The TAO in Everyday Life
The TAO is in every aspect of life: growing up; receiving education; seeking careers; getting married; raising children; connecting with others; staying healthy; growing old; and facing life challenges.
                                  THE TAO IN CAREERS

Pursuing a career is all about doing -- doing what you love to do, or doing what gives you the reward in terms of money or simply satisfaction in the form of control and manipulation, prestige and power, reward and recognition.

The above may all distort your perceptions of the realities of all things. They may seem to be what they are not. So, do not seek them.

According to the TAO, being your true nature, you may see things as what they really are, and not as what you wish they were or should be.

In life, you learn to know more. Knowing more, you work to earn a living. Earning a living, you cultivate a relationship to gratify your desires. You pursue life goals to satisfy your passion.

The above may be some of the dreams you seek. In seeking them, do not over-do or over-exert yourself. More importantly, do not let them define who you are, or else they may become the flawed attachments of your ego-self.

According to the TAO, you are in the world, but not of the world. So, do not identify yourself with anything and everything in the world -- the car you are driving, the neighborhood you are living in, the name-brand dress you are wearing, and among many others.

What is wrong with them? You become attached to them; they only enhance and inflate your ego, making you shackled to the material world.

With a deflated ego, on the other hand, you may become enlightened and see who you really are, and not what people think you are. Enlightenment opens the door to the TAO of living for life.

The truth of the matter is that in the pursuit of your careers, you may encounter success and failure, employment and unemployment, as well as many ups and downs in your life.

Doing may lead to success, while non-doing may result in failure. Success often brings with it contentment and satisfaction -- ingredients of human happiness.

However, if the happiness excessively satisfies and saturates the ego, the doing may lead to over-doing, which is doing more than what is necessary, and this may result in undue stress and unreasonable expectation -- ultimately bringing about unhappiness.

A case in point: Lance Armstrong, the-once-celebrated-but-now-disgraced cyclist who had won numerous national and international medals, chose to use performance-enhancing drugs to win more medals, and ended up being stripped off all his previously won medals.

Success is not about over-stepping others to get what you want. True winning does not purposely make others lose.

Success and failure complement each other, just like winning and losing. You cannot have one without the other.


An ego creates attachments.

“Focusing on status gives us pride, and not humility.
Hoarding worldly riches deprives us of heavenly assets.

An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us let go of everything.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace.

With heavenly grace, we become pure and selfless.
And everything settles into its own perfect place.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 3)

Success and failure complement each other: what goes up must also come down, and nothing lasts.

“Success and failure are no more than expressions of the human condition.

So, accept both gracefully and willingly, with no judgment, no preference.

The Creator loves us unconditionally, irrespective of our success or failure.

What is meant by “accept both gracefully and willingly”?

Success is avoiding failure; avoiding failure is seeking success.
Both originate from fear and pride: the sources of human suffering.

Seeing ourselves indiscriminately as everything, including success and failure,
we see not only the manifestations but also the mysteries of the creation.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 13)

Doing but no over-doing: Do what needs to be done, and no more and no less.

“Striving to climb the ladder of success,
we may seem smart.
But trusting our Creator,
we find divine guidance,
which is effortless along the Way.

Striving to be right or wrong according to the world,
we may seem righteous.
But trusting our Creator,
we find potentials of our true nature,
which express compassion and loving-kindness to all.

Being charismatic,
we may seem popular.
But trusting our Creator,
we find our true nature.

Separating from our true nature,
we struggle with forms and functions.
Returning to our true nature,
we find ourselves being one with the Creator.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 28)

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Biblical Wisdom
Don't Die
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Letting Go
Miracle Living
TAO in the following:
Yin Yang
Prayers Unanswered
Money Wisdom
Living Life
Healthier Younger
Immune System
Golden Years