There was a disciple who bought an expensive carriage. He did not want to damage it and so never took it out and instead cleaned it every day. One day, his master visited his house and saw his disciple polishing the carriage. He asked:
“Who owns this carriage?”
“It appears to me that the carriage owns you.”
“…What do you mean, master?”
“Are you not treating the carriage as a servant serves its master?”
“What you do not enjoy cannot be called your possession. Only by enjoying it do you possess it. Not only objects, but the warm sunshine, fresh air, beautiful scenery are all a man’s possessions if he enjoys them. A person who can enjoy many things can be called truly rich. If a person enjoys the world, even without a single penny they are the wealthiest person in the world.”
The foolish disciple was proud of his carriage that he spent so much money on, when he could not even use it. The way people treat the learning of knowledge and skills is similar to how the disciple treated the carriage. People look for all kinds of luxurious carriages that they will not, or cannot even use.
What is infinitely better is to enjoy and indulge in the carriage you already own to move forward in your life, no matter how cheap and ragged it may be. In fact, believing that your carriage is old and worn-out is simply a delusion. Within the most basic carriage lies the secret to enlightenment. However, those who are blinded by delusion that they must seek a fancier, stronger-looking carriage that requires less effort can never see that. The Bluebird of Happiness that you have been seeking forever has been waiting inside you all this time. But how can you learn the ultimate secret if you do not even think about looking deep within your heart?
There is a world of difference between possession and enjoyment. Do not seek the talents of others, cultivate and develop the talents you already own. To be satisfied with what you have and enjoying it – that is the secret to happiness.