There is an old Chinese folktale that goes like this:
Each day, the old stonecutter went to the mountain to cut blocks of stone to sell at the market. He was content with his life until one day he looked through the gate of a rich man’s house and noticed that the man had servants bringing him food to eat. The stonecutter thought that if he were a rich man with servants, he could be truly happy.
The universe gave him what he desired and the stonecutter was suddenly rich. His servants brought him food to eat and he was happy.
But a few days later he looked out the window and saw the king’s palace, and realized that the king was the richest and most powerful man in the world. He wanted that power and the universe gave him what he desired.
But a few days later he was standing outside, surveying his kingdom, when he felt the sun beating down on his head. It was so hot that he had to go inside. He wanted the power to make kings take cover, so the universe gave him what he desired.
The stonecutter became the sun and even kings cowered under his heat. But soon, a cloud came between him and the earth so that no one could see him. Hoping to be the most powerful being in world, he wished to become a cloud.
The universe gave him what he wanted, and the stonecutter became a cloud, raining down on the earth and blocking out the sun. Where the rain came, people ran for their houses.
But something that the rain did not disrupt was the mountain. The stonecutter realized that the mountain must be the most powerful being in the world – more than a stonecutter, a rich man, a king, the sun or a cloud – so he wished to become a mountain.
The universe gave the stonecutter what he wanted, and he became the mountain – strong and firm. He thought that he could finally be truly happy.
But one day, the stonecutter-turned-mountain noticed a small stonecutter coming up the side of the mountain. This stonecutter cut blocks of stone from the mountain and took them away.
Maybe this stonecutter was the most powerful being in the world? The stonecutter wished to be a stonecutter. And, the universe made this wish come true.
Finally, the stonecutter was content, and truly happy. He never again wished to be something that he was not.
Take a few moments today to think about where you are in your career and in your job search. Are you truly happy? What are you wishing for that you might be able to find right under your nose?
Happy job hunting!