Your Punctures on the Road to Success

Why the quick-fix approach to problem solving will leave your life in tatters. A teaching from Hang Sen – By Grant Storey

“Why do things keep going wrong?” I asked the old man in exasperation. “Why is it that as soon as I think I have the problem fixed it pops up again, it recurs and every time it is more disheartening than the last? What am I missing here?”

I had become desperate – my physical, mental and emotional health had been a disaster for the last three years and I was forever going through cycles of recuperation, healing and feeling ok, back into a ruthless recurrence of symptoms which had left an army of doctors and specialists utterly baffled as to what the dilemma was.

I had come here, to the house of my teacher and advisor, Hang Sen, once again in search of answers. And this was his reply. “So many people” he began, “are always looking only in the now for the quick-fix and for the instant solution or remedy to their suffering. Problems exist on the road of life so that we may ride over them and experience all the opportunity for growth that they afford. But people do not like to do this. They have forgotten the meaning that lies in the problems they encounter on their individual and collective paths.”

“They have forgotten to see the problems littered on the road to success for what they really are” he paused, gazing at me with those black eyes sparkling with intensity, his voice dripping with wisdom. “Jewels of opportunity that contain within them the seeds of greatness. Instead you, and millions of others just like you, have bought into the delusion that the jewel is a mere shard of glass that is causing you an unnecessary and perhaps even painful delay on the road to your success.”

“So” he continued, “people are much like a bicycle tire that is forever going around and around on the road of life, hitting a thorn or loose shard of glass now and again and going through the experience of getting a puncture. What happens then is at times amusing and at others it is tragic. In most cases, the person immediately sets about fixing the puncture as quickly as possible, pumping up the tire and moving on again until of course the tire rides over another problem, and another puncture results, to which the same remedy is applied, and the puncture is fixed and then off they go again, until they hit another problem and get another puncture and so on it goes.”

He was smiling broadly now, clearly amused with this particular analogy. “The funny thing is” he said, letting out a little chuckle, “is that more often than not it is the same piece of glass in the road that the person is actually riding over. All this moving off and getting punctures and patching up and then moving off again at a frantic pace is in fact an act of delusion in that the tire is unaware that it is going nowhere, but rather riding in place like a hamster wheel, continuously moving over the same puncture again and again.”

“It is the programmed nature of people to want to move off and onward all the time. People do not like to be stopped in their tracks. People do not like to stop full stop. And so this process continues and the punctures keep on occurring. More and more patches are placed on the tire until the tire becomes so tattered and patched up that its total integrity is completely compromised paving the way for a huge disaster to occur.”

“Again, this comes down to the perception of the puncture”, Hang Sen smiled, “because whenever ones perceives a puncture as merely an irritating and perhaps even debilitating shard of glass, and seeks only to patch themselves up as superficially as possible in order to get moving again, they are rendering themselves ignorant to the true meaning of their predicament. They are in fact blinding themselves to the opportunity that the problem is affording them – which is of course to grow.”

“They are mistaking a precious jewel for a shard of broken glass and in so doing they are failing to grow past the so called ‘problem’ and when that happens”, Hang Sen said drumming his finger into the palm of his hand, “they are merely setting themselves up to ride over the same ‘shard of glass’ time and again until they learn to see it for what it truly is.”

“Until you learn to see your problems as jewels of opportunity which are there to enable you to grow beyond your limited self of yesterday, you will never step into the understanding of your true potential which lies waiting for you today!”

Grant Storey is the Creative Director of Win-Within and – both businesses are vehicles dedicated to creating personal and professional growth by harnessing, living and practicing the principle of winning within to winning without. Hang Sen is a modern day sage who has been termed the “Confucius” of the 21st century. His teachings provide a practical yet profound roadmap to living a fully enlightened and successfully rewarding life. You can reach Grant at or visit his website

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