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The Main Thing

--by Alan Cohen (Mar 21, 2005)


The sage Nasrudin stood on the bow of a ferryboat next to a pompous professor. "Have you ever studied astronomy?" asked the professor.

"I can't say that I have," answered the mystic.

"Then you have wasted much of your life," the scholar declared. "Knowing the constellations, a skilled captain can navigate a boat around the entire globe."

A while later the intellectual asked Nasrudin, "Have you studied meteorology?"

"No," answered Nasrudin.

"Then you have wasted most of your life," chided the academician. "Methodically capturing the wind can propel a sailing ship at astounding speeds."

Another while passed, and the professor continued to quiz Nasrudin, "Have you ever studied oceanography?"

"Not at all."

"My, how you have wasted your time! Awareness of the currents helps sailors find food and shelter."

A few minutes later Nasrudin approached the professor and nonchalantly asked him, "Have you ever studied swimming, doctor?"

"Haven't had the time," the professor answered haughtily.

"Then you.ve wasted all of your life. The boat is sinking."

Before setting out on a project, relationship, career, or life, you must set your priorities. You must decide what is important and what is a detail. Then, simple as it sounds, the success of your endeavor depends on remembering what is important and what is a detail. One of my favorite affirmations is: The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. What is your main thing? Are you living true to it?

--Alan Cohen

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On Jun 12, 2006 Nipun wrote:

All of our skills compliment one anotherís, we do not all have to be the same. You can have lots of zeroís but if you donít have a one in front of the zeroís, you have nothing. Itís not always so clear to know what is really the main thing, often you have to try many things until the main one becomes clear. Main thing is to be honest towards yourself. When spiritual interests developed in me, in the beginning I would read all sorts of ideas other people had about questions I couldnít quite answer. Later, I decided to just walk the path and now Iíve noticed that those same questions donít even matter. Kindness to one another without judgement is the main thing. We need to respect what other people know and who they are. We have to accept people as they are. I always question what path I should take in my life, but I know the path is already laid out and all I need to do is take the steps to walk it. Knowing truth and supporting others in expressing their own truth is wha  See full.

  • All of our skills compliment one anotherís, we do not all have to be the same.
  • You can have lots of zeroís but if you donít have a one in front of the zeroís, you have nothing.
  • Itís not always so clear to know what is really the main thing, often you have to try many things until the main one becomes clear.
  • Main thing is to be honest towards yourself.
  • When spiritual interests developed in me, in the beginning I would read all sorts of ideas other people had about questions I couldnít quite answer. Later, I decided to just walk the path and now Iíve noticed that those same questions donít even matter.
  • Kindness to one another without judgement is the main thing.
  • We need to respect what other people know and who they are. We have to accept people as they are.
  • I always question what path I should take in my life, but I know the path is already laid out and all I need to do is take the steps to walk it.
  • Knowing truth and supporting others in expressing their own truth is what makes me come alive.
  • Main thing for me is, donít be selfish, which is difficult because we all have a self!
  • Everyone has a mission in life, to be constantly seeking what it is, is the main thing.
  • The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose
  • I feel most alive in the company of people who are spiritual seekers.

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