Good luck or bad luck in a coaching tale

on BLOG, Career Coaching, Coaching, success 5 Lug, 2013

Good luck or bad luck in a coaching tale

Since many months I’ve not been posting a coaching tale. Today I propose a Taoist tale about success, which can be easily used in a coaching session.

It's entitled "Horses" and speaks of the wisdom inherent in being able to wait and take the positive side even in the most difficult situations. And in never stopping building own success and seizing new opportunities, even when one thinks to be kissed by luck.

This tale can be used with coachees that are too impulsive or influenced by the status quo or need to develop a longer-range vision.


Many years ago, in the north of China there lived a humble farmer.

One day, he returned happy and satisfied from the cattle fair. He had just bought a beautiful young filly, for which he had worked hard for five years.

A few days later, his only horse ran to the nearby desert, populated by nomads; the whole village was struck with sorrow and neighbors came for days to sympathize with the farmer for his misfortune. The farmer, however, showed no hurt and, shrugging his shoulders, replied imperturbably, "As the clouds hide the sun, but bring rain, so bad luck can generate good luck."

Three months later, the filly reappeared in the farm, pregnant and accompanied by a wonderful stallion. All the neighbors came to congratulate the farmer, acknowledging that he had had in fact no reason to despair: instead of a horse, now he owned three. He could be considered rich and work much less.

Unruffled, he replied that "the clouds bring the beneficial rain, but sometimes also cause a disastrous hurricane. So, luck can turn in bad luck." He continued to work hard in the fields, just like the day after losing the filly.

The only farmer’s son spent some beautiful months to train the stallion, but one day he fell from the horse and fractured his leg. The neighbors went to the farmer, but he answered them all "good luck or bad luck, who knows?"

A few days later, a war broke out against the Mongols and all young people were sent to fight and few returned home. But the farmer's son, thanks to his crutches, wasn’t enlisted and survived the massacre.

If you were the farmer, what stage of the story would you find in?

What does the filly represent for you?

How can you apply the farmer’s wisdom to your current situation?

From one to ten, how much are you close to the farmer? What misses to score ten?






3 Responses to “Fortuna o sfortuna in un racconto di coaching”

  1. Erika Licon ha detto:

    I am definitely closer to the farmer, and gratefully always have been. After breaking pretty much every bone in my body and transcending every limitation that was imposed on me, including that I would not walk again, I became the farmer. Thank you for this delightful story!

  2. gianfranconocilla ha detto:

    Dear Erika, thanks a lot for your intense comment and for sharing your story.
    All the best, Gianfranco

  3. […] vision, la lumaca subisce un incidente (ricordate “dalla fortuna può nascere la sfortuna” di qualche mio post fa?), che la rende velocissima, al punto da permetterle di superare le prove di ammissione ad […]

Leave a Reply to Erika Licon