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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ansleigh's Corner

"Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretches her fingers to touch the heavens".

I came across this quote by Lao Tzu earlier this week, and it's had me thinking ever since. Here is what I know about Lao Tzu: he is generally credited with being responsible for the Tao Te Ching, which is the primary text of the Chinese philosophy/religion of Taoism. I briefly studied the work of Lao Tzu in a literature class, which is why I think this quote caught my attention.

I'm sure all of you have had one of those weeks where there were so many things to be done that it seemed an impossible task to complete them all. This past week was one for me. I had so many things on my plate at the beginning of the week that I was sure something would slip through the cracks. Then I came upon this quote and it really helped me sort things out. In a world full of to do lists, deadlines, and an endless stream of needs to be met and goals to be reached, it is easy to get overwhelmed; that's where I was before I set about breaking down these words.

Undoubtedly, ambition is a great thing to have. It is what drives us to make what we want happen, to work tirelessly towards our objectives, to persevere until we achieve success. What I like about this quote and Taoism in general is that it reminds us that balance is good also.

"Ambition has one heel nailed in well...." Ambition is grounded. Of course it would be wonderful if I could accomplish every little thing I want to do and every little task that comes my way, but that isn't realistic. With that in mind, I took out my calendar and took a good look at what I had lined up for the week. Although I hate to admit that I can't handle something, let alone remove anything from my to-do list, I had to let a few things go. Only once I prioritized, dug my heels in, and truly committed to the tasks I could do was I able to "stretch my fingers to touch the heavens". And I did. I went above and beyond this week on the tasks I took on, and I was able to complete everything on time and with less stress. Now I sit, sharing this with you, feeling accomplished and ready for the week ahead.

I sometimes feel that with how busy we all are now, we sometimes don't realize we're in too deep until the water is already over our heads. If you find yourself struggling with all that falls on your shoulders, take a step back, take a deep breath, and take stock. Prioritize, organize, and then recognize what you can get done, and focus your energy on that. Lao Tzu also said, "Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy". Do what you know you can first, and, before you know it, you'll be taking on more difficult challenges with ease.

This is just one small piece of the much,much larger concept of Taoism, but I think it's definitely worth adding to my own personal philosophy. Another piece worth mentioning is humility. We at Wilder Public Relations, as always, wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to all of the friends, clients, and colleagues that help make us the success that we are: we know we would not be where we are today if it weren't for your continued support. I hope you all have a wonderful, stress-free, and productive week. Keep those feet on the ground and stretch those fingers for the sky and Heaven beyond.

Wishing you only the best,
Ansleigh Beverly
Administrative Assistant, Wilder PR Firm