Of habits & destiny

In the Ming dynasty, there was a person called Yuan Liao Fan. He was a knowledgeable man who knew medicine and always went around saving people’s lives. Here’s a tale about him…

Yuan used to be a very hardworking person. However, one day, he met an old fortune-teller, who told his fortune and all of them came true. Even years later, things seemed to happen in the way foretold by the old man. Yuan then felt that everything in his life was already predestined for him so there wasn’t any more need to work hard. He stopped working hard for anything in his life and slowly, he lost his fighting spirit. Life became tasteless for him.

Not long after, Yuan met a Zen master, Master Gu. They got into a good talk. In the conversation, Yuan said, signing, ‘My life has been predestined. It’s unchangeable. I now feel that everything has come to a stop. No more hope at all. I wanted to correct many of my bad habits but now, there is no such need anymore.’ Master Gu smiled and said, “Your fate is not predestined. It can be changed from your own heart. Start working on your inner heart, correct your bad habits and your destiny can be changed. Of course, the key to correcting bad habits lies in you understanding first what your bad habits are.’

Yuan thought for a while and said, ‘I am not a tolerant person, not willing to take heavy responsibility, cannot accept others doing wrong, bad tempered, narrow-minded, sometimes think too highly of myself, like to give empty speech, lack of logical thinking, do things that I feel like doing and leave those that I don’t feel like doing. Moreover, I like to drink, go sleepless and don’t know how to take care of my own health…..

Master Gu nodded his head, smiling. Yuan has given a long list of his bad habits. When finished, he signed, ‘How can it be easy for a person like me, with so many bad habits, to correct them all?’ Master Gu said, ‘As the Chinese saying goes ‘The one in difficulty doesn’t know, and it won’t be difficult for the one who knows.’ You already knew so well your bad habits. It is therefore not a problem in correcting them. Everyday, you can record your misdeed for review at night. Look at them again 2 years later and check if that fortune-teller is accurate anymore?’

Yuan therefore made up his mind to correct all bad habits with all his might. And it turned out to be how Master Gu expected. When Yuan corrected all his bad habits, he not only broke up the fortune-teller’s foretelling but also lived a more meaningful life.

Correct your bad habits first before going on to change your destiny. To correct habits, begin with your everyday life, something that you do everyday. And you will turn yourself into an outstanding person like Yuan Liao Fan. What you do everyday determines what kind of a person you are. Don’t let bad habits destroy you! Habits Equal Destiny!