Here’s a little toast to all the successes you have already had in your life and the myriad more to come. As they say in China “Ganbei!” So cheers to you and the beautiful future you have to come - I wish you the best of success.
This picture was taken in one of my favourite teashops in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China. The decor is comfortable, the atmosphere calm, relaxing and inspiring and the tea - delicious.
Quality Chinese tea is like wine, it has many subtle nuances and flavours that only show themselves when it is made with love and respect. Do this and you will have great delight in discovering layer after layer of wonderful flavours.
The particular tea my friend and I were drinking is locally called “Bai Nian Lao Chong” In English it renders as “100 Year Old Tree” - Perhaps not such an inspiring name as another of my favourites which is “Shui Jin Gui” or Golden Water Turtle.
However the ‘Old Tree’, as we lovingly call it, has a unique character and wisdom of its own. It is made from the leaves of mature tea trees that have seen a hundred years or more of life. They are of the variety that yield the delightful “Shui Xian” or ‘Narcissus’ teas and are grown in Fujian Province’s picturesque Wu Yi Mountain - a famous beauty spot and tea producing area.
In some ways tea is like people, at face value they may leave one impression but once you start to get to know them there are so many nuances and subtleties that come to light. Now treat them with love and respect and you will be surprised what skills, talents and goodness you will discover.
And just like tea, which needs a master craftsman to bring out the best in it as it is transformed from raw leaf to finished product, a person needs wise teachers and guides to help them become the special star that is waiting inside to shine forth.
These teachers could be parents, school teachers, friends or a wise coach whose mission is to nurture and guide you as you transform from the budding star into something really special.
And once the transformation happens you will smile in joy. However, I wonder whose smile will be the biggest - yours or that of your coach? You see as a coach I get really moved when my students make the transformations that I know are within them. It is a really special experience.
I remember well the feeling when one of my students, a young woman just out of university, found the courage to follow her own path in life rather than surrender to the dictates of family and friends. It was a wonderful moment. With my help she persuaded her parents that she needed to make her life. She showed them respect but also her determination to go her own way and won them over to her cause.
The end result?
She made her life, is happily following her chosen path and her parents are proud of her! It is moments like that that make my work as a coach so rewarding.
Now, maybe you are happy with your situation right now, in your life and career. Perhaps you don’t feel boxed in and constrained by circumstances that are outside your control - and that is great, you probably don’t need my help this moment. However, if you have a friend who is going through some turmoil in life or work why not point them my way? It is surprising the sense of satisfaction one gets from helping a friend make a better life.
You can always reach me here: [email protected]
And if you ever happen to be in China please do look me up, I’d love to hear your story over a wonderful cup of tea.
I’d like to leave you with a final thought, it is one of my favourite quotes by William James, US Philosopher and Psychologist:
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a person can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”
Now, as you ponder that, I’m going to make some tea. I look forward to hearing from you soon - here’s my address again: [email protected]