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True(ish) story, stolen from Jack Canfield and embellished by Andy Cope.

Thailand. If you’ll allow me to stereotype, land of sunshine, beaches, sex tourism and Buddha. And, of course, the marvellously named capital, ‘Bangkok’.

In one of the temples sits a golden Buddha. As you know, Buddha is a hefty chap and this statue is no exception. It’s a 10 foot tall, solid gold sumo guy. And next to Buddha is an interesting exhibit that attracts much less attention. It’s a two feet thick lump of clay. The exhibits are linked, their story going back thousands of years...

The original gold statue was housed in an ancient monastery. The monks heard there was a plan afoot to raid the monastery and steal the art and antiques, so they hid the gold Buddha in two feet of clay. They hoped the robbers would ignore a clay Buddha, worthless as it seems. Good news and bad news. The good news is that the monks’ idea worked and the Buddha was ignored. Bad news, the monks were slaughtered. Not good.

A few thousand years later a bunch of archaeologists came across the derelict abbey, saw the giant clay Buddha and thought it would look good in their museum. So they created a wagon and started wheeling it through the jungle. It’s a heavy piece of kit and one of the wagon wheels gave way, cracking the clay ever so slightly. The team rested for the night while the rain pelted down. One of the guys got up in the night to check on the clay Buddha. He shone his torch and something glinted back at him. You’ve guessed it, they spent the next day chipping off the two feet thickness of clay to reveal the shiny fella in all his 25 carat glory. Cool story, which I think is mostly true.

And the bleedin’ obvious point? I think we are all a bit like the gold statue. Over the years we get weighed down by responsibility. Life adds layers to us. We’ve got to be a great parent, a world class employee, a decent friend. We go on courses that tell us how to behave, how to treat customers and how to ask the right questions at interviews. Layer upon layer is added until, do you know what, we’ve almost buried our brilliance. There’s gold inside folks, but the outside can become heavy and dull.

Part of the 2%ers ethos is to chip away at the stuff that weighs us down. And to reveal our sparkly, shiny, world class inner selves. Shine people, shine!

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Posted by: Andy C