Monday, September 24, 2012

Quote of the Week

Person who chases two rabbits catches neither. - Confucius 

So who is Confucius and what is trying to say here?  Confucius, 551-479 BC, was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician and philosopher.  Apparently he wore a lot of hats.  His life and his teachings are complex, but mostly center around virtue, moral behavior and kindness and respect of others.  He followed the principle "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself", a precursor for the Golden Rule as we know it today.

Now back to the rabbits.  Picture trying to chase after two rabbits with each running back and forth in opposite directions.  First you pursue one and he runs into the briar patch, then you turn back to the other who scurries into his hole.  You go back and forth between the two, and at the end of the day you have caught neither rabbit.  Now apply this thought to several projects.  If you split your focus between the two, neither getting your undivided attention, you may find that at the end of the day both projects remain unfinished.  Being torn between two options is like trying to get both rabbits - it often leads to neither being fruitful.

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  1. I would swear that Confucius was thinking about me when he wrote that but actually I am not quite that old.

    I feel like I am continually multi-tasking. We are led to believe that doing multiple things simultaneously is required these days but each tasks suffers without a doubt.

  2. Often, my focus feels like a pinball that's just been shot and is just bouncing around hoping for the best. I'm constanting telling myself to "Focus." Whenever I manage to focus my energy on one thing with intent, miracles happen. Such is the Universe.

  3. "If you split your focus between the two, neither getting your undivided attention, you may find that at the end of the day both projects remain unfinished. "

    Yanno, I've been trying SO HARD to balance blogging and writing my novel. And it's been very difficult to maintain BOTH at all times. That's why I haven't been getting much work done for either.

    However, I believe I have finally come up with a system, a schedule, and a routine. And HOPEFULLY things will work out better!

  4. I find it so difficult to stay focussed on one thing lately, that often nothing gets finished! I feel a real sense of achievement when I do finish something though :)

  5. That is what has happened to my sites. I have a ton of websites and I split myself too thinly!

  6. So interesting to read this about Confucious, I have of course seen quotes by him here and there. But I never knew that he was Chinese, or the ofther facts you shared here.

    And the rabbit story, very intresting. I, unfortunately, can sometimes become a bit unfocused and doubt myself if I am focusing on the right thing. And it is at those moments I can steer away from a project I am working on, thinking that maybe I should start another - because maybe that one will turn out better. Only to then return to the first project after a while, realizing that I probably was focusing on the right thing from the beginning. So, kind of like the chasing two rabbits... Hehe.

    Anyway, really nice post. :-)

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Hi Linda ... the Golden Rule is distinctly golden isn't it ...

    Scuttling rabbits ... I've been doing that for a few years - now I might only have to scuttle after little old moi!!

    Concentrate on what's important .. cheers Hilary

  8. Time really has a way of getting away from me these days. I apologize for being so slow to get back to my comments.

    Cheryl- I think that multitasking is something different than chasing the rabbits. At least successful multitasking gets multiple things accomplished in a more efficient fashion.

    Jayne- That feeling is when the above-mentioned multitasking goes awry. I think we all get that at some times during our increasinly busy lives. Not that being busy is always a bad thing. :)

    Meleah- Finding that balance isn't always easy, especially if you feel guilty for doing one thing, thinking that you should be doing the other.

    Babs- I understand that, and find my own focus strained at times. On the other hand, sometimes I get so focused on one thing that others slide. It is all about balance.

    Katherine- I find it enough a challenge (although a fun one) to keep up with this blog!

    Alexandra- I had heard his quotes for years, and I think I knew he was Chinese, but it was helpful to delve a little deeper into who he was. This didn't begin to make a dent into all that he was and did. I think we have all chased rabbits at some point.

    Hilary- The Golden Rule and concentrating on what is most important are both good rules for life.


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