As the Ox Rules, the Ox Says

In the Chinese mythology, there were 12 animals who appeared during an invitation by the Emperor and as a reward for appearing, the animals were each given a year that is named after them in the order of their appearance.

The Year 2009 is the Year of the Ox, and the Ox occupies the 2nd position on the Chinese Zodiac after the Rat the first animal to arrive at the feast.   In fact, there were legends that the clever rat which was the 1st animal to arrive had won the position because he was taking a ride from the laborious and hardworking ox.Considered as a responsible, hardworking and courageous animal, it is believed that the same characteristics can be observed in a person who is born in the Year of the Ox.   The dependability, loyalty and firm determination of the Oxen to complete any task is commendable as in the olden days and now farmers use the oxen to help with the tedious job of ploughing the fields and carrying loads.

The most famous Ox in the New Year has to be Barack Obama, the President elect of United States and echoing the sentiments of many people around the globe you can be sure Obama will be the most scrutinized Ox of the year.  In fact, someone told me there are no ‘grey’ areas with ox people only black and white so I am looking forward to seeing the change that has come to America.And as we wait and see what unfolds around us, what could we learn from the Ox characteristics that we could apply to start off the New Year on a more optimistic note above the wars, unemployment rates, and all those crunches!  Ouch!

Often in life and in the current times of unpredictability, events will occur that are beyond our control such as budget and salary cuts, company downsizing or laid offs, and when such events happen, inevitably surfaced the pain, disappointment and resentment.  While we cannot change the events, we can change the way we perceived these events like the courageous and determined Oxen people who are known for being stubborn and tirelessly toiling the fields when others have given up.   And we can change our emotions, thoughts and behaviors from that of negativism and despair to that of hope and faith.

While doing so, let us remember that the past or the current does not equal to the future.  What really matters to you and the people you lead and care about is what you are doing in the present.   Rather than getting caught into the spiralling effects of the economic crisis, we can direct our emotions, thoughts and actions to what we can do right now to make things better.

Just as the Ox uses his mental and physical stamina in carrying out his tasks, we should focus on solutions, develop a plan and be sincerely committed every day for changing our emotions, thoughts and actions to achieve our desired objectives, dreams and aspirations.

Personally to keep the continuous flow of courage and motivations, I keep a mantra of daily powerful phrases and I wish to share them with you:

  1. My past does not equal the future.
  2. The power to change lies within me.  I need to wake up my inner power.
  3. Every step taken is a step forward.  Colonel Sanders was turned away 1009 times.  I am not a failure because there is no failure, just another attempt forward.  As Thomas Edison said “I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward”.
  4. Whatever problems shall pass if I continue to take positive constructive steps.
  5. I will be persistent.  Persistency and commitment in my actions will ultimately give me what I want.
  6. I am the decision maker.  My decisions and not the present’s life conditions shape and determine my destiny.
  7. Delays are not God’s denials.  Every action that I take is an experience gained that can help me to become more effective in the future to achieve what I truly desire.
  8. To overcome worries, I will keep myself so busy that I have no time for worry.
  9. I have the power to reduce my problems.  I will analyze my problems and seek solutions to them.
  10. I am grateful for many things in my life.  I will draw up a gratitude list that help to remind me to appreciate and show gratitude for what I already have and possessed.
  11. I change my view of failure.  Instead of seeing it as a final event, I see failure as a ‘feedback’ event.  I will use the feedback to make changes in my action plan and go after it again.
  12. In times of difficulty, I will pray for the wisdom and courage that I have in reserve abundance within me and I will withdraw upon them when I need them.

On a final note, just as the Ox toils the fields every day, I encourage you to reflect upon these powerful phrases and to feel free to share with me and other readers, what have helped you changed your thoughts, emotions and actions.  Email me at