‘Zhuge Liang’ – Commanding multiple skills, what we can learn from ancient China

Blog forum at The China Daily-English

Blog forum at The China Daily-English

In the previous blog post, I have talked about multiple skills and Chinese connection. Today, let me start my series of posts where I will try to bring my observation about some of the people from ancient China and what could be the reasons, they were able to do multiple tasks. My observation can be totally wrong or irrelevant, but theses are just my observations 🙂

So, let me go back to my previous post and continue this post where i left last time. The first person who came in my mind was ‘Zhuge Liang’. I got to know about him while watching the movie ‘Battle of Red Cliff’. Although lot of things depicted in the movie are fictitious, yet the other documents do not take away the credit deserved by him for his command on various state affairs. An honorable person of his time, modern China give him the same respect as given in the ancient time. So who is this person? and why I am talking about him? To get answer of this question, just go last of this post and then jump back again here.

So, I tried to get back into history and put my own thoughts on what made him commanding so many different skills. Here are some of my observation based on studying his life, my own knowledge of Chinese history and definitely some imagination.

– Loneliness: He was orphaned at very early age and some of the historical documents suggest that he has self-learn many of his renowned skills. Being lonely is not a good thing at all but I believe that at many times it can be good. In early days of his life, he has acquired solitude to rely on himself for many things. May be that is the reason for mastering so many different skills on his own. I guess, this can be true to many other people of ancient and current time. When we rely on self-learning, we master different things with much more proficiency.

– Responsibility and Trust: He has been a military commander or strategist for ‘Liu bei’, one of the very famous landlord of that era. But going back to the history, Liu bei was not powerful when Zhuge Liang started to serve under him. Liu bei gave him responsibility and put full faith on his abilities(many of which are untested in earlier days), I guess that improves his ability to apply many of his skills into real situation. One by one, he was able to master them and helped his master gaining foothold in many battles. I believe, this can be true even today, if people are trusted and made responsible for their tasks, even amateur person can do different things with great efficiency.

– Loyalty: This may not be that much relevant today due to change in thinking process. Loyalty in that period means, ‘Zhuge Liang’ could ask for as much state resources as he wanted for implementation of his ideas or plans. His earlier success in plans means that further plans never been doubted by his master. Does this hold true today? I guess, yes, but in different forms.

Hopefully, this observation allowed me and you to understand some of the reasons, why people were able to command multiple skills. I am not an expert, only curious to learn from past and apply in present. Hopefully you will like it too.
In my next blog post, I will try to understand another person from Chinese history.

Short profile of Zhuge Liang, from the website: http://www.jadedragon.com/history/liang1.html

Historically, Zhuge Liang was also known as Zhuge Kong Ming (ZKM). He was nicknamed “The Hidden Dragon” due to the fact that people around him underestimated his capacity to achieve great things. Other translations of his nickname were “Crouching Dragon” and “Sleeping Dragon.”

(Appeared in The China Daily Blog Forum on 28-04-2015)

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