Xīn Nián Kuài Lè!

Happy Chinese New Year!

While the Western calendar year is already 5% over (yikes…are you 5% closer to achieving your goals this year?), the lunar calendar has just turned over a new page, ushering in the Year of the Dragon today.

The Year of the Dragon is thought to be the luckiest of all of the 12 years in the Chinese Zodiac, but also the one with the highest risks (and rewards). Some believe that this is the year when the financial crisis will finally resolve…we shall see!

But what about you? Are you ready for year 4709? Is this going to be your year to achieve all of your financial goals?

I certainly hope so, and I plan to help you to the best of my ability! In this Year of the Dragon, it’s time to unleash your Dragon Warrior.

The dragon is thought to be a highly auspicious symbol of power, strength, wisdom, and good fortune. Dragons are the only mythical creatures on the Chinese Zodiac, and they are believed to have the extraordinary ability to control water, including rainfall, hurricanes, and floods. (And by the way, this year isn’t just the “Year of the Dragon”, it’s the “Year of the Water Dragon”!)

And speaking of water, today I want to share with you an important kung fu strategy for overcoming adversity on the way to achieving your goals (in case you’re looking at your calendar in panic like I am and wondering where all of the time is going!).

So how do you overcome adversity on the way to achieving your goals? Because like it or not, you will definitely face adversity and setbacks along the way, and you need a good strategy for overcoming them.

Luckily, I have just the kung fu strategy for you!

Bruce Lee, the original Dragon Warrior, famously instructs:

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” — Bruce Lee

To be able to flow like water when dealing with adversity is one of the core tenets of Bruce Lee’s philosophy, and adversity is something each of us faces on the way to achieving our goals.

Sometimes adversity springs from outside of us, via antagonistic people (“dream killers”) or external events beyond our control; and sometimes we are our own worst adversaries when we harbor self-defeating beliefs or give in to our fears (“I can’t do it”, “I can’t afford it”, “No one will help me”, “I’ll never be successful”, “I’ll never be rich”, “What if everyone makes fun of me”, etc.).

If you find yourself becoming frustrated when faced with adversity, realize that you are not alone and remember Bruce Lee…he came up with his water analogy when he was thoroughly frustrated himself! In fact, he was so frustrated that his sifu, Yip Man, had instructed him not to come to practice for a week, but rather to go home and think.

After seething by himself and feeling frustrated for days, Bruce Lee finally went sailing by himself in a junk on the sea. His temper flared, and he punched the water with all of his might (which considering whom we are talking about, was probably pretty hard…). But the water wasn’t hurt whatsoever by the force of his punch, and at that instant, he understood:

“Right then, at that moment, a thought suddenly struck me. Wasn’t this water, the very basic stuff, the essence of kung fu? Didn’t the common water just illustrate to me the Yin principle of kung fu? I struck it just now, but it did not suffer hurt. Again I stabbed at it with all my might, yet it was not wounded. I then tried to grasp a handful of it, but it was impossible. This water, the softest substance in the world, could fit itself into any container. Although it seemed weak, it could penetrate the hardest substances in the world. That was it! I wanted to be like the nature of water.” —Bruce Lee, The Warrior Within, pg.47

Bruce recognized that water was at once both pure Yin (one of the softest, most yielding substances in the world) and pure Yang (capable of penetrating the hardest forms of matter and crashing with the force of Niagara Falls).

I love Bruce Lee’s water analogy for overcoming adversity. Water adapts itself instantly to any obstacle in its path and, moving at its own pace, begins a natural process of surmounting it. Awesome.

And if you, too, can learn to flow like water when faced with adversity, you will eventually overcome it and will achieve your goals.

So that is my big lesson for this New Year of the Water Dragon!

Be water, my friend…(and go kick some ass on those goals!)

To your financial success,

— Kung Fu Girl