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December 19, 2012

Changing Hearts and Minds, Our New Year Gift

We're posting this as Our New Year Gift to our readers. This is one of the best stories of the world, and here it is given a unique and so far, the best interpretation.

There are 3 important books in Taoism: Lao Tzu, Chwang Tzu and Lieh Tzu. Our story comes from Lieh Tzu. There are many translations and I've read at least 3 translations of the story.

The Story


Once there were 2 men. Each has his own strengths and weaknesses. One thinks and makes plans very well but cannot see through his plans. The other is a determined finisher but his mental powers are weak and his thoughts are narrow.

With their permission, a doctor operated surgery on both and put one's heart into the other.

After a few days, they healed, regained consciousness and went back to another person's home, not to their original homes.

Other Interpretations


Man should not play god. We should be content with our natural, innate strengths or weaknesses. We should not interfere with nature.

My Interpretation


A rich, powerful story deserves a rich, powerful treatment.
  1. Changing hearts seems to be easier than changing minds.
  2. One's loyalty, love, attachment, belonging will stay with the heart. You can easily enlarge your employees' brain with NLP, neuroplasticity/etc/etc. But they will use their new found knowledges and mental acuities to serve their pre-training love.
  3. If you cannot finish, see through things, you may need a stronger heart or a narrower mind. Can you narrow your scope, your aim?
  4. If you are too eager, too determined, too sure to do something, make sure you've thought through things. Have you considered the second-order, if not the third-order, consequences? Any forethought, foresight?
  5. You can definitely change your own heart and mind. Be creative, no need to rush to an operation theatre!

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