The Four Words That Can Keep Us Grounded

Oct 20, 2017 1 Min Read


“This Too Shall Pass”

Have you ever struggled with really awful experiences and wished they would quickly pass? Or cursed your string of bad luck and wondered when it would ever end?

What about an experience on the opposite side of the spectrum – have you ever let a great victory get to your head that has ultimately led you to making bad decisions? Consider the following story.

There’s a famous fable of a powerful king who, as powerful as he was, often struggled with emotional highs and lows, something which cost him heavily during critical moments in battles.

The King was prone to periods of great elation where he would make very poor decisions, and periods of great despair where he would get extremely upset.

In order to help this, one of the kingdom’s wise men created a ring, which would help the King make better decisions even during his high and low moments.

The King asked, “How does it work?”

“Wear the ring with you always. In times when you need it most, it will show you the answer and you will know what to do.” replied the wise man.

Almost immediately, a horseman rode in and demanded to speak to the King.

“Your Majesty! Your Majesty! The kingdom is surrounded. We’re under attack!”

The King and all his best men rode out to meet their enemies in the battlefield. They fought for a long time and it appeared that they would be defeated.

Just as everything seemed dark and hopeless and the tired King was about to surrender, the ring shone with a message. Engraved on the ring were four illuminated words: “This too shall pass.”

From this, the King drew a new wave of energy and his men fought to turn the tide of the battle and were ultimately victorious.

The King returned to his city and threw a celebration which lasted many days.

As the great feast raged on, the ring shone once more with another message. This time it said: “This too shall pass.”

Those four words helped ground the King and brought him back to reality before his proud mind could become overconfident.



Read: Should A Leader Be Humble?

It is interesting that when the King read the message, nothing external had changed. It was only his thoughts and his mindset that had been altered.

That alone changed his whole experience and the eventual outcome.

Terrible, catastrophic moments may cause you to be trapped in a negative spiral of thought and you may lose heart, but only if you let them.

Recognise that in those moments, you are feeling the quality of your thoughts and that is your reality. And those thoughts will surely pass like dark clouds making way for new light to pierce through.

Remember: “This too shall pass.”

The external circumstances may be the same, but you now live it differently, and therefore, create a different outcome.In the same way, don’t get too carried away by great triumphant moments.

Go ahead, celebrate and indulge in those “feel-good” moments. As long as you do that with a clear head without letting your successes blind you, you’ll be alright. And remember: “This too shall pass.”

Your emotions are an excellent barometer that tell you the quality of your thinking. If you remain aware of the illusory nature of your thought-generated reality, you’ll be able to maintain a clear head.

There was once a great success coach, and his grandfather once gave him two excellent pieces of advice:

“When you experience a crushing defeat, failure or make a huge mistake, go ahead and let out your emotions: shout, scream, cry, do whatever you want….for 15 minutes. Then shut up, and get on with it!”


“When you accomplish a great victory, go ahead and celebrate: shout, scream, sing, dance, do whatever you want….for 15 minutes. Then shut up, and get on with it!”

Two great pieces of advice that many of us would do well to live by.



Hwai Tah is the founder of and a Professional Certified Coach with ICF (International Coach Federation). Contact him at

Reposted with permission.

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This article is published by the editors of with the consent of the guest author. 

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