When you identify a promising opportunity, it can be very tempting to rush in to make sure that you’re first to market. But if you move too fast, the chances are that you’ll lose out on it. The history of the tech industry is full of examples of companies that were so far ahead their time that the infrastructure and market weren’t ready for their offering. Facebook wasn’t the first social media platform; no matter whether it was out of dumb luck or great strategy, the company initiated the rollout of its service at exactly the right moment.
Engaging with the I Ching won’t guarantee that you’ll achieve perfect timing, but it does provide a tool for more carefully evaluating when to make your move. Hexagram 9 (小畜/xiǎo chù), for example, features a solitary broken line representing a gentle breeze that is preventing the rain from falling from the clouds signified by the five surrounding fixed lines.
Although there’s no doubt that the much-needed precipitation will eventually come in time to ensure a rich harvest, now is not the right moment to attempt to force the life-giving drops of water to fall. Patience and restraint are required. Focus on basic housekeeping tasks to make sure that you’re fully prepared for when the right time finally arrives.
The reading from the changing line, Line 4, counsels you to keep your nerve, so that when the transformation is completed the full primal power of hexagram 1 (乾/qián), the Creative, is unleashed. The clouds burst open, the rains fall, and the crops ripen in the fields. Thanks to your earlier preparations, you’re ready to gather in the abundant harvest. Your patience has been vindicated, and you’re filled with a new sense of optimism and energy thanks to your perfect timing.