Thus, one gains by losing, and loses by gaining.

   – Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching 42

yin yang balance

Buying the jacket you are proud of could be at the expense of the money for a great dinner with your loved one.

Losing a job, on the other hand, could mean setting yourself free to embark on something you’d never have gut to embark on.

So when you are celebrating a windfall, pause and think about it:  are you also losing something.

You gain by losing!  You can also lose by gaining!

The trick is to appreciate what you lose for the things you gain, and what you gain for the things you lose.  Do not be too attached to the experience of loss.  Learn to let go of gain and loss.  This is an appreciation of the yin yang balance and achieve serenity of life.

This is illustrated by a story told by Chuang Tzu as related by Liezi:

Chuang-tzu once told a story about two persons who both lost a sheep. One person got very depressed and lost himself in drinking, sex, and gambling to try to forget this misfortune. The other person decided that this would be an excellent chance for him to study the classics and quietly observe the subtleties of nature. Both men experience the same misfortune, but one man lost himself because he was too attached to the experience of loss, while the other found himself because he was able to let go of gain and loss.

Liezi, Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living


Pix: diffendale

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One Comment

  1. I don’t comment, however after reading a few of the responses here Gain by Losing.
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