently discard the old tea. Most of the time, I end up mixing the new tea with the old tea in right proportions creating a much better blend of mixed tea.

In order to be able to stretch our minds or to have lots of room for new tea, one requirement is humility. Many smart people I know reach their upper limit because they lack humility. As smart or wise as they may be, they could have been smarter or wiser if they are more humble.

There is unfortunately a majority of people who are so fixated on what they already know or how everyone has always thought. They have no clue most of the miseries or dissatisfactions in their lives could be eliminated if they humble themselves and just let in some new ideas or knowledge from someone else (including someone who may be younger or even someone who seems inferior.) Some people are able to do this in some areas but not in other areas. They are the ones who proclaim themselves as open-minded. But in the areas where they leave no room for new tea, they just say "I am open-minded" but they continue to leave no room for new tea in that area. Is there an area in your life where you are not leaving room for new tea? Honestly?

As I have already mentioned, this concept of making room for "new tea" is important in many areas in life. Therefore, many of my future blog entries will refer back to this "new tea" metaphor, especially when I see many in my life who understand this concept but they keep coming with an already full cup.

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