The Wisdom of Flowing with Change

The Vizier on Change and the I-Ching

The Vizier

Do you ever feel buffeted about by the winds of change?  As though life is out of your control?  Would you like to know how to successfully navigate change?

Today, I am delighted to share with you my interview with the “Vizier”, an avid student of change.   The Vizier offers exceptional insight into and guidance for working successfully with the constantly shifting forces of change.

Instead of feeling like a victim of change, you can learn to master,  influence, and transform the changes that take place in your life.

Here are the Vizier’s secrets for working with change.

Sandra:  You’ve been studying change for 10 years.  What fascinates you about change?  What have you learned?

The Vizier:  The thing that fascinates me most about change is how your actions and choices can influence it.  Change is not something that is beyond your control.  It is possible to prevent disasters and to have good fortune instead of misfortune.  Grave misfortune need not happen to you if you are watchful and alert.  But here, you have to take responsibility to manage the changes in your life well.

Think about it.  Every single change that happens has a reason or reasons behind it.  Change is not random or without logic.  It is just that your awareness is finite.  As such, you may not see or grasp the many contributing factors, choices and actions that happen over time to bring about change.  Take the recent nuclear disaster in Japan for example.  Experts are saying that it need not have happened.  Proper foresight and action could have prevented the disaster.  But this insight is the result of hindsight.  True foresight and timely action ensures that your life is more smooth sailing.

The key to managing change well is awareness.  You cannot manage change if you are unaware of it beforehand.  When it comes to change, it is not necessary to grasp all the factors that cause it.  A general idea in most cases about what you can or cannot do will suffice.  In another words, if you knew a disaster would happen to you next week, you would have time to narrow down the cause and to take action to avoid or prevent it.  If it is not possible to avoid it, then you will at least be prepared to manage it well.

Here the I-Ching can aggregate all the contributing factors of change and show you the essence of the situation.  It can show you all the options that are available to you.  Knowing these options will help you to influence change in your favour.  The key is to know as early as possible while you are still able to influence change.  Only by taking action early, can you have good fortune and avoid needless problems in your life.

Sandra:  What is the I-Ching (Yijing)?

The Vizier: The I-Ching originated from Ancient China.  It is at least a few thousand years old although its exact age is uncertain.  “Yi” means change, while “jing” refers to the text itself; hence its literal English translation “Book of Changes.”  “I-Ching” is the Wade-Giles Romanization of the Yijing.

Page of the I-Ching, Book of Changes

Page of the I-Ching, Book of Changes {{pd art}}

On the one hand, the Chinese viewed it a classic text and a book of wisdom.  Its study was mandatory amongst scholars.  On the other hand, it was also used for divination purposes to guide one’s choices in life.  From emperors to statesmen to common folk, many turned to the I-Ching for its advice on dealing with life’s problems.

Life is a series of tests and challenges caused by change.  Thus, in my opinion, the I-Ching is an instruction manual to manage these tests and challenges well.

What can the I-Ching do?  It can show me how to align my actions and choices with the times.  It can guide me in handling any problem I face.  Through it, I know what is possible and what is not.  With its wisdom, I know when to act, retreat or wait.  This helps me to make the best choices, attain the goals I seek and manage any challenge in the best possible way.

Sandra:  How can the I-Ching help the average person address the difficult choices and challenges of modern life?

The Vizier:  The key to this question is to know which choice is best for you before you take action.  Just imagine.  If the challenges you face in life are tests, then good choices and actions lead to good fortune, while bad choices and actions lead to misfortune.  This happens regardless of a person’s status or wealth.  But good and bad choices depend on the situation.  How then will you know whether a choice or action is good or bad?  The answer is foresight and foreknowledge.

If you knew the outcome of your choices in advance, the path to take becomes clear.  You would pick the choice that leads to success and avoid the choice that leads to failure.  You would choose actions that bring good fortune and avoid actions that bring misfortune.  You would focus your efforts and resources on areas that matter and avoid areas that do not matter.

With this foresight, you will be able to take the right action at the right time in the right way.  This in turn will help you to manage any challenge or test you face in modern life.  You will have less doubt and uncertainty when it comes to making difficult choices with high stakes involved.   After all, you already know the outcome of your choices beforehand.  Once you have made your choice all that is left is to guide events to its expected conclusion.

Sandra:  What does “Vizier” mean?

The Vizier:  Vizier means “bearer of burden” or “to help.”  It is a term for a high-ranking minister in some Muslim countries today.  In medieval times, the Vizier helped the Sultan to bear his burden of rule by running state affairs.  He served as a minister and an adviser to the Sultan.

I first came across the word when I read about the Ottoman Empire.  You see, I am a big history buff and the Ottomans are one of my favourite empires.

Sandra:  Why did you choose “Vizier” as a pen name on your blog?

The Vizier:  The role of the adviser suits me best.  I enjoy helping people to manage change better by making the best choice in any situation.  Making poor choices in any area of life can cost you dearly.  The cost can be mental, emotional, financial or material.  As far as I can, I always try my best to help people to avoid poor choices.  This is the main reason why I chose “Vizier” as a pen name for my blog.  It suits my nature perfectly.

I love solving human problems.  I love looking at a situation to discern the best choices and actions possible.  Here, being able to foresee the outcome of choices and actions helps a great deal.  I know I have much to offer to all who seek my advice.

Using the Vizier as my pen name has another use.  It allows me to refer to myself in the third person should the need arise.  One instance would be titles for my articles.  Whenever I have difficulty thinking of a title, I just put my pen name in it haha!

Sandra:  Who is the man behind the “Vizier”?  Tell us about yourself.  What have been the key influences in your life?  What motivates and inspires you?

The Vizier:  Well the first thing to know is that I am an INFJ (on the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator) and INFJs enjoy thinking about the weightier issues in life.  This pretty much sums up my very nature.  As for the weightier issues that preoccupy me, it would have to be hard choices and actions.  This has always been my greatest interest and everything I do revolves around my study of choices and actions.

Take my love of history for example.  I do not read history simply for its own sake.  Instead, I read it to gain worldly wisdom.  As such, I always look for people or empires that face great adversity.  Their struggles inspire me.  In these times of great danger and hardship where there is much to lose, I am interested in the choices people make.  Which choices and actions are wise?  Why is this so?  What were the events that led them to this crossroads?  Why did they choose one path over others?  What is the impact of the choices and actions on others?  What is the short term and long-term impact of their choices?  Could they have made better choices?  I study these things obsessively.

And it is not just the reading of history.  I love great stories in all forms.  I read fiction, comics and manga, watch anime, dramas, movies and play grand strategy games.  In all of these pursuits, I also study the choices and actions of characters.  Over time, it becomes easier to foresee the outcome of choices and actions.

On the one hand, I can apply the insights I gain to my life.  On the other hand, I can use these insights to help others to make the best choice in any situation.  Being able to help always makes me happy.  Knowledge for its own sake is not enough.  I must be able to apply this knowledge in a way that makes a difference.  This is what motivates and inspires me.  By helping others to make the best choices in any situation, I fulfil the task I was born to do.

Sandra:  How can we bring more harmony into our life?  Please share your essential advice for mastering one’s emotions and life?

River Stream - Flowing with Change

Flowing with Change

Thus, to bring more harmony to our lives we must keep up with and manage change well.  We cannot leave things to chance because we might not be lucky all the time.  Doing so will leave us open and vulnerable to unexpected misfortunes.  This in turn will cause our emotions to fluctuate wildly depending on whether we have good fortune or misfortune.  Few people make good choices when they react to unexpected changes in the midst of chaos.  They tend to see only what is in front of them instead of the bigger picture where the best choice may lie.

If changes are tests or exams that the Universe has set for us, then we must prepare for them.  How can anyone hope to do well in an exam without studying smart or hard?  Not only must you know what the Universe is testing you on, you must also put in the effort to prepare accordingly.  The earlier you know and prepare, the likelier you are to have good fortune.

When your life is in harmony, your emotions will be in harmony as well.  This is because you know what the Universe expects of you at anytime and how you should respond to it.

Sandra:  There is an emphasis these days on listening to your inner voice or true self.  Will using the I-Ching take away from following your “own voice”?  Have you observed times when following your own voice led you in the wrong direction?

The Vizier:  This is an interesting question.  First, I think it is important to differentiate between the conflicting voices in our heads.  Often, our doubts, fears and negativity might obscure our inner voice.  If we give in to these false voices, we will make choices that take us away from our true inner voice.

Here using the I-Ching can help to dispel any uncertainty you may have.  For example, you could divine how choosing a particular path might turn out for you.  The answer will show you the opportunities and pitfalls along that path.  In an instant, you can see whether your doubts, fears and negativity are valid or not.  If they are not valid, you are free to take action to follow your inner voice.  If there is some validity, then you can learn how to deal with the problems through the I-Ching.  Once you resolve the obstacles, you can follow your inner voice again.

Second, there have been many times in my life where I allowed my enthusiasm to get the better of me.  In my zeal to pursue a cherished dream or goal, I made choices that were not prudent.  I saw what I wanted to see instead of the reality of things.  I clung to false hopes and doggedly pursued a path to ruin.

Again, the I-Ching can help.  With the foresight gained from the I-Ching, you can see if you are going in the right direction or not.  You can see if the path ahead leads to your goals or to a dead end.  If it leads to your goals, you can follow your inner voice in peace.  If it leads to a dead end, then by knowing early, you can switch paths before it is too late.  This will help you to channel your time and effort in the right direction as you follow your inner voice.

The I-Ching can show you the outcomes of all the paths before you that lead to your goals.  It is up to you to decide which one to take.

Sandra:  Tell us about how you help others through I-Ching consultation.

The Vizier:  My role is simple.  I am here as an adviser to help you to do well in the tests and challenges that life has for you.  My aim is to help you to make the best choices in any situation.

The first thing I need to do is to understand your situation.  As far as I can, I need to be able to see things from your perspective because your point of view matters.  I also need to know your goals, concerns and challenges.  This information will shape the way I tailor my advice to suit your needs.

Next, we will discuss plans and strategies.  This involves going through the options you have to narrow them down to a select few before we choose the best one.  Here, I use the I-Ching to foresee how each of the chosen options will turn out.  When the opportunities and pitfalls along each path are clear, it becomes easier for us to select the best option.

Finally, we execute the plan.  As your adviser, I will guide you through events as they unfold step by step.  You see, events can take days, weeks or months to occur.  Most people do not have the watchfulness or the patience to monitor the situation so closely.  Thus, I serve to remind you about the events that will happen before they do.  In this way, you will be able to get through any situation with less trouble.  In the meantime, you can just focus on going about your daily life with fewer worries.

Consultation is free.  I am willing to listen to your situation to see if I can help you or not.  All you have to do is to drop me an email and let me know the following:

  • Your situation, what is going on?
  • Your goals, challenges and concerns
  • Your available options

After I have studied your case and made my recommendations, we shall see if we are willing to take things further or not.  I also offer a free question to anyone who engages my services for the first time.  This will allow you to appreciate and understand what I do better.

Sandra:  Thank you for all the energy you have put into this exceptional article.  I find the insights you have shared on working skillfully with change are incredibly encouraging and empowering.  They show us that we aren’t at the mercy of fate, but can indeed be the master of our own destiny.  The foresight and clarity I have gained through my own personal consultations with you have given me more confidence, helped me to navigate an “obstacle” year with more ease, and also extract wisdom from the challenges that have arisen.

~

The Vizier writes at Han of Harmony on various topics about change.  His interest lies in showing you how to manage the tests and challenges of life well.

But if these articles are not enough, you can Ask the Vizier directly for help about a problem you are facing.  It could be career, relationships or some other challenge.  Here, the Vizier will advise and help you to achieve your goals.  He will help you to make the best choices and show you how to manage any situation well.

If you enjoyed this article, please share the link with others.  And, I would love to connect with you on Google+ or the Always Well Within Facebook Page   With love, Sandra

I-Ching Image:  Public Domain: Wikimedia Commons

26 thoughts on “The Wisdom of Flowing with Change

  1. Congratulations, Sandra, on presenting such a thoughtful and important interview. Like the Vizier I am a student of history and what has led us to where we are today. I’m afraid too often people assume whatever trials we as a nation or as individuals are experiencing are unique. Rarely is that true. The paths we travel are well worn if we simply take the time to look back or down. The choices our predecessors have made will help guide us if we simply pay attention.

    Choosing a direction for our life is under constant adjustment. I’m afraid too often we get locked into one way of thinking and acting and that won’t work in a world that is in constant flux.

    • Hi Bob,

      Always good to meet a fellow student of history. There is so much we can learn from history. I especially like and agree with on when you say that trials as a nation or as individuals are not unique. We need only look at history across any part of the world to realize that as a collective race, human beings have been facing the same problems in different forms throughout the ages. This is the reason we can learn so much from history and apply it to our lives.

      The times may change, technology may advance, but human beings with their strengths and flaws remain the same. This is why we are always facing the same lessons in different forms. I also think it has to do with our short lives. We simply do not have enough time to grasp the larger picture in life. By the time we have acquired wisdom, it is time for our departure and the next generation has to relearn the lessons we did.

      But it is because of this continuity that the I-Ching which was written to deal with change and all the problems that human beings face remains so relevant today. As you rightly point out, when it comes to dealing with change, we must be careful not to get stucked in one way of thinking and acting. Different situations require different approaches. Such is the way of change and life.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

      Irving the Vizier

    • Hi Kara Rane,

      I am glad you found my interview fascinating and informative! :)

      Hopefully it will help you to manage change and make better choices.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

      Irving the Vizier

  2. Sandra,

    Thank you for sharing the Vizier with us,along with his secrets for working with change. Perhaps the most interesting part of the interview was the explanation of I-Ching – it’s always good to know where we can find the answers when Life decides to test us.

    Vizier – thank you for providing a deeper look into your teachings and philosophies.

    Alex

    • Hi Alex,

      I am glad you enjoyed the interview! :)

      The I-Ching is truly fascinating and it is no surprise that the book has been revered by the Chinese through the ages.

      I cannot help but love how versatile and relevant the book is and how it can be applied to so many areas in our lives.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

      Irving the Vizier

  3. This is jackpot Monday–two of my favorite bloggers in the same place! I am always fascinated with the Vizier’s views on becoming more self aware of the forces at play in the choices we make. I have sought his advice several times and always find him to be a wise adviser and a good friend. I appreciate the in depth responses here to excellent questions about both the Yijing and the Vizier himself. After I read it the first time, I went and made a cup of tea to enjoy while I read it more slowly a second time. Thank you both so very much.

    • Hi Galen,

      You’re too kind with your compliments! :)

      I guess the reason that my views are the way they are is because I tend to draw from unconventional sources.

      As I mentioned in my interview, I study change from a variety of mediums. While I choose mediums for the lessons that they provide, I tend to enjoy looking at obscure sources as well. The more obscure and interesting they are, the more such mediums fascinate me haha! I

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

      Irving the Vizier

  4. This says it all for me. If the challenges you face in life are tests, then good choices and actions lead to good fortune, while bad choices and actions lead to misfortune.

    And my intuition always leads to good choices and ignoring it leads to bad! Thanks for this interview today. I appreciate you both!

    • Hi Tess,

      The way we handle the challenges that life gives us determines what our lives will be like. It determines whether we have good fortune or misfortune.

      As you rightly point out, we should not ignore our intuition in these matters because they might warn us about the best choices to make at critical points.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

      Irving the Vizier

  5. Sandra – thank you for interviewing the Vizier. He is a wise man and I learn so much from him about overcoming adversity, making choices and taking control of our lives.

    The Vizier’s take on change is always insightful. He regularly reminds us on his blog that the only thing that we can count on in life is change and how to better prepare for changes that happen. Change is usually very unpleasant and hurtful but the Vizier’s advise helps us flow with the waves of life.

    If the blogosphere was an empire, the Vizier would be the wisely oracle of caution, prudence, preparation, harmony, happiness and peace.

    • Beautifully said, Vishnu! I agree with you completely, the Vizier is so unique. He has a special voice and a special wisdom that comes from being a perpetual student with a fresh, open mind.

      It’s so lovely to “see” you. Wishing you all good things.

      • Hi Vishnu and Sandra,

        Thank you both for your very kind words. :)

        In truth, I have merely drawn liberally from many sources to come up with my unique approach and voice, as Sandra has said. With a litle patience and perseverance, I believe that anyone can learn to see things the way I do.

        As far as I can, I always try to make what I share simple and applicable. My focus is always the results and whether it can work for anyone or not.

        I believe that anyone can manage change well. It is just a matter of being aware and knowing what to look out for.

        Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  6. Irving has been great help and advisor to me! Thanks for sharing the interview with him Sandra!
    Noch Noch

    • Hi Noch Noch,

      I couldn’t have done it without your receptivity to what I suggested.

      I am glad that I was able to help in some small way.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  7. I really enjoyed the insight on the I-Ching.

    Leading projects has taught me the power of anticipation and deliberate change. We can achieve a great deal when we apply our focus, time, and energy to meaningful goals.

    • Hi JD,

      I am glad you enjoyed the insights on the I-Ching.

      Indeed if we know where to focus our efforts, especially on the key points, we will get double the results for half the effort.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  8. Sandra,
    Granted it has lessened as I have matured but my resistance to change is a strong one. I am an introvert INFJ too and when I feel frightened and threatened I withdraw. I need to go deep and examine what’s going on inside me before I can develop a new attitude and make a decision to go with the flow, rather than swimming against the tides of change.

    Like your other commenters I also enjoyed reading this interview very much. Your questions were very well put and the responses were so informative. I have been reading the thoughtful and wise comments Irving has posted here on your blog for some time now. I was delighted when he honored my posts with comments too but hesitant to approach him. I have no knowledge of the I -Ching but now I have a great interest in it and a strong desire to connect with Irving. Thanks so much for interviewing him.

    • Hi Timethief,

      Thank you for your kind words. :)

      Being an INFJ I know exactly how you feel about change. It is no surprise that one of the defining moments in my life has been finding a system on how to manage change well.

      Today, I am rarely surprised or flustered. I know what is coming, most of the time, and more importantly, I know what to do and how to manage. It is this clarity that has made the greatest difference for me in dealing with life and change.

      Being aware doesn’t mean that life is easy and smooth sailing for me. It still depends on my choices and actions. I still have to go through difficulties and hardships to reach my goals. But at least now, I go through my trials with my eyes open.

      If you have any questions about the I-Ching do feel free to drop me an email and ask. If you like, I would be more than happy to do a free reading for you so you can see how you can apply it to your life.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  9. timethief,
    I appreciate what you have said because I too have a strong resistance to change and can feel quite frightened and threatened myself. As you have said, this has lessened as I have matured and as I work more deeply on my own healing. Yet it’s still a tendency to be aware of and continue to work with.

    I also appreciate the wisdom Irving consistently expresses in his writing. His knowledge of the I-Ching is also impressive.

    Thanks for sharing so deeply. All my love to you!

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