“…Accumulating virtues means there is nothing one cannot overcome
When there is nothing that one cannot overcome
One’s limits are unknown
The limitations being unknown, one can possess sovereignty…”
Excerpt from Chapter 59, Tao Te Ching
What Is Sovereignty
I define a Sovereign as one who is the supreme authority or ruler over a domain. You can think of it as being the leader of a country like a President, a Prime Minister, a King or a Queen. Sometimes these supreme rulers are great leaders and are loved by the people, and sometimes they are hated as wicked despots. History remembers them as benevolent and wise leaders. Modern society has memorialized their words as common sayings. And you can look back through history and see where the powerful tyrants have created catastrophe and suffering. These types of monarchs have left devastation and are remembered as examples of humanity’s dark side.
For a moment think of yourself as a Czar and the empire you rule over is your life. Within this dominion are the people you interact with and the challenges experienced. As the ruler over your life, how is it going? As the president of your life your choices and decisions play a prominent role in both the present moment and your future. The seeds of the future, your destiny, are planted in the present moment. The present moment you are experiencing now began in your past. As the top decision maker, what kind of life have you created?
This book is about how you can become a successful and efficient ruler through consciously cultivating sovereignty. Sovereignty is more than just a term; it is a state of being. It is being self-aware and mindful of how you perceive reality along with wise choices and right actions. It is a management system implemented in a state of self-awareness. This self-awareness is an awakened state, as a spiritual being, managing and experiencing life.
Why You Should Try This Book
What is your single biggest dream? What is it you are hoping for? This book you are holding is a handbook for staying on the path to achieve a successful and happy life. The way forward, to realize your hopes and fulfill your dreams, is broad and plain yet so many of us fail. Why do we stray from the path that takes us closer to those dreams? Why do we lose our way and repeatedly fail to realize those dreams? Only through the willpower and self-discipline as the Sovereign can you transform your life. Cultivating sovereignty is a life-long commitment of mindfully attending to your path. This book is a collection of some Tao strategies for developing sovereignty. These are some that enabled me to realize some effective powerful insights for success.
Failure has been defined as a lack of success. Success has been defined as the realization or accomplishment of an intended goal, achievement, or objective. Failure and success are part of life with the realization that either is determined by the choices and actions we take. Success happens when we can use discipline to make choices and take actions that keep us on the course to reach our objectives. Failure is making choices and taking actions that corrupt our efforts to stay on course. Self-Discipline is the determining factor for failure and success. This book shows you how discipline of the self will determine your destiny. Life with its successes and failures is a journey of self-discovery. If you approach your self-discovery honestly you will realize things about your ‘self’ that you have not realized before. These become the things that you work on.
This handbook is a guide based on the ancient wisdom of the Tao Te Ching. I discovered that the problems, suffering, and desires of people from ancient times were not too different from modern society. Only our means of coping and self-destruction are more sophisticated.
How to Use This Book
This is a handbook for the cultivation of discipline. You can read it in a linear fashion from front to back. However, it is designed to assist you in your journey of self-discovery, so you can start where you feel it is most relevant. What is the biggest hope or dream you wish to achieve? With that question in mind, browse the book looking for the areas of focus that speak to you. What would you like to change? Be honest about why you have failed before, and look for the guidance that will lead you to success.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins beneath the feet”
Chapter 64, Verses 9-10, Tao Te Ching
I know what it’s like to hit the wall. Life can become such a mess that you feel too overwhelmed by defeat and failure to know where to begin. The journey begins in the simplest way possible. It is right here, right now, where you are. Your journey begins with the first step. Each step is a moment of truth in which the direction you step in either takes you closer to success or further away. Chapter 26 is titled, “Work On The Self, First.” By working on the self you will cultivate the discipline to keep moving in the right direction. Use the way of virtue to consciously step in the right direction.
In self-reflection, you can realize what you should have done and thus learn from your failure by taking the correct action steps next time around. The power of the Tao Te Ching is understanding which discipline/s to choose and implement for the situation you are in. Thus, through the universal law of cause and effect, or karma, you will unify with the creative force to realize true success.
Glossary and Index
Try the glossary and index in the back of the book to map your way. The insights and principles in this book are all connected in ways that complement each other. You will begin to discover things about yourself that you never realized before. You will be lead to different chapters and areas of focus.
Be Honest with Your Self
Take ownership of your own role in where you find yourself in life. It is important not to be under or over judgmental of the choices that got you here. Just be honest and accurate. Don’t live under illusions that the ego will offer up to make you feel better. Instead just accept the truth of your part and move forward with the discipline to no longer repeat those choices and behaviors that continue to result in failure.
Take Notes – Keep a Journal
As you experience this journey of self-discovery, take notes. There are blank pages at the end of each chapter, so when you discover an insight you can write it down immediately. I recommend that you keep a journal of the insights about your self-discovery. In a sense you will be creating your own handbook for successful living. You will be invited to meditate, through self-reflection, about the what, why, and how that make you feel the way you do and make the choices you did to create the destiny you are experiencing.
Don’t Give Up
“I never lose. Either I win or I learn.” Nelson Mandela
Don’t give up when you face an obstacle. Finish what you start. Learn from mistakes by working on your discipline. Next time you face a problem use it as an opportunity. Use willpower and discipline to move forward without repeating the same old mistakes. During the day make a note, and when you can search the teachings in this book to help you formulate your game plan.
Start Small and Evolve Naturally
One of the most powerful virtues is moderation. Through discipline of the self you can side step the ego’s desire of instant gratification and be patient. Just work on your life one step at a time. Learn, grow, and experience life fully.
This is a lifelong process. Our cultivation of self-awareness and discipline never ends. Follow these teachings and you will experience true success without striving and with a seemingly effortless achievement.
Get A Copy of the Tao Te Ching
I use Derek Lin’s, Tao Te Ching- Annotated and Explained. This book, along with weekly in-depth lessons, will focus a deep understanding of the principles and insights. Each week there is a live presentation on what each character, each word, and each chapter mean. More importantly they give invaluable insight into how they are applied in modern times.
You can view these lessons on Youtube at Tao Talks with Derek Lin, https://www.youtube.com/c/taotalks.
I invite you to visit the home page at: http://taoism.net
Now, here is another moment of truth. Do you give these lessons a try or just stay on same path hoping for something to change? If you give this path a serious effort, I am confident that your life will significantly change for the better.