Here’s another way to say it: The goal is like a company’s purchasing agent, looking for the next great thing. She finds the deal of the century and uses every penny of the company’s reserved assets to buy it.
Like yesterday’s koan, you still need to be aware enough to recognize what is really valuable, and you still need to be courageous enough to act on what you know.
But unlike yesterday’s koan, this koan makes a subtle shift. Instead of the goal being the thing that is sought and bought, the goal is now the person doing the seeking and buying. In other words, the goal is no longer obtaining or having something, but being someone.
Put the two together, and you get – yet another koan. The goal is the object of the seeker, and the goal is the seeker of the object.
The goal is like the idea for the next Facebook buried in a filing cabinet in a company records room. Someone finds it, and tucks it back away, then goes and cashes out all her stock options, and buys out the company.
This single verse koan requires two essential things.
First, you have to recognize the treasure for what it really is before you can cash in your chips for it. Opportunities come to those who are aware enough to notice what others pass by.
Second, but no less important, you have to have the courage to cash in your chips. And it’s not fear of failure that holds most of us back. Exactly the opposite is the case: we’re more often paralyzed by fear of what will become of us if we succeed.