Thick Face Black Heart
by Chin-Ning Chu
-What we are Not taught in school is how to develop character or develop confidence. Chin-Ning Chu uses beautiful details and examples of how to sharpen your mind, deal with others, and use Asian techniques to never be taken advantage of.
-Thick-Face=The shield to protect one’s self-esteem from negative opinions. Putting self-doubt aside. (10)
-Black heart= The spear. Taking action without regarding the consequences. A ruthlessness. (13)
-Chin-Ning describes principles of unlearning. Throughout our lives, people in our social circles engrain in us rules of what we are supposed to do and feel. As a result, we constantly seek the approval of others. “In Asia, heroes are not judged for their prowess in hunting and shooting tigers. Rather for their strength and ability to endure the humiliation of being pigs.” (36)
-She is saying that true heroes know the value of putting their egos aside and look foolish in order to achieve their goals. Success only comes at the risk of failure. Know yourself and know your actions, then the opinions of others have zero power over you.
-Dharma is acting in accordance with one’s duty. In other words, good things come to those who fulfil their responsibilities.
-Chin-Ning says, “Failures come about from those who do not exercise the powers of their office according to the requirements of their own destiny” (81)
-Recognizing dharma is to be aware that everything that occurs is a part of your destiny. It is accepting and surrendering to the ebbs and flows of life.
-Winning with Negative Thinking. This concept is based on loving yourself to the point where you accept your flaws, use them, and love.
-She says, “We spend enormous energy attempting to change, rather than focusing on being successful.” (112)
- “When you start labeling your feelings and emotions as being negative by others’ standards, you are judging yourself according to others’ standards.” (126)
-Endurance. Use failure to motivate yourself. Feel happiness from overcoming challenges.
-Think of yourself as being successful. Most people think that they are unworthy. “We do not have to beg; we need only claim that which is ours by right.” (178)
Deception without Deceit. Making yourself valuable. By serving others you make yourself valuable to them. (195)
- “A businessman and a con man both understand the value of deception. The only difference is that the businessman will ultimately deliver the benefits he has promised. The con man will not.” (195)
-Work: The Highest Worship. My favorite quote in this book is, “When an archer’s eye is on the prize rather than the bull’s-eye, he surely will miss the bulls-eye as well as the prize.” (211)
-Thrive Among the Cunning. It is not whether your words or actions are tough or gentle. It is the spirit behind your actions and words that announces your inner state.” (235) You can trust someone if you don’t have to trust him. (237) In other words, anybody that has the potential to get something from you has the potential to take advantage of you.
-Killer Instinct. Chin-Ning quotes the Japanese sword master Miyamoto Musashi who said, “Whatever state of mind you are in, ignore it. Think only of cutting.” (286) To me, this quote shows the importance of controlling your thoughts and not letting them control you.
-Ching-Ning makes an unusual analogy of the killer instinct by comparing it to flipping a pancake. “Watch for the moment just before you throw the pancake in the air to make that perfect landing.” (273)
-This is the point where the negative voices in your head telling you that you are weak or not good enough are silent because you are only focused on the task at hand.
-Thick Within, Black Within. A concept I’ve never heard before is what she calls accepting your imperfection. Most people are taught to change themselves, but Chin-Ning says, “See yourself as imperfectly perfect. You experience love for your perfection and your imperfection.” (298)
-Be detached. Get what you want by eliminating your neediness towards the object you desire.
-Paths to Thick Face, Black Heart. A 16th century zen monk once said, “Most people try to know more to become more clever every day, whereas I attempt to become more simple and uncomplicated every day.” (318)
-Unlearn the pointless rules and beliefs that society has forced you to believe. Be the master of your own mind.
-The reason why this book is so good is that it destroys the false humility and fear of criticism that many of us in Western culture grow up with. It is difficult to be worry free about others' opinions, but Chin-Ning Chu describes examples and techniques that teach how to dominate your destiny without regard to anyone else’s opinion. This book is for leadership, strategy, and everyday life. Be humble, be confident, and act in your best interests rather than the interests of others.