Thursday, January 22, 2009

Readiness and Right Timing

Where eagles fly...
Photo Courtesy: Flickr Wash52121

There was a lesson in the English textbook while I was at Grade School,


A king requested a painter to draw a horse for him. The painter consented and left. After twenty years, he showed up in the palace and painted a horse in five minutes. The horse was so vividly as if it would run out from the paper. The king was pleased and disillusioned at same time, so he asked curiously,

“Since you can draw a terrific horse in five minutes, why didn’t you do it twenty years ago?”

The painter replied, “It took me twenty years to learn how to draw a horse in five minutes.”


The morale I learned from this lesson is that it takes time to achieve something remarkable. Given enough time, drops of water would wear through a rock; given enough time, an iron pestle can be ground down to a needle. Long persistent practice makes perfect.

Twenty years ago, the painter did not know how to draw a horse. Twenty years after, he was perfectly ready to draw a fantastic horse in five minutes. I have held the question since the English class – why didn’t he show up after five years to draw a fine horse in an hour? Did he really need to wait so long so perfect to show up? Luckily, the king did not pass away during the twenty years.

Readiness is an important issue in our personal growth. You can not get good results when you are not ready to do it. People ever asked me why I didn’t do something at some time, I answered I was not ready yet. You can be stuck somewhere because you have omitted some form of spiritual, emotional, financial, relational, or vocational growth in your life. You have to work on that to get ready.

During sometime, I found I was unable to stand up by myself. The weakness and lack of security pulled me downward, no matter what I intended to do otherwise. So I admitted I needed to get strong first and tried to find someone stronger and patient to drag me up. No one can break the universe law – strength and security precede the ability to be free. Find your weak point, work on it first.

Small streams flow into a river; rivers flow into an ocean. Constant effort brings success; deliberate practice works perfection. But you don’t need wait to be perfect to talk, to do, to launch and to implement. Opportunities are easily missed while waiting for perfect timing.

Life is about balance timing against available resources. Be prepared, get ready and catch the right timing.

4 comments:

V said...

Our thinking is aligned.

Tiger Woods is probably more a product of hard work than talent.

Jade Meng said...

Agree, talent is not enough. Though Phelps is built to swim, combined with analytical approach and systematic training, he could be the best swimmer ever.

Daniel Ng said...

Agree, the amazing god given talent of Phelps wound have meant nothing if he choose not to put effort in and miss the practice and training.

It is true that Phelps was incredibly blessed. Talent and blessing, however, are never enough. It is effort that brings forth the rewards.

Jade Meng said...

This world doesn't lack of talents, but lack of mentors who are good at discovering talents. This wrold doesn't lack beauty, but lack of eyes to perceive beauty. Right?

Even Tiger Woods has a coach. Phelps's coach is also his father-figure, for he is raised by a single mother.