Three steps to improvement

A colleague of mine told me a parable  about the wise man on the mountain.

A man climbs the mountain to seek enlightenment from the wise mountain man who lives at the top. Upon reaching the summit the seeker ask the wise man for enlightenment.  The wise man told the seeker, “you do not want enlightenment for it comes with pain.”, Nevertheless, the seeker insisted.The wise man relented and shared the secret. “Enlightenment comes in three steps, each step more painful and more difficult than the previous

  • First, you must see reality. Reality is harsh and painful For that reason, few men are willing to gaze upon reality. Perhaps you will endure that pain. The next step is far more difficult.
  • Second, after you see reality, to gain enlightenment, you must next accept that reality. Men may see, but most prefer not to accept. For to accept reality is to accept the pain.  But the following step is yet more difficult. Only the most resolute ever take that step.
  • Third,  you must do something about it.”

Of course the next step is to evaluate if your change had the desired effect. If not, it’s back to step one.


About Bill Nichols

PhD in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University I'm a software team coach and instructor with the TSP Team at the Software Engineering Institute
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