This evening I watched Kung Fu Panda for the first time. There was nothing else on and I was bored; bored enough to sit through a movie I didn’t want to watch but sitting through it was better than sitting here in silence. Y’know, that kind of bored..?
Without going through the whole plot which is probably a waste of time because I’m likely to be the only person in the known universe who hasn’t seen it, there was a bit in the movie where he had to qualify to get a sacred scroll. Anyway, he got the scroll and his kung fu master said it contained the secret ingredient to him becoming a true master. When Panda opened the scroll it was blank; there was nothing on it at all.
It took him a while to get the point that there is no secret ingredient in life; that the secret ingredient is you. You are what you need for ultimate success. Belief in yourself is the secret ingredient. Once he realised this, he was bound to beat the bad guy.
This got me thinking (I do sometimes) about how hard we all look for the secret ‘something’ that will make us more successful and our lives better in whatever way we feel they should be better. We tend to put all the responsibility for our future happiness onto this abstract ‘something’ and blame our inability to find it or God’s refusal to bring it to us, or other people for keeping it from us or holding us back, or our unhappy childhood, our shit job or our spouse’s recent affair or our kid’s drug habit for the fact that we’re going nowhere. Anything will do so long as there is something to blame for us not finding ‘it’.
‘It’ is you, me, us. We are the secret ingredient to our future happiness and success and all we need to do is use it the right way. For me it means taking responsibility for mistakes and making the choice to induce change. It means breaking out of whatever cycle we’re stuck in; whether it be a cycle of abuse or social pressures from our peers, emotional baggage or lack of skills. Break out of that cycle and make changes and start to use your secret ingredient – you, your mind, your innate intelligence and creativity. Be brave as you turn your life into chaos to break those bad emotional habits and kick the negative influences from your life. Take a deep breath and head out into the wilderness to see where that road leads, up where the river bends and the mist shrouds the hills.
All it takes is you. Life won’t bring you that secret something. Meditating won’t bend the universe and unlock the door for you (although it will calm you tremendously) and following the same old routine because “that’s the way we’ve always done it” won’t show you what’s up where the river bends into the mist. You have to get off your ass and make the choice to go and see for yourself.
It’s scary, it’s exhilerating, it’s witheringly frightening and mind blowingly liberating. You’ll be worried, you’ll be anxious and you’ll be fearful but most of all you’ll be so glad you did.
I’m going to do it. Come on, let’s go see what’s up there, up where the river bends and the mists shroud the hills.