My final consultation of the Chinese New Year Holiday produced the final hexagram in the I Ching. Paradoxically, hexagram 64 doesn’t mark a successful conclusion of a mission or task. Quite the reverse in fact. Featuring the trigram representing fire above the one representing water, it literally means “not yet crossing the ford” (未濟/wèijì) and by extension “incomplete” or “not yet completed”.
The key message of hexagram 64 is, therefore, that there’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Change is the default, not the exception. There’s always some new challenge to take on or some new problem to take care of. The key is to stay fully aware of what is happening around you, stick to your core values, and persevere. This attitude will help see you through the even the toughest of situations.
As I look beyond the holiday, I see plenty of challenges ahead in both my personal and working life. These include publishing my translation of the Daodejing and improving the quality of our marketing activities to increase awareness of VIA and boost interest in our products and services.
My daily consultations of the I Ching provide a useful framework for thinking more holistically about how to tackle these challenges and for keeping track of the progress I am making – not to mention providing warning signs of the potential pitfalls that may lie ahead. Like a narrow AI, they help me to identify the patterns of my own behavior that I need to focus on improving in order to operate more effectively in today’s rapidly-changing world.
Hexagram 64 has provided a timely reminder that life is a constant work in progress. The key to leading a rewarding one is to embrace this ongoing process of change rather than trying to deny it.