The years, eternal and unyielding, pass by with hushed footsteps.
The thirty-fifth year of one’s existence marks a paramount turning point in the journey of every individual.
Before reaching this milestone, youth reigns supreme—a time for acquiring knowledge, accumulating experiences, and navigating the labyrinth of life through relentless trial and error.
However, as one crosses the threshold of thirty-five, life begins its gradual maturation. It is during this phase that one must learn to bear the burdens of existence gracefully, while also cherishing the gifts bestowed by fate.
As Yang Jiang once wisely remarked, “Choose your path wisely, for it is in this choice that you find your true self.”
Today, Mr. Youshu has taken it upon himself to elucidate the four principles that guide the resilient in their pursuit of a better life. His intention is to offer aid to all those embarking on this perpetual quest for improvement.
Harness the Power of the “Ripple Effect”
Allow me to share a philosophical tale that I once encountered.
A despondent man sought counsel from a master, burdened by the weight of his troubles.
The master led him to a tranquil lake, grasped a stone, and cast it into the water.
“What do you see?” the master inquired.
The man, contemplating for a moment, replied, “I see ripples.”
“And where do these ripples originate?” the master pressed further.
“From the stone that was just thrown,” the man answered.
The master then challenged him, “Try to halt these ripples.”
The man extended his hand, attempting to quell the ripples. Yet, to his bewilderment, his touch only generated more ripples, leaving him confounded.
Smiling sagely, the master imparted his wisdom, “Life, my dear friend, is akin to this very lake. Every step we take, inconspicuous as it may seem at the outset, exerts a subtle influence upon our future path.”
Upon reaching the age of thirty-five, we often harbor grand illusions of achieving instantaneous success, yearning to bypass the trivialities that lie before us and ascend to the pinnacle of life in one swift leap.
However, true strength lies in the ability to walk with humility, understanding that even as we lower our gaze to the ground, the road ahead demands our occasional upward glance. For in comprehending the significance of each step taken today, we lay the groundwork for a future replete with promise.
Christie’s, the renowned auction house, boasts a doorman of considerable renown named Jill Perez.
During working hours, he exudes a seriousness and kindness that befit his role.
Upon returning home, he meticulously peruses newspapers, meticulously cutting out and affixing relevant articles about the esteemed guests upon his wall.
Over time, he commits their names to memory, regardless of their social standing.
Jill dedicated over three decades of his life to serving as a doorman at Christie’s, an existence that extended well beyond the age of thirty-five.
When the company found itself organizing a momentous business event, necessitating an employee with comprehensive knowledge of their clientele, it became evident that Jill, the doorman, was irreplaceable.
Jill’s years of dedication and meticulous attention to detail bore fruit at that crucial juncture.
In recognition of his “achievements,” Christie’s held a grand farewell reception in his honor, publicly announcing his retirement as the company’s vice president, bestowing upon him the accolades he so richly deserved.
There exists an English proverb, “Think big, but act small” (for it is in the present that one lays the foundation for a different future).
Devote your utmost efforts to the present, and fortune shall favor your endeavors.
Following the age of thirty-five, attend to each minutiae of the present moment.
Embrace every step as an opportunity to accumulate, even if the harvest be meager, for the gentlest trickle can evolve into a mighty wave.
Cultivate the Art of “Story Thinking”
A prevalent notion pervades the digital realm: “The most vital skill one can possess is not technological prowess or marketing acumen, but the ability to spin a captivating tale.”
Life is not a monotonous succession of mundane moments; rather, it is a vibrant and ever-changing tapestry of reality.
The wise among us wield the power of storytelling, breathing life into banal inquiries and transforming dull truths into captivating narratives.
Communication, when infused with the swiftness and intuition of storytelling, resolves erstwhile quandaries with remarkable ease.
Allow me to share an instructive anecdote.
A mother noticed that her child, while doing homework, surreptitiously glanced at the answers located at the back of the book.
Frequently, she implored her child, “You must think for yourself while completing your assignments. Only then do they serve as meaningful tests, fostering growth and improvement.”
Predictably, the child paid little heed to these entreaties, and matters only worsened.
Eventually, the mother alteredher approach.
She began telling her child stories—stories of great adventurers, intrepid explorers, and ingenious problem solvers.
These tales captivated the child’s imagination, eliciting curiosity and a hunger for knowledge.
Intrigued by the stories, the child found solace in the realization that even the greatest minds faced challenges and setbacks, yet managed to overcome them through sheer determination and creative thinking.
Empowered by the lessons embedded within these stories, the child tackled homework assignments with renewed vigor and an unwavering belief in their own abilities.
The power of storytelling lies not only in its ability to captivate and entertain but also in its capacity to inspire and instill wisdom.
As we navigate the complexities of life after thirty-five, let us harness the art of “story thinking” to approach challenges with a fresh perspective.
When faced with obstacles, immerse yourself in stories of individuals who triumphed over adversity.
Engage in contemplation, imagining yourself as the protagonist of your own narrative, equipped with the resilience and ingenuity necessary to conquer the hurdles before you.
Through the lens of storytelling, transform the mundane into the extraordinary, and cultivate the mindset of a relentless problem solver.
Embrace the Beauty of “Selective Ignorance”
In this age of information overload, we find ourselves besieged by a deluge of stimuli, bombarded by an endless stream of news, opinions, and distractions.
The temptation to consume every piece of information that crosses our path is tantalizing, as we fear missing out on some critical nugget of knowledge.
However, the ability to discern what truly matters and selectively ignore the superfluous is an art form in itself.
As we journey beyond thirty-five, it becomes increasingly crucial to cultivate the skill of “selective ignorance.”
Allow me to elucidate this principle further.
Imagine a garden—lush, vibrant, and teeming with life.
Within this garden, an array of flowers blooms, each possessing its unique allure.
Yet, the garden’s splendor is not solely attributable to the flowers it contains but also to the weeds it lacks.
In life, we encounter a similar duality—a multitude of ideas, opinions, and distractions vie for our attention.
In our quest for knowledge and personal growth, it is imperative to discern the flowers—the essential elements that contribute to our well-being—from the weeds that hinder our progress.
Selective ignorance does not imply turning a blind eye to the world; rather, it necessitates a deliberate and mindful choice to focus on what truly matters.
In the words of Steve Jobs, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are.”
By embracing the beauty of selective ignorance, we free ourselves from the shackles of information overload and create space for clarity, purpose, and meaningful pursuits.
Cultivate a State of “Gracious Contentment”
In the pursuit of success and personal fulfillment, it is common to harbor grand aspirations, forever yearning for more—more achievements, more wealth, more recognition.
Yet, as we step into the realm of life beyond thirty-five, it becomes increasingly vital to cultivate a state of “gracious contentment.”
Gracious contentment does not imply a complacent acceptance of mediocrity or stagnation.
Rather, it is an appreciation of the present moment, coupled with a deep sense of gratitude for the blessings life has bestowed upon us.
The art of gracious contentment lies in finding joy and fulfillment in the simple pleasures that surround us—a warm embrace, a shared meal, a gentle breeze caressing our skin.
It is a delicate balance between ambition and appreciation, between striving for more and finding contentment in what we have already achieved.
By embracing gracious contentment, we create space for peace and serenity amidst the chaos of life.
We learn to savor the journey rather than fixate solely on the destination, finding fulfillment in each step taken rather than solely in the final outcome.
As the years unfold and we cross the threshold of thirty-five, let us not view this milestone as a harbinger of decline or limitation.
Instead, let us embrace this juncture as an opportunity for growth, wisdom, and self-discovery.
Harness the power of the “ripple effect,” understanding that each step taken today has the potential to shape our future.
Cultivate the art of “story thinking,” infusing our lives with narratives of inspiration, resilience, and creative problem-solving.
Embrace the beauty of “selective ignorance,” discerning what truly matters amidst the noise and distractions of the modern world.
And finally, cultivate a state of “gracious contentment,” finding joy and fulfillment in the present moment while continuing to strive for personal growth and fulfillment.
May these principles guide us on our journey beyond thirty-five, enriching our lives and enabling us to navigate the path ahead with grace and purpose.