Saturday, June 10, 2017

How You Interpret This Story Is The Way You Perceived Joy

In Tan Chade-Meng's latest book, Joy On Demand, there is a mini story (or should I say joke) which I thought is quite funny and thought-provoking at the same time. So, I am sharing it here and provide my takes on this story/joke. 

The story goes like this:
Once upon a time, a Chinese guy went to see a fortune-teller. After the fortune-teller read his palms carefully, she said to him, "You are miserable now, and you will continue to suffer misery until you turn forty." He asked excitedly, "What happens after forty? Will my misery finally go away?" And she said, "No, after forty, you'll get used to it."
So, what do you think is the morale of this story?

Since it's a book about regaining your control over joy and happiness, I like to do a quick fun dissection on the way we interpret this story will determine how we perceived joy. Of course, there is no right or wrong answer, just how different people look at the same thing differently. 

I came out with the following few variation of the interpretation (from the Chinese guy's perspective):

A.  Believe the fortune-teller whole-heartedly and feel miserable (or get used to the misery) for the rest of your life.  OR

B. Don't believe all the thing that the fortune-teller said and continue to live your life as per normal (you might or not not agree with her that you are in misery state now). OR

C. Partially believe what the fortune-teller said and ask for her for ways/remedies to counteract this "misery" and act on it. OR

D. Start to question yourself on the intention of seeing fortune-teller, why let an outsider telling you what your future will look like? Shouldn't you be the one controlling or steering it?  

My personal interpretation (just treat it as me talking to myself, you can don't agree with me :-)):
Type (A) and (B) tend to perceive joy as a respond to the external elements i.e. the environment, the situation or action from other parties;

Type (C) and (D) tend to perceive joy is something from inside-out (or at least partially) i.e. you need to take some action/effort yourself in order to experience joy. 

What do you think?


  1. Once reach 40s either give up or already get used to it. :-)

    1. CW8888 : Hahaha, so there is some truth to it then! lol


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