I Ching Diary: a messy business

messy business

Starting a new venture is a messy business. No matter how carefully you lay your plans, problems are sure to appear in the most unexpected of places. This is the warning given by Hexagram 3 (屯/zhūn), signifying a difficult birth of a baby from her mother or sprouting of a plant from below the ground.


Thankfully, the judgment does go on to assure you that success will come if you have enough patience to allow the current situation to resolve itself. Any impulsive actions, however, will put your project in peril.

Line 1, the first changing line, advises you to remain patient and seek capable people to help you in your endeavor. Line 2, the second changing line, tells you that while help appears to be at the hand in the form of a prospective partner you need to be very careful because the timing isn’t quite right. Better to turn him down rather than risk entering into a potentially damaging relationship.

At long last, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Line 4 marks the arrival of the ideal partner to help you move your venture forward. Fortune favors the brave! Take this opportunity even if you don’t feel quite ready for it.

I Ching Hexagram 47: Confinement

Except, the transformation tells you, even taking this step won’t be without risk or pain. This is because Hexagram 47 (困/kùn) marks a period of exhaustion, oppression, and even confinement. In other words, the experience will be the breaking or making of you and your venture.

Given that most startups end up in failure, the odds of you succeeding are still unfavorable. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying. Indeed, it should spur you on to work even smarter and harder.

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