The Zen Story That Will Change Your Life
The Zen Story That Will Change Your Life

The Story That Will Change Your Life

Here is a Zen story that will change your life.

Read it carefully and more than once.

A student was having a meal with his Master. When they were finished eating, the student asked his Master, “What should I do now?”

The Master replied, “Clean your bowl.”

At that moment the student was enlightened.

How can this simple story change anyone’s life, let alone yours?

This story illustrates one of the most important ideas that you can incorporate into your life.

Whatever you start, you must complete.

Leaving a task undone, unfinished, or incomplete is the surest path to failure.

Success in life can be summarized in a sentence: Show up and complete the job.

That is what separates the winners from the losers.

In Week Four of The Master Key System, Charles F. Haanel wrote:

12. Unless you do this, you had better not start at all, because modern Psychology tells us that when we start something and do not complete it, or make a resolution and do not keep it, we are forming the habit of failure — absolute, ignominious failure. If you do not intend to do a thing, do not start. If you do start, see it through even if the heavens fall; if you make up your mind to do something, do it; let nothing, no one interfere; the “I” in you has determined, the thing is settled; the die is cast, there is no longer any argument.

Are you forming the habit of failure?

Once a person begins to quit the things he endeavors to do, he finds that it becomes easier and easier to quit the task at hand rather than complete it. And in the end, then, what will he have?


If man had stopped at the launch pad rather than launching and landing on the Moon, would we have that amazing accomplishment to inspire us?

If Jonas Salk never completed his investigations into disease, we would still be suffering with polio to this day.

When the going gets tough, we are often told, then the tough get going. They don’t “get going” the other way, though; they go toward the trouble and get the job done.

Think of your life as having a checking account. Every time you set yourself to do something and you attain your goal, then you deposit money into your account. You become richer; you’re life becomes fuller; you have bettered yourself. But when you leave something incomplete, when you quit before you’ve attained your goal, then money is removed from your account. You are a little less than you were before you started; you’ve attained nothing, but lost the time you put into whatever little efforts you made.

A friend of mine made it his goal to become a master parachutist. He went through months of training and finally went on his first jump. After the jump, someone asked him how he liked it. “It was the worst thing I ever did. I can’t wait until it’s all over.” He was then asked why he would keep on jumping if he hated it so much. He answered, I have to complete what I set my mind to.” Once he made his one hundredth jump, he quit jumping and has never done it since. He had attained his goal and in the process set himself up for future success. He currently owns his own company and is very successful.

Your life is about what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished.

Complete your tasks.

Complete your goals.

Attain all that you can.

Life might be a race, but it is a race of endurance, not speed. It matters not how you finish something nor how quickly.

The fact that you finish is all that you need to be on the path to success.

Get these books and finish them because that’s what successful people do, obviously.