MAXIMIZE EVERY PILLAR #1 JIA ZI (甲子): BEING A THOUGHT LEADER

In the study of Bazi, every pillar is important, because it makes up a part of who you are as a person. While the Day Master is naturally the focus of every Bazi reading, learning to make the most of what we all have been given is our real job in life.

With that, I am excited to kick off a new series, Maximize Every Pillar.

Maximizing the 甲子 (Jia Zi) Day Master

Every time I see the 甲子 (Jia Zi) pillar, I think of a Christmas tree. Seriously! A tall and lush evergreen standing on pristine white snow. This calls to mind an individual who stands tall in defiance of their challenging surroundings. They hold their ground, they never back down. Rooted on their own resource, Jia Zi individuals are strong-willed and independent.

In the Jia Zi Day Master, we see a progressive individual who is constantly learning and growing. As long as the learning never stops, a Jia Zi Day Master will always be at his or her best. Doesn’t that describe exactly a thought leader who is more than just an empty marketing vocabulary?

However, this superior intellect can sometimes come with its own set of problems. Having grown to such lofty heights, not many people can be their intellectual equal. Learning a little flexibility, consciously cultivating the ability to sway with the wind, will help smoothen a Jia Zi Day Master’s journey in life.

Jia Zi Day Masters are usually straight talkers. They say what they mean, and mean what they say. While they risk coming across as blunt, they could also gain the trust of the people around them, because they always deliver on a promise.

Don’t expect the Jia Zi to be an out-and-out extrovert. They may be outgoing, but they are instinctively protective of their personal lives. Like the bark of a tree protecting its inner core.

Is Your Weakness Really A Weakness?

Is the ability to take risks really a weakness? Without risk, how could there be gain? Knowing your own propensity for risk-taking, could you mindfully cultivate an awareness of this tendency and take steps to know when you should or should not take that leap of faith?

How about your reputation of being rigid and stubborn? Could an awareness of that tendency help you re-package that trait into something appealing to your market? Don’t we all admire individuals with dogged determination to succeed?

Nobleman Coming.

For the Jia Zi Day Master, the first half of 2021 will likely be the most confusing, with Fire (your Output) virtually snuffed out by the Water energies. The creative energies will flow better when the 甲午 month kicks off in June.

Here’s the good news – January 2021 is literally their Nobleman month. Attract that noble person by exhibiting the traits of a Direct Wealth, by being responsible and goal-oriented.

Want to know if you have Jia Zi in your Bazi Chart? Follow this link for the free plotter. Do note that while it is free to use, registration is required.

Where Is The Jia Zi?

Social Media Marketing For the Thought Leader (Jia Zi in the Year Pillar): While this pillar had often been discounted in the past, in this social media era, the Year Pillar has become increasingly important. This is how your industry, social network and fans is likely to see you. With Jia Zi in the Year Pillar, you have the potential to get social media marketing work for you as a thought leader.

Here are some suggestions on how to use the Jia Zi in the Year Pillar to establish a thought leadership position:

  1. What are you an expert in? To be a true thought leader, you really must be an expert in your chosen field or niche. Otherwise, you are an influencer (not discounting influencers here, more on them as the series continues).
  2. Be authentic. We all have a written ‘voice’ to our writing. Believe me, it comes through when we try to fake it. Don’t worry too much about grammar or strange sentences. Try to stay as authentic as possible.
  3. How/who can your knowledge serve? Create useful and valuable content.
  4. LinkedIn or Facebook? Instagram or Twitter? Telegram or SnapChat? Explore new vehicles to reach your audience.

Jia Zi in the Year Pillar could come across as being a little aloof, standoffish and cold. To maximize a Jia Zi in the Year Pillar, you will need to overcome your distaste for showing off and let your skills, knowledge and values shine through.

How To Be A Thought Leader At Work (Jia Zi in the Month Pillar): Let’s get one thing clear – you don’t wait until you reach the C-Suite to become a thought leader. You reach the C-Suite because you are seen as a thought leader. Doesn’t matter if your field is marketing or human resource, accounting or public relations, engineering or programming.

It’s never too late to take action. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Network by taking an active role in your profession’s association. To become a leader, you must have people willing to follow you. Being faceless in your industry will get your nowhere. Join an association of professionals in your field and take an active role as a volunteer. Use the opportunity to build a strong network of colleagues who can act as your sounding board and vice versa.
  2. Research and Share. When you take your first baby steps in this direction, you may not have the confidence as yet to voice your own opinion. Read up on the topic of your speciality and share that knowledge. Be known as the go-to person for this particular field. For example, you are an accountant interested in growth and development (you have Jia in your month pillar, of course you are interested in growth and development!). Keep tabs on how new accounting practices are developing in your industry and others. Share the articles that you find useful on your social media or with your colleagues through group messaging apps.
  3. Walk the talk. Credibility is everything for a thought leader. You must be seen to embody or demonstrate the disciplines and expertise of your chosen niche.
  4. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion. Going against the current trend can bring you quick attention. By the time you reach this step, you must be able to back up your opinion with results.

Jia Zi in the Hour Pillar: Because the hour pillar governs your investment, subordinates, dreams and desires, it won’t be practical to apply thought leadership here. Instead, the best way to maximize a Jia Zi in the Hour Pillar is to embody the Jia Zi’s love for life-long learning by constantly stretching and elevating your mind and knowledge.

Without the ability to see the full chart, I must stress that the suggestions in this article are broad recommendations based on a single pillar. To pinpoint specific issues or to co-create solutions tailor-made for you, please feel free to drop me a line.

Want to find out if you have the Jia Zi pillar somewhere in your chart? Plot your Bazi Chart with this free resource (registration required) https://bazibz.masteryacademy.com/.

Disclaimer: The Bazi Technical terms (Direct Wealth, Indirect Wealth, Eating God, Hurting Officer, Direct Officer, 7Killings, Friend, Rob Wealth, Direct Resource and Indirect Resource) are copyright property of the Joey Yap Mastery Academy. If you wish to learn the art of Chinese Metaphysics for yourself, please visit www.joeyyaponline.com for more information.

Photo by Tara Meinczinger on Unsplash

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QMDJ CASE STUDY #1: CAREER FORECAST

I’ve spent a lot of time writing about Bazi, very little about Qi Men Dun Jia. To tell you the truth, I use Qimen frequently, but I have not started to write a lot about it. That is set to change this month.

But first, what is Qi Men Dun Jia? It’s warcraft. In the olden times, the ancients use it to create war strategies. Today, we use it to guide business or career tactics, to win in the war of life.

As a Bazi Consultant, I tend to use Qimen as a shortcut to gain a quick understanding of my client’s situation. This is especially useful when the person is unclear of what they want or are unable to accurately describe their current situation.

A case study is the best way to illustrate how we use Qi Men Dun Jia. The chart below is a recent consult I did for someone who was weighing the pros and cons of a new career opportunity. I have listed the questions and answers from the chart in numerical order below. Here’s the chart.

Copyrighted material by the Joey Yap Mastery Academy. Sharing only for learning purposes.
  1. Question: What is the outcome if I were to accept this offer? Answer: Hour and Day in the same palace – It seems you have already decided to accept the offer. Hour and Day in the SW palace – It looks like you have decided to join them in either July or August. (Note: Turns out that she really had accepted the offer, but was using the consult as a reference to find out if she had made the ‘right’ decision).
  2. Question: Will I have the support I need? Answer: Chief in the SW palace along with the Asker and Outcome together with the Life Door – yes, this is a good sign that you will have his support and he will help you grow.
  3. Question: Will I be happy? Answer: Looking at the positive formations in the SW palace, I dare say that you will find this new adventure to be rewarding.
  4. Question: How can I maximize this opportunity for myself? Answer: Earth (SW) produces Metal (W). Now that you know you have your boss’s backing, you could consider looking into unexplored markets and new business opportunities for your new company and yourself.
  5. Question: What can I do to quickly get the ball rolling once I join them? Answer: Either focus on cleaning up their financial protocols or maybe some form of legal entanglements (Heavenly Heart) or help them gain a share of voice in the digital landscape via Digital Marketing

The sample chart above is copyrighted material of the Joey Yap Mastery Academy and is not available to the general public. The Hidden Sun is in the process of getting formal permission to share the copyrighted material for learning purposes. A free and simplified version can be found here: https://qmatools.masteryacademy.com/Account/Login.aspx.

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT: SAMPLE BAZI PROFILE #1 – DOO JOON (B2ST/HIGHLIGHT)

Wishing my American readers a very happy 4th of July. Hope everyone is still staying safe during the holiday.

I’ve filled my blog with quite a fair bit of Bazi information. I figured this would be a good time to show you how we use Bazi Profiling to showcase the many facets of a person.

For my first sample Bazi profile case study, I’ve chosen South Korean singer and actor Yoon Doo Joon. Why? Because it’s also his birthday today. And besides, why not K-Pop? It has catchy music, sharp choreography, and good looking young people. What’s not to like?

There’s also another reason for my choice. The music labels in South Korea have a lamentable tendency to force their talent into manufactured personalities calculated to appeal to different fan demographics/psychographics. Sometimes to the point of subsuming their true personalities completely. This is the cute one, this is the mysterious one, this is the funny one, and so on and so forth. It’s annoying, but those music moguls seem to think that it works. So, what the fans see may not even be the real person.

But a Bazi Chart doesn’t lie. So let’s take a look at Highlight’s DooJoon.

  1. I will start the analysis from the Year Pillar. Because the Year Pillar governs the external circle, this is what his legions of fans will see, barring any manufactured personality traits. They are attracted to a warm, caring and compassionate young man who enjoys a life in the limelight. They see someone who is resourceful, creative, articulate, and most importantly, able to mesmerize and inspire an audience.
  2. However, dig a little beneath the surface and his business partners, colleagues, subordinates or bosses will find that when it comes to his career, DooJoon is like metal forged by fire, literally, Excalibur! We see this through his Month Pillar which governs his career trajectory. They would describe him as someone who values discipline in creativity but also has a sharp business acumen. Unlike his outward persona, at work, he adopts a no-nonsense approach complimented by a clear and precise communication style which makes him a great leader. To be at his best, DooJoon will need an environment where he has a large measure of autonomy to act without censorship. Being naturally multi-talented, DooJoon tends to struggle to accept help and constantly needs to overcome this tendency in order to contribute in a group endeavour.
  3. Now we come to the Day Pillar. This is a facet of his personality that perhaps only his band mates will know. Eventually in the future, this is a part of him that his wife will come to understand. The Day Pillar represents the core of the person. In this, DooJoon is like a flowering plant that is tough enough to bloom even in the harshest of winters. If there is one word to describe this pillar, it would be ‘resilience’. There is an immense degree of self-reliance and determination that anchors him to his goals. There is virtually no stopping this young man once he finds a cause or a goal that truly inspires him.

This chart, like all others, is not without its weakness. He can be impatient and drawn to taking risky short cuts that may backfire. That would be his blind spot, jumping into projects without proper groundworks. He can be quite domineering, so it’s a good thing he is the leader of Highlight. He could be prone to bouts of loneliness. While things appear well on the outside, he hides feelings of insecurity and maybe even fear of betrayal. Once aware of these tendencies, reaching out to his friends for support will help him get through the rough patches.

In conclusion, life in the limelight generally suits DooJoon, so he has chosen the right career for himself. He has the innate toughness to overcome obstacles, the networking skills to connect with the right people, the business acumen to find leverage for himself and his group, as well as the creativity and talent to back it up.

I would like to see a little more self-confidence and a little less self-doubt. This is where his fans could play a role, by reminding him of his true worth.

I end by wishing DooJoon a very happy birthday and all the success in the future. As you can see, humans are complex creatures and we show different sides of ourselves to different people under different circumstances. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

To give you some background, a Bazi Chart is basically the energy imprint of the person, plotted based on the day and time of his or her birth. Follow this link to plot your own chart, but do note that while it is free to use, registration is required: https://bazibz.masteryacademy.com/

I’d be open to doing more of this – just profiling, not forecasts. If you have a suggestion, please drop me a note. But let’s stay away from politics. That’s too depressing!

LIFE IS NOT A DISNEY MOVIE

Life is not a Disney movie. Change, especially a change for the better, does not happen overnight with a swish of a wand. There is no prince nor nobleman coming to sweep us off our feet and take us away from our troubles.

Before I embark on a new series of content on this blog, I’d like to take a day to share my own journey of transformation with you.

I am a professional storyteller by trade. I spend my days telling the story of motorsports via the written word, pictures or video. Like many of my generation, I have allowed my career to define me. While my professional skills have grown, there was little room or thought given to self development. This went on for decades.

About three years ago (in Bazi terms, that was just at the time when I was entering a new Luck Pillar), the nagging voice inside my head, telling me that there is something more out there, became louder and more insistent. That was when I decided to embark on a serious study of a topic that had fascinated me all my life – Chinese Metaphysics. Unknowingly, that was the start of a new journey.

As a Malaysian Chinese, I have known about Bazi all my life. In fact, my parents told me they consulted a Bazi Consultant when I was a baby. They said the consultant revealed that I would travel frequently in life. Which was true. Apart from that, they couldn’t remember anything else from the consult. They don’t provide reports in those days. 😊

In spite of my natural fascination, during my youth, I felt a push-pull towards the art. This was mainly due to the over-commercialization of the industry especially during the 90s. Put this crystal in the what-not sector of your bedroom, and you will soon find a boyfriend. Really? Just hang these metal coins in the whatever sector of your house, and you will be promoted. Perhaps those over-simplified solutions worked for some people, but I had my doubts.

So decades went by where I vacillated between feeling drawn to the art while at the same time repulsed by it. And then something happened.

In 2014, I went through a golden three months where everything I touched turned into gold. It was like I was on fire. Hot! I wanted to know why. Being human, I wanted to know if I could forecast that period again. Being greedy, I wanted to know what I could do to prolong the effects of that golden window.

I began searching for information in earnest. By then, Dato’ Joey Yap was already dominating the space in Chinese Metaphysics. And truth to tell, his message of action versus inanimate objects resonated with me. So in 2017, instead of spending my fun money on self-indulgent K-pop concert trips to Seoul, I decided to invest in courses.

In modern psychology, there are five stages of learning – Unconscious Incompetence; Conscious Incompetence; Conscious Competence; Conscious Incompetence; and Mastery/Flow. This corresponds with the Chinese stages of learning, and I prefer the Chinese version. It’s simply cooler. These five steps are: 1) 知To Know; 2) 明To Understand; 3) 悟To Awaken; 4) 修To Cultivate; and 5) 行To Practice.

I spend much of 2017 and 2018 on Stage 1 and 2. Apart from gaining new knowledge and an expanded social network, nothing much had changed.

Stage 3 and 4 happened in 2019 where I noticed an increased mindfulness of my own capacity, blind spots and habits. Awakening to the knowledge that I have a naturally lazy chart, what then should I do? Knowing my tendency to rush willy-nilly into projects, how can I change my approach? Do I just accept things as they are? Or should I start making changes? Do I want to continue operating on auto-mode? What do I really want?

With clarity came mindfulness and growth, as well as a drive to help others gain the clarity they need to make better decisions. Which led to the creation of this blog in 2020.

These are also the questions I now ask my clients during our consult or coaching sessions. Now that you know, what will you do? Armed with this information, what action will you take?

But the learning never stops. Now that I am at Stage 5 with Bazi and Qimendunjia, I am preparing to embark on Stage 1 again with Feng Shui. And I will continue to share my learnings through this blog in the hopes that the information will help spark an idea or inspiration in you.

To conclude, life is not a Disney movie. It’s about being 1% better every day.

BAZI DAY MASTERS #10: FREEDOM LOVING GUI (癸) WATER

Elusive, impossible to pin down, infinitely changeable, the Gui Water Day Master can best be characterized as someone who is intellectually fluid. The Yin counterpart of Ren Water, this element is usually presented as the mists that shroud the mountains, the clouds that change their shape with every puff of wind, the sudden drizzles that creates rainbows.

Amorphous is probably the best word to describe the creative and ever-imaginative Gui Water individual. They are always intellectually inclined, their agile minds thinking of a million and one things all at the same time. The problem is, these thoughts are usually free-flowing. The Gui Water who learns to channel and focus those thoughts and ideas will be truly successful.

The Gui Water Day Masters are not without their weaknesses, though. Like the formless water they represent, Gui Water people are often extremely fickle and lack sustaining power when it comes to pushing a major project through. It is common to find Gui Water individuals going through several different careers in the span of their working years.

Gui Water individuals are all about freedom.

Unhappy is the Gui Water who is tied down to a strict schedule or routine work. In business or in their careers, Gui Water individuals must choose a field where they enjoy a lot of flexibility, preferably without the need to worry about the nitty-gritty.

Gui Water Day Masters will also enjoy roles where they can use their subtle influence to draw out the best in others. Imagine life-giving rain sprinkling down on the arid ground to create new plants. The Gui Water’s idealistic nature shines at its brightest when it can be used to cultivate others. In this, the Gui Water’s approach to business is always driven by passion. The moment a Gui Water person discovers that one passion that is aligned with his or her inner values, that is the moment when things start happening.

To have the best chance of success, the Gui Water urgently needs to create a strong support system where they can leverage on the strength of others. No doubt, the Gui Water individual can be extremely productive working on their own passion projects but they will always need a team behind them to cross the finish line. This way, the Gui Water can focus on what they do best, creating value out of their ideas.

The Gui Water is particularly susceptible to boredom, their lives can be littered with a string of unfinished projects abandoned after the heat of initial passion is over. To overcome this, it is best that the Gui Water breaks down their goals into as many mini projects as possible. This tactic may help overcome the Gui Water’s distaste for routine.

Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash

BAZI DAY MASTERS #9: A FORCE OF NATURE, REN (壬) WATER

Have you ever tried to stop the waves? Impossible, right? That’s exactly what the Ren Water is. Unstoppable, indomitable, intelligent and resourceful. In fact, they are so damned close to perfect that sometimes it is hard not to be envious of their many advantages.

In the study of Bazi, the Ren Water is perceived as the roaring waves of the sea, the deep waters of the oceans and the constant currents of the river. Water will always find a way around obstacles. Think of a river flowing effortlessly past rocks and boulders. Ren Water individuals handle hurdles the same way, always with tact and diplomacy. They find a way around the obstruction instead of smashing their way through.

Some Day Masters are good at big-picture thinking. Others are masters of the minutiae. The Ren Water, can do both at the same time! Like the resourceful ocean, Ren Water individuals are highly intelligent. They can work on small details while keeping a bigger picture in mind.

The Ren Water are born entrepreneurs.

In fact, I’m not sure why I’m writing this post. Perhaps just to keep the series intact (OCD, much?). The Ren Water individual probably already runs his or her own business born out of their unique vision.

Ren Water Day Masters will thrive where precise, organized and structured thinking is required. Perhaps that is why so many successful Ren Water individuals are to be found in the IT business. Their highly compartmentalized brain is a huge asset where they can call up the outstanding amounts of information they hold in their memory. 

Ren Water individuals are progressive thinkers and visionary business leaders who are able to think far ahead into the future. They are also the only Yang Day Masters with a natural ability to make good connections. Knowing the right people also forms a part of their resourcefulness.

The only thing that can stop a Ren Water is their own tendency to over-analyze. They can easily think themselves out of doing something. The Ren Water needs to be mindful of this and set their own cut-off point for when the thinking stops and the action starts.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

BAZI DAY MASTERS #8: ALL THAT GLITTERS IS XIN (辛) METAL

The Xin Metal is the polar opposite of its Yang counterpart, the Geng. Where Geng is tough, Xin is delicate. Where Geng represents raw talent, Xin is beautifully crafted. That is why the Xin Metal is always likened to precious jewellery or antiques – valuable but fragile.

Xin Metal individuals are easily recognized. They are never scruffy, always well-dressed and well-presented. There is an innate elegance in them that loves the best that life has to offer.

Think of a gold ring adorned with a flawless diamond. Think about how your eyes are naturally captivated by its radiance and multi-faceted beauty. Similarly, Xin Metal individuals can command attention and adores being in the spotlight.

Xin Metal is all about leverage.

In the business of life, Xin Metal individuals are exceptionally creative and mentally agile. They are usually the ones with distinctive ideas and the confidence, skill, talent and wit to make the ideas sound convincing.

When it comes to their choice of career, the Xin Metal will always be driven to develop their own special skills. Ideally, the career should involve something precise, bespoke and of course, unique. Once developed, the Xin Metal will never keep their special skill hidden from the world.

A very common weakness for the Xin Metal is the inability to carry out the actions required to turn their outlandish ideas into reality. In other words, you can go to the Xin Metal when you need sharp ideas but they are not very reliable when it comes to getting the job done. Xin Metal individuals are more effective when they can leverage on the strengths of others. For this same reason, Xin Metals venturing into the business world for the first time will feel safer in partnerships.

The Xin Metal Day Master will be at his or her best in the business of selling ideas or influence as opposed to actual products or services. This way, they can bank on their individuality, unique vision and strategic networking abilities.

Therefore, the key to a Xin Metal individual’s success is his or her ability to build good relationships with as large a network as possible. The support and goodwill of others is the main leveraging factor for the Xin Metal.

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

BAZI DAY MASTERS #7: THE ORIGINAL NUTCRACKER, GENG (庚) METAL

Geng Metal is aggressive, extremely hard and tough. It is often compared to unforged iron ore, raw metal or more popularly, a sharp and powerful sword. For iron to be useful, it needs to be forged by fire. Similarly, Geng Metal individuals are tough souls who can endure any kind of hardship and will emerge the better for it.

Action-driven, solid and persevering, these people have the innate drive to triumph against all odds. Within them lives a do-or-die attitude that will never admit defeat. Even when others around them have thrown in the towel and gone home, you can expect the Geng Metal to keep soldiering on.

These individuals will frequently appear cool and aloof on the outside. When their emotional equilibrium is balanced, their thought process is systematic and methodical. But watch out when the Geng Metal gets all fired up! In fighting mode, rage takes control and they may find it hard to remain detached. This strong fighting spirit which is such a boon for the Geng Metal becomes a bane when emotions cloud rationality.

Geng Metal always wants to win.

They love a good challenge and always want to be the first across the finish line. This enduring nature becomes a strength in their careers when the Geng Metal chooses a hard nut to crack. Go for something challenging that not everyone can handle. Something that requires endurance and dogged determination, with room for autonomy and minimal office politics. If it’s one thing the Geng Metal will not tolerate, it’s power games within the office.

Being an independent business owner will also appeal to the Geng Metal. If a partnership or joint venture is necessary, the Geng Metal’s partners should ideally be silent partners or clear boundaries of responsibilities have been drawn right from the start. Geng Metal individuals will find it hard to relinquish control.

To operate at their best, it is always advisable for the Geng Metal to map out their battle plan before the fighting starts. Clarity is power for the Geng Metal. To be at their most effective, they must first figure out what their objectives are and how to get there. Without this battle plan, the Geng Metal can be like an aimless sword slicing at thin air.

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

MI YUAN AND THE DUMPLING FESTIVAL

In this coming week, many in the Chinese community will be celebrating the annual Dumpling Festival or also known as the Dragon Boat Festival. No, this is not a ‘How To Make A Dumpling’ type of post. Sorry! I won’t even know where to start! However, I’d like to introduce you to the reason for the Dumpling Festival.

Before I begin my story, I should probably explain that I have an insane love for ancient history, particularly ancient China. I find them fascinating, especially the fact that their work from thousands of years ago still survive to this day. So every once in a while, expect me to share some stories on my favourite historical characters. For that reason, I’m creating a brand new category in my blog. We shall call it ‘Useless But Fun Information’.

So back to the reason for the Dumpling Festival. Meet Mi Yuan, a minister from the state of Chu during the Warring States Period. He is also often referred to as Qu Yuan or Chu Yuan, meaning Yuan from the state of Chu. Today, the state of Chu is known as Hubei in Central China (yes, Wuhan is the present-day capital of Hubei).

To make it easier for you to place the timeframe of the Warring States, I will use the First Emperor of China (Qin ShiHuang) as reference. Mi Yuan served as Left Minister of Chu during the time when the First Emperor’s great-great-great-great-grandfather was King of Qin. That means he lived and served before the First Emperor unified China, more than 2000 years ago.

Most of what is known about Mi Yuan today comes from the Records of the Grand Historian written by Sima Qian during the Han Dynasty. In the book, Mi Yuan was portrayed as an extremely idealistic and patriotic minister, surrounded by greedy and unprincipled colleagues and serving a weak king. He was often slandered by the other ministers and was twice exiled from court.

During his time in exile, Mi Yuan was said to have roamed the countryside and collected folklores, but his most enduring work would be the anthology Chu Ci (Songs of Chu) in which the poem Li Sao (Encountering Sorrow) is probably one of the most famous.

Here’s a translated excerpt from Li Sao: “I marvel at the folly of the king; So heedless of his people’s suffering; They envied me my mothlike eyebrows fine; And so my name his damsels malign; Truly to craft alone their praise they paid; The square in measuring they disobeyed; The use of common rules they held debased; With confidence their crooked lines they traced.”

While Mi Yuan struggled to stand tall and cling to his principles in the rapidly weakening state of Chu, he faced a formidable opponent in the form of Zhang Yi, the premiere of the Qin state during the Warring States Period. Where Mi Yuan was blunt of speech, Zhang Yi was famed for his silver tongue, able to weave together alliances from a string of words. Zhang Yi’s work as a strategist set into motion events that would eventually weaken the other states.

Unfortunately for the state of Chu, Mi Yuan’s warnings fell on deaf ears. Exiled and in despair, Mi Yuan walked into the river with a rock in his arms. Here’s the thing about Mi Yuan, though. While the court hated him, the general populace loved him. He was seen as an incorruptible government official, which he probably was.

Legend has it that the villagers raced their boats into the river but were too late to save him. That was how the Dragon Boat Festival began. To stop the fishes from feasting on his body, the villagers threw their rice dumplings into the river. That was how the Dumpling Festival came to mark the passing of a patriotic man.

Little else is known about the personality of Mi Yuan. In the drama series The Qin Empire, poetic/creative license had him portrayed by Yang ZhiGang as principled but lacking in people skills. In the drama series, he often scoffed at the opinions of his fellow ministers, sometimes pushing his views to the point of shouting at the Chu King. Fists balled and jaws clenched, he barged his way through delicate diplomatic situations like a bull in a china shop.

If I were to put it into Bazi terms, he was like a thriving Jia Wood Structure, rigid and unbending to the extreme.

In the series, the Chu King once said to Mi Yuan after a prolonged bout of shouting, “Mi Yuan, you have no idea how lucky you are to serve a patient master. Any one of my fellow Kings would have relieved you of your head by now.”

I guess the King finally lost his patience.

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Albert Einstein

If there was a lesson to be learned from Mi Yuan’s story, I guess it would be the importance of learning to be mindful of how our own behaviour play a part in eliciting response from others.  That it is okay to cling on to our principles, but we all need some flexibility in delivery.

But here’s a thought to end my self-gratifying post, more than 2000 years later, only hard-core fans of ancient Chinese history would know about Zhang Yi. But everyone is still ‘celebrating’ Mi Yuan. So how’s that for legacy?

BAZI DAY MASTERS #6: IN THE LIVE SCORE FOR RESOURCEFULNESS, JI (己) EARTH RANKS #1

Pliable and adjustable, the Ji Earth individual is the most tolerant and lenient of the 10 Day Masters. Highly adaptable, Ji Earth Day Masters have no problem coping with different situations and circumstances. This is the bunch that will instinctively make lemonade when life gives them lemons.

Ji Earth personalities are nurturing and accommodating by nature. In many organizations, they are often the one people run to for help when things start to go awry. As leaders, Ji Earth managers will tend to be very protective of their subordinates, always on the lookout for their well being and won’t be the type of leader who throws their team members under the proverbial bus. At the same time, Ji Earth managers require a large dose of autonomy before they can operate at their best.

The Ji Earth’s first instinct is to serve.

For a variety of reasons, the ideal outcome for the Ji Earth Day Master is to form their own business.  First, of course, it is easier to follow your own principles and beliefs when you are the boss. Doing things that run counter to their beliefs is an absolute no-no for the Ji Earth.

Secondly, the Ji Earth individual has the ability to automatically bring people who share their same beliefs and values into their circle of influence. These friends also become their customers. 

Finally, a business that serves a greater good and is aligned with your interests and passions, will be the ultimate motivator for the caring and nurturing Ji Earth.

Ji Earth individuals should also consider leveraging on their resourceful nature into a sound business plan. They always know where to get the right help, at the right price for the right people. The problem is, the Ji Earth does this so naturally that they take it for granted. It’s high time they recognize this resourcefulness as a part of their own self-worth and learn to bank on these resourceful traits to help them get ahead.

While the Wu Earth procrastinates, the Ji Earth’s number one problem is that they often need other people to work on them before they can produce anything. Therefore, Ji Earth Day Masters rarely become independent business owners. They prefer strength in numbers and tend to like partnership and joint ventures where they can feel more secure. If this is what it takes for you to get started, be sure to choose the right partners who will also pull their fair share of the weight.

Photo by Dylan de Jonge on Unsplash