Cliff asks me about the influence of language learning on my business, as well as the influence of Taoism. I discovered the thought of Zhuangzi somewhat late in life. However, Toaism can help both.

I believe it is important to follow your interests and inclinations. As long as you are not lazy, but pursue those interests with sincerity you will achieve success professionally, personally and in the acquisition of skills and knowledge. Rules imposed by others are not as useful as the roads that you find yourself. I have always been adventurous. At the age of 16 I ran away from home after a dispute with my father and hitchhiked 500 kilometres to the Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival. I slept in an overnight cafe so I would have enough money to see a play. I got to see the play and “taught my father a lesson”. (I phoned him the first day).

I “hitchhiked” as a seaman on a ship which took me to Europe when I was 19. I hitchhiked all over Europe. I wanted to discover this world. When I studied I studied hard but I usually chose subjects that interested me. I was unable to study things that did not interest me. AIt never bothered me when my language skills were poor. I knew that with enough practive they would improve. N any case they served their purpose in letting me communicate with people of a different culture.

I took the same approach to developing my business carreer. I liked my customers and suppliers. I liked the wood business and put great effort into understanding it. Along the way I learned languages and was not afraid to use them. Things worked out. Nothing was planned.

Languages are like cars and boats that let you hitchhike on the journey of life. You can lock into more relationships that bring you many things, personal and professional.

I do not know if that answers your question Cliff, but I will come back to the subject. In a word, be yourself and pursue your interests. Avoid complicated rules and do not talk yourself out of attempting things you want to try to achieve.

I found a link to Taoism and language study here.