My Cultivation Path While Doing Media Sales
(Minghui.org) After listening to other practitioners talk about their experiences, I really admire how they identify their shortcomings and attachments and constantly elevate themselves through the Fa.
I re-read my half-completed sharing article and suddenly had a new understanding of my role as part of the Epoch Times sales team.
Persevering Through Difficulties
From part-time to full-time, this is my 5th year of being a salesperson for the Epoch Times. Last year, I wished to contact mainstream clients.
In my transition from daily phone calls, going door to door and contacting small businesses, to targeting mainstream clients, my biggest challenge was, the continuous hard work, and constantly improving xinxing. I did not see any results for a long time.
When I contacted small businesses, every week I was able to book some appointments, and each month I would close a few deals. As long as I put in the effort, I quickly saw results. I could see the role I played in assisting Master in rectifying the Fa and saving sentient beings. With mainstream clients, the preparation time was long, the number of appointments decreased. I put in a lot of effort, but I was unable to see any results.
Sometimes it took a couple of months to do research and to improve my professional skills. Sometimes, I would contact several potential clients through email, but not hear back from any of them. I even thought about returning to the truth clarification site, thinking at least there people accepted truth clarification materials and quit the CCP. Sometimes I felt like I was at the breaking point.
But despite my feelings of hopelessness, Master's Fa helped me regain strong righteous thoughts again and again.
“This huge stage before us today—the stage of mankind—was prepared for Dafa and its disciples. Whatever project or initiative it may be that you are involved in, or whatever it may be that you’re doing to save sentient beings, you should all be steadfast about doing it, and finishing it, well.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Fa Conference Marking the Tenth Anniversary of the Minghui Website’s Founding”, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)
“With anything, before and after it’s done, and even during the process of it being done, things gradually change.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings,Vol.VII)
Unable to see through the delusion, I told myself, “Master is in charge. Master must see very clearly where the predestined mainstream clients are.” Even though I couldn’t see a ray of hope, I was no longer worried. I kept calm and continued doing what I was supposed to do. Just as I seemed to have exhausted all my knowledge and wisdom, and was uncertain of how to progress, Master would give me hints. With Master's guidance I finally found the mainstream clients.
I knew there would be many cultivation tests. As long as I followed Master’s Fa, everything would progress towards the best outcome.
While looking through my deleted files, I found a mainstream client. The strange thing was that he had never advertised with us, but confidently said on the phone, “We used to advertise with you. All you need to do now is send me the best price.” After I sent the price, the client seemed very familiar with our newspaper and replied, “The price is acceptable. There is only one condition, we want this space and that space.” The Epoch Times has 5 sections, and each section has a space that fit the criteria he described, this showed that the client had not advertised with us before and was not familiar with the Epoch Times. There were 2 choices in front of me, one was to just randomly select a section which meant a high value deal would quickly be closed. The second choice was to follow the principles of “Zhen, Shan, Ren” and explain the situation to the client. I phoned him and said, “This afternoon I can bring a copy of our newspaper. We have 5 sections, and I was wondering which section you wanted?” To my surprise, he quickly agreed.
When I arrived he said, “I will invite our boss to come over. We receive countless advertising offers every day, but you differ from the other salespeople. You don’t seem like you are selling something.” When the boss came he just asked me one question, “What differentiates your media from the other Chinese media?” I said, “The Epoch Times is not controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”
Although it was a simple answer, he seemed to completely understand what I meant. He then opened the newspaper to select a space, he looked at it for ten seconds and said to the marketing manager, “We will choose this space for the current company advertising and that space for the new company advertising.” We could not believe our ears. The marketing manager asked, “Are we doing both?” The boss nodded his head and left. The value of this deal immediately doubled.
The advertising quota of this client with the Epoch Times has now tripled. We have become very good friends. The client is happy with my honesty. If I had not asked to meet with them, they would not have even considered doing advertising with the Epoch Times for their new company.
I've had several amazing experiences like this. Once I was driving to see the marketing director of a publicly listed company. This was our second meeting. After I presented the advertising proposal, she said, “If I were you, I would definitely prefer package one because it costs more.” I smiled and replied, “I majored in architectural design, which you know pursues perfection. The same is true with working for the Epoch Times. No matter what we do, my team and I always strive for the best; Package one is the best solution, your company is also the best in the industry - this is an equal match.”
After the meeting, the marketing director’s assistant said, “I think she is very pleased with your response.” Soon after, this company signed a large advertising deal with the Epoch Times.
Identifying My Attachments
However, if my thoughts are impure or I have attachments that I cannot let go of, I'm unable to receive any guidance from Master.
For a period of time, my human notions and desires were exposed. The tests of fame, fortune and sentimentality were very harsh. I began to admire the lifestyle of one of my clients. This client had a successful career, great wealth, a happy family. As someone who pursues perfection in everything, I could not find any flaws in him. This made me aware of a serious issue. In the past, I seemed to view everything in life very lightly. I was not interested in many of the attachments that young people had such as food, entertainment, or being in relationships. This did not mean I had no attachments. It was just that these things seemed too secular, so I just dismissed them. But when I really came into contact with the people and things that allowed me to reach the perfect goal I had set for myself, this was the true test.
“Because pain is hard on people, they try to, consciously or unconsciously, ward off suffering in hopes of leading a more pleasant life. And so it is that in the pursuit of happiness people form ideas about how to avoid harm, how to live well, how to get ahead in society and achieve fame and success, how to acquire more for themselves, how to come out on top, and so on. To this end, as they gain experience people come to form notions about life; and those experiences, in turn, come to fortify these notions as people live out their lives.” (“The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol.III)
By studying the Fa I realized humans naturally pursue happiness. But cultivators are the opposite.
“Indeed, practitioners will say, “Everyday people have their pursuits, and we don’t seek them. As for what everyday people have, we also aren’t interested. Yet what we have is something that everyday people cannot obtain, even if they want to.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun, page 429)
Through continuously reciting the Fa, I could feel Masters strengthening, and I could feel my desires and attachments to sentimentality weaken. When I truly let go, Master gave me an insight: If I were not a practitioner this lifetime, I would have had everything this client had.
“You have already made it through the hardest period. I’ll tell you, the Dafa disciples from the early period, those who formed ties of destiny with me during history, or who came here following Master—each and every one of you—if you had wanted to accomplish something in ordinary society, every one of you could have been a billionaire, every one of you could have been famous, and every one of you could have been among society’s elite. But this lifetime you came here to be a Dafa disciple, and you passed up all of those things. If you had wanted to be rich, you could have long since been rich. Don’t let your soul’s long-cherished wish be extinguished over a few petty, worldly temptations.” (“Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day”)
As practitioners we knowingly gave up all these things when we vowed to come here and save people. There is no reason to cling to the things we already relinquished. Our only path is to be more diligent.
At one point my sales work stagnated, and I couldn’t feel any hints from Master.
“That’s because how well you cultivate yourselves determines your power to save people as well as the effectiveness of your work. This is for sure. You have learned this from your own experiences over all these years, whatever the line of work you’ve been involved in—including media work. It’s often the case that those who work hard on their own cultivation get much better results with less effort. So we mustn’t neglect our own spiritual practice. It is first and foremost.” (“2018 NTD and Epoch Times Fa Conference” Yellow Team Translation)
The Wealthiest of Beings
After listening to other practitioners' experiences and then looking over the paper I wrote a month ago, I saw many attachments that I needed to cultivate away. This helped me improve.
The editorial teams' sharing were pure and calm. I found that the sharing I wrote came from “self interest”. I had made some breakthroughs in the mainstream market, but during the long period of hopelessness and hardships, my attachment to “self interest” was magnified and the support from Master and Dafa was placed in a secondary position.
I reflected on my current work performance. Due to changes in the market, changes in media, changes in the overall development of the media, and changes in sales team personnel etc, as a more experienced salesperson, in addition to working with existing clients, developing new clients, I also needed to constantly break through difficulties, develop new markets and platforms, and support the development and needs of new sales team member, as well as media development.
These things require efforts from many levels. Successful results cannot be seen in a short time. The pressure, heavy workloads and inability to see hope were all intertwined. I once again felt like I had reached my limit, and was almost at the breaking point.
While listening to the other practitioners' experiences I quickly saw my own problems. During the weekly Fa study, Master said, “Our movements are for reinforcing the automatic mechanism.” ( Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun, page 121) One level of the Fa was shown to me! If I put the Fa first, Masters arrangements can be carried out. I should not have any negative thoughts. I should have the determination to constantly break through hardships, and to continuously act according to the Fa. I should examine every thought to see if it's selfish; whether it's for myself or for saving sentient beings.
Master also said,“Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun, page 34) So the results are Masters’s arrangement, my attachment to results are meaningless. After understanding this all my stress and worries suddenly disappeared.
My mind and body instantly felt relaxed. Master said, “But in reality, what human society takes to be truths are, from the perspective of the cosmos, inversions of truth; ...” (“The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be”, The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol.III)
I enlightened that not seeing hope in this dimension is the exact opposite of other dimensions where it is full of hope. In regards to sales performance, here it seems pitch black with no gold to be seen, but in another dimension gold is everywhere. This realization allowed me to face the difficulties before me with a calm and positive attitude.
I also understood, here, in ordinary society, Dafa disciples are suffering, bearing hardships and have little wealth. But in assisting Master in rectifying the Fa and saving sentient beings, we are constantly assimilating with Dafa, and elevating ourselves within the Fa. In the process of moving towards the new universe, we are the happiest and wealthiest beings.
Such happiness and wealth does not come from a certain role we play in a project, what we do, how much we do, what we have achieved or how virtuous we are. Such happiness and wealth are all given to us by Master and Dafa.
Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2019 Australia Fa Conference)