“Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.”
~ Bruce Lee
"Empty your cup" is an old Chinese (Zen) saying that is attributed to a famous conversation between a professor (Tokusan) and a Zen Master (Ryutan). The professor goes to learn from the wise Zen master, but it quickly becomes obvious to the latter that the professor is more interested in flaunting his own knowledge than in learning anything new. He interrupts the Zen master and each story the Zen master tells is followed with a story of his own. The Zen master tries to find a way to let the professor understand what is wrong with his attitude. One day, he begins to pour tea into a cup. He fills the cup but does not stop and lets the tea overflow. The professor stops him, exclaiming that the cup is overflowing. "Exactly", said the Master. "You are like this cup; you are full of thoughts, stories and opinions. You come and ask to be taught, but your cup is full; it cannot absorb anymore. Before I can teach you, you will have to empty your cup."
An empty cup here is simply a metaphor for an open and clear mind, which is essential to effectively learn and grow. Yet, most of the time, individuals simply keep adding one thing on top of the other. Eventually, without even realizing it their minds stop efficiently absorbing and they may lose the chance to grasp important information. Most people do not take the time and conscious decision to clear their mind, to rid themselves of thoughts that do not benefit them, of mindsets that hinder them from growing, of useless and often wrong information that might be keeping them back. Every time you clear your mind, you give yourself an advantage; you take the first step to learn more efficiently. Without an inflated ego, you can easily tell yourself that you are simply a beginner every time you wish to learn something new, thus preparing yourself to absorb as much as possible.
Void of preconceptions and judgments, a beginner's mind is ready and eager to observe and to explore. It is the kind of mind that can see things as they are, and not as one would assume them to be. What if you could approach each new idea with that kind of attentiveness and mindset? "Not knowing" here simply means "I'm just going to see what happens and trust what occurs, moment by moment".
This is harder than you may realize. By the time we reach adulthood we have been filled with so much information, so many judgements and assumptions that we don't even notice there is such an issue. We might consider ourselves to be open-minded, but in fact, everything we learn is filtered through many assumptions and then classified to fit into the base of knowledge we already possess.
A common example of how we understand and judge things through our personal filters is our constant use of past references to understand or form an opinion of someone’s or something’s current or future state. We hold the past against or for a person, a situation, or even ourselves without thinking twice about it. Most people do not stop to truly understand what the current state is; what was once in the past may not even be relevant anymore, even in regards to ourselves! It is understandable that we sometimes use the past to predict the future or to make decisions in the present, but be careful not to use it as a way to limit yourself or to unfairly judge people.
So, do you have any assumptions about the MLM industry?
When it comes to the MLM industry, there is a common misconception that either it does not really work or that everyone succeeds and builds a large empire straight off the bat, with little to no effort or set of skills and experience in marketing. Like most things, to be successful in this field, an individual is required to put in time and effort. It is a subject that must be learnt and applied over a period of at least 1-3 years before an individual can see substantial results and success.
Luckily you will not have to go through this process alone. In fact, no one can really become successful alone in this field, since the very nature of this business model depends on connections, networking and teamwork, it is very beneficial to have a leader and to follow a duplicable proven system if you want long term success with fewer failures along the way. This business is structured in a way that it is in the best interest of your coaches to help you succeed as it will also benefit them. So, if your dream is to have a successful business, you must first and foremost be coachable!
MLM is a business of duplication. Those who've already been successful will share their secrets to success; by following their advice you will avoid so many unnecessary difficulties. Unfortunately, some individuals are not very coachable at the beginning. They may have succeeded in another business or field and figure they could just repeat the exact same methods and be successful in Multi-Level marketing as well. However, they are wrong and will not see much progress since every field is different and they did not equip themselves with the required information and appropriate attitude and skills.
Successful MLMers are here to help you with practical solutions, so don’t create unnecessary hurdles for yourself; be coachable, duplicate a model that has already been proven to work and become successful yourself. That is not to say that you will not be able to use your own creativity and perfect certain skills in your own way. But if you first learn the ins and outs of this business model, you will be giving yourself a huge boost.
Hence, remember every time you wish to learn something new, empty your cup and wipe the blackboard clean, and just see what a difference it will make in your learning curve. This one advice alone can save you so much time and change the course of your development and growth as a person and in business.