Wednesday 21 October 2015

The River Story if you don't like Up Mountain; Down Mountain

Imagine our lives' starting point to be the snow-capped mountain tops.

As the snow melts, it forms little brooks we can step over; then into creeks we can jump over; blend into streams we can wade across; and finally merging into rivers we can swim across...


No, the journey does not end in the warm embrace of the oceans.

That's just a comfortable temporary holding area.

For those droplets of water who can let it go, they'll float into the skies.

And be the carefree clouds ;)


This river allegory is "less taxing" since it's about "going with the flow". The "hard" part though is the "letting go" bit...

As you may have discovered, ants prefer the mountain story, while grasshoppers would prefer the river story ;)

This post was inspired by WolfT during our discussions in my previous post:

The Allure And Alternative Path To Passive Income - Part 2 of 2

This River allegory borrows from what Bruce Lee had said about water and the non-action philosophies of Taoism.

Ever noticed the duality and polarity of Life?

Remember Newton's Third Law of Motion?

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  

On one hand, there is the delayed gratification exhortations of study and work hard so we can enjoy our later years - Up Mountain; Down Mountain.

Then there is the enjoy the moment go with the flow take it easy bohemian hippie River Story...

Do you remember the angst and behavioural challenges you faced during your teenage years? 

It's a time of discovering your identity and how you would like to fit in with the adult world.... Its either you just do as you were told, or listen to that little murmur in your heart...

And what happens during your mid-life crisis?

You may have second thoughts on the choices you've made, discover you were lied to, or just come to the realisation - is this it?  


  1. Row, row, row your boat,
    Gently down the stream.
    Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
    Life is but a dream.

    1. CW,

      Isn't is ironic?

      Some climbing up the mountain are using a passive strategy, while some flowing down the river wants to turbo boost the descend by rowing harder???

  2. Hi SMOL,

    The angst, impulse and trying hard to get attention during adolescent phase are remembered with fondness... so do you have a mid life crisis? =P

    1. Jes,

      Sure did.

      You think where I get my philosophical stuffs from?

      There comes a time where we would ask ourselves why are we here, who are we living our lives for, and what makes us want to wake up to in the morning ;)

  3. Hi SMOL,

    Maybe that's why white water rafting can be such a thrill, very much like mountaineering

    1. Joyce,

      Sadly I've done neither :(

      I've only done a 2 hour down the river in a bamboo raft at Guilin Yangshuo, China. So calm that I fell asleep for 15-20 minutes I think!

      And all the "mountaineering" I did was through cable cars up.

      I remember I was at Huashan at the mid-point around 10 in the morning via cable car.

      Chatted with a few bare-backed teenage boys who have just spent 6 hours climbing up the mancho way from 4 am in the morning!?

      And we have another 3 hours worth of climb to reach the Western ridge!!!

      I just pretend pretend climb another 1.5 hours worth of stairs, reached the golden lock gate and turned back.

      There's only so much I can take to my pride to see women and children half-my age over-taking me all the time...


  4. Hi smol
    I think maybe i have mid life crisis. Hey..but i think i an seeking a relief from this crisis by communicating with other pple like urself.

    1. Penguin,

      Just as long you respect the invisible force fields between men, talking to me is safe.

      The most is cost you a drink ;)

      I thirsty...

      The moment you feel like chasing skirts to numb the angst, that's when you know you're in trouble!

      May I suggest ice-bucket showers?

      Or go find a spirituality or ikigai. (Notice I never said religion hor!)

  5. Hi SMOL,

    Very nice philosophical view on life.

    It often appears to us that life is so "unfair".

    SMOL, you might want to "review" this comment first before publishing it - haha.

    The comedian George Carlin put it nicely: “The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What's that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you're too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating... and you finish off as an orgasm.”

    1. Andy,

      I practice Trust but Verify ;)

      I trust readers will take responsibility for their comments here. I don't moderate comments ;)

      Only when comments that I've verified as spam will I delete them :)

      I've always thought to die while making love is THE way to go... But that may freak out my partner.

      So I'll hope plan B will kick in... That's to die in my sleep - if only I can be so lucky!

  6. Hi SMOL,

    I like river better too, I have a early life crisis too. Mid life like referring to 40s right?

    Market cycles getting shorter is the naturally trend ...

    Global warming making rivers flooding and drying at the wrong places.

    Thanks for the refugee for ppl like Paul and me LOL!

    1. Hi All

      I am early 30s and already have mid life career crisis. Lol. Look like my life span is shorter.

      The why and what am I doing in this world question already past when I was 16 yr old. I thought everyone goes thru 少年迷盲期?

  7. Sillyinvestor,

    You're welcomed!

    This watering hole is not a refuge; its 龙蛇混杂 (Dance of dragons and snakes)。

    It's where we pit our ideas under the hammer and anvil of our peers to test the limits of our convictions.

    And maybe discover our gold content by rubbing against the touchstone of popular beliefs ;)

  8. Frugal Daddy,

    Teenage angst is partly driven by raging hormones and hairs sprouting out of weird places... It's more about acting out rather than introspection.

    If we have all the answers post 少年迷盲期, why then do we still experience mid-life crisis?

    Something we need to watch out for is menopause. Often confused with mid-life crisis, its something we should not ignore.

    Mom had a difficult menopause. Small small thing she'll fly into a volcano rage! It affects women differently. Some men without this knowledge and empathy, may seek refuge in the arms of another woman...

    Yes, some men have male menopause too. Low drive to do anything... But that can be fixed if we seek medical treatment.

    As for mid-life crisis, we usually live through them either by getting our answers from within or from without.

    There's a reason why some religious organisations target teenagers and middle-aged persons - just when we are most vulnerable and susceptible...

  9. Hi SMOL

    have actually gained my mindfulness during my 少年迷盲期. Guess mine was more 迷盲 that why I am more enlightened back then

    1. Frugal Daddy,


      Yes, yes.

      Small blur; small eureka.

      Big blue; big eureka!

  10. Hi Smol



    1. Small Time Investor,


    2. 滚滚红尘, 我在一旁逍遥过。
      无人深山处, 家人与我乐在中。


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