Master Oogway and the Business Mindset

by | Dec 21, 2010 | Mindset

master oogway
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Last night I finally got around to watching Kung Fu Panda. It was a real hoot and a half … but it also had a few lessons in business mindset that I’d like to share with you.

WARNING: If you haven’t seen Kung Fu Panda yet, there are spoilers in this post!

You Must Believe In your Success

At about the mid-point of the movie, Shifu goes to Oogway for advice. The bad guy, Tai Lung, is on his way and Shifu is afraid that they will not be able to defeat him.

Masters Oogway and Shifu
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Oogway: My friend, the panda will never fulfill his destiny, nor you yours until you let go of the illusion of control.

Shifu: Illusion?

Oogway: Yes. [He points at the peach tree.] Look at this tree, Shifu: I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time.

Shifu: But there are things we can control: I can control when the fruit will fall, I can control where to plant the seed: that is no illusion, Master!

Oogway: Ah, yes. But no matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.

Shifu: But a peach cannot defeat Tai Lung!

Oogway: Maybe it can, if you are willing to guide, to nurture it, to believe in it.

Shifu: But how? How? I need your help, master.

Oogway: No, you just need to believe. Promise me, Shifu, promise me you will believe.

One of the keys to a business mindset is belief … belief that you can succeed. You need to believe in your ability to be successful and hold onto that belief despite the challenges that may jump in your way. For it is that belief that will carry you through the valleys on the way to your pinnacles.

The Secret Ingredient Is … You!

Before Po can face Tai Lung, he must read the Dragon scroll which will give him the power of the Universe. When he opens it, it is blank. This disappoints everyone. And then, a little later, Po’s father reveals something that puts the Dragon Scroll into perspective:


Mr. Ping, Kung Fu Panda
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[four_fifth_last] Mr. Ping: The secret ingredient is… nothing!

Po: Huh?

Mr. Ping: You heard me. Nothing! There is no secret ingredient.

Po: Wait, wait… it’s just plain old noodle soup? You don’t add some kind of special sauce or something?

Mr. Ping: Don’t have to. To make something special you just have to believe it’s special.

[Po looks at the scroll again, and sees his reflection in it]

Po: There is no secret ingredient… [/four_fifth_last]

It is at this moment that Po understands the lesson of the Dragon scroll, which is merely a shiny surface that reflects your image back to you. The lesson is that the secret is within you. You are the secret ingredient to your success.

When you have a strong business mindset, you understand that you need to acknowledge and leverage your strengths … and the strengths of others … to be successful.

One Final Statement

A common theme in mythology, literature, and this film is, as Oogway puts it, “One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.” So, rest assured that you will fulfill your destiny whether you are currently heading in the right direction or not. For it is the journey that is more important than the destination.

1 Comment

  1. Evan

    I just want to say that only believe is not reasonable. For example, can I believe that I have 3 legs? No, I can’t. Because I have only two legs, no matter what I do. But all a sudden, I rethought my opinions. And I found something. I think believe can turn impossible to possible. Believe is a kinda of will.


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