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It can always be done

Seek and you will find ...

Aman invited Mulla Nasruddin to go hunting with him, but gave him a slow horse and kept the fast one for himself. He sped away and Nasruddin lagged behind. Soon it began to rain and the Mulla was alone. He took off all his clothes and then he sat down on the pile of clothing. Once the rain stopped, he wore the clothes again and reached his host's house for lunch. The host could not understand how he was wet while the Mulla was dry and asked him how this happened. Nasruddin answered, "It's because of the horse you gave me." The next day, the host gave the Mulla his fast horse and kept the slow one for himself. When it began raining, Nasruddin did the same thing and when the host met him, he was furious, because he was wet again and the Mulla was dry. He shouted, "It's all your fault. I got wet because you made me ride that terrible horse!"

So, often we are inclined to find fault with our workplace, our colleagues, friends, family and clients when the fault may in fact be with us. It may be that we have done nothing to look for the best solution for a certain problem. Instead, we might be preoccupied in blaming others for our own inability to make use of what is called 'horse sense'.

As the saying goes, 'It's not the horse that counts, it's the rider'. The rider makes a huge difference. There are plenty of rags-to-riches stories. However, most of these point to the fact that every time specific, but inevitable, challenges arise - and they always do - the rider, perhaps like a poor but enterprising man, comes up with innovative ways to overcome these challenges. There are those who, at the very hint of a challenge, might have thrown in the towel or changed tracks, fretted and fumed. But the man who chooses to handle his problems the way Mulla Nasruddin did - who found a way to remain dry even when faced with a downpour - always emerges triumphant, whether he rides a slow horse or a fast one. That is, regardless of whether he has the means or tools to surmount problems, and whether or not his circumstances are conducive or unfriendly, he does manage to find a way.

Often, we are so obsessed with our problems that we forget to look for ways to solve them. Anthony de Mello recounted the story of a man who had lived for many years with a sage and felt that he had gained no real wisdom during his time of tapasya. He asked the sage why he had failed to grasp the sage's wisdom. The sage replied, "When I point to the moon, you don't look at it; you keep staring at my finger. I am only the finger pointing to the moon, you cannot achieve realisation by looking at me or my finger!" Being distracted, looking at other issues, agonising over the past, regretting your actions or lamenting your destiny can lead to no progress; the only way forward is to take what you have at your disposal and do your best with it - without seeking out the 'villains' who put you in that hapless state. Whether the horse is slow or fast, the rider who weathers the storm has to be a Nasruddin. For that, you need to think out of the box and act swiftly.

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