The Way of Ping
In the book,
The Way of Ping
by Stuart Avery Gold, the author reminds us to face our challenges and take a leap of faith and be what we want to become and what we can become.
The story takes place in a pond where all pond dwellers have gathered to watch Ping, the frog's, glorious jumping. His travels take him to this pond whose dwellers, ruled by Toad the Elder, have never questioned the certainty of their surroundings. When Ping told Toad the Elder that the Great Ocean is much bigger than their pond and invited them to visit it, Toad the Elder furiously yelled at Ping saying that he's a liar and that there is nothing called ocean, that there is nothing beyond the beyond. By "beyond the beyond" he meant the pond. But two young frogs, Daikon and Hodo, curious and rebellious, met Ping at night outside the pond to take them on a journey to the Great Ocean. After many obstacles on their path, just as Daikon and Hodo thought that they are near the Great Ocean, Ping trained them even more using the bamboo tree.
They had to climb up all the way to the top of the tree and then all the way down to conquer their fears and understand that nothing is impossible. Ping told them to learn from bamboo and then he said, "You too must remain flexible and responsive to unpredictable circumstances when they appear.... By remaining flexible, you allow things to speak to you and tell you what to do with them.... Be like bamboo, which is strong, resilient and unbreakable." This is important to keep in mind while being a manager or a CEO. These people need to be strong and unbreakable, but they also need to be flexible.
Throughout the whole trip Ping kept teaching Daikon and Hodo about the Way (the life's journey), and at one point, on Page 43, he said: "The two most important rules of the Way are to begin and to continue. The Way never concerns itself with what we do not have, do not want, or cannot do. It only sustains what we do have, do want, and can do."
One can't be successful in life and in business when the focus is on the things that can't be done. To be successful, the focus has to be on the things that can be done.
As Ping, Daikon and Hodo finally got to their destination where the Great Ocean began, Ping asked them if they still wanted to go down to the Great Ocean. But Daikon replied, "Where we wish to go, we have already been. Hodo and I are returning home to our pond. We have promises to keep and journey to share." Ping supported their decision, and these are the words that he said at the end: "For every beginning there is an end, and for every end a beginning. I wish you joy."
This is easily comparable to Product Life Cycle. When a new product is introduced on the market, it goes through the stages of growth and maturity, but eventually it gets old, and/or there is no more demand for it. That's when the time comes to start something new, a new beginning.
The author did a great job explaining the importance of having a goal and working hard to achieve it no matter how hard or impossible it seems. It is only impossible if we convince ourselves that it's impossible.
Review by Nadezhda Moshonchuk