"Cleanliness is next to godliness"
~ Francis Bacon — Advancement of Learning (1605)
Feng Shui is Quack Science you think? Think again. Feng Shui is just plain common sense. By the time you finish this short article you will see why it is so painfully obvious and you’ll wonder why you didn’t figure it out sooner.
Do you want to make lots more money? It’s easy; clean up that mess. Do you want to have a more fulfilling life and a happier home? Easy; clean up that mess. Do you want to relieve stress and be more creative therefore more productive? That’s easy (and you already know the answer); clean up that mess. Cleaning up your mess and having a clean, open, well-lit home and workspace are keys to Feng Shui.
What is Feng Shui? I don’t really want to turn you off by getting into this part too much, but I suppose at least a little background information might be helpful. Feng Shui literally translates into, "The way of the water and the wind." In layman’s terms, that might mean that you don’t row a boat up a rushing river and against the wind. That should sound simple enough. Feng Shui, originating from ancient China, has been used by Asians for thousands of years.
In spite of all that you may have heard or read about Feng Shui, I’d like to take a few moments of your time to explain in simple terms why Feng Shui will help you accomplish all the things that you want from life: A happier family, a more relaxed home, relief from stress, more accomplishment, and a much better financial situation; and all just by cleaning up your home, office, or store. Feng Shui requires no investment, little time, and no hiring of hippie quacks to come to your house to tell you what’s wrong. All it requires from you is some diligence and a little effort. What could be simpler?
It might sound a bit ridiculous if I told that you could increase your business and make more money by vacuuming your space every day, but that’s the way it is. Here’s why and please consider the next scenario with me.
You are driving through the countryside with your wife and kids. You all are tired and hungry so you decide to stop for something to eat. There are two restaurants next to each other. You walk into the first one and the exterior and interior are dilapidated. There is a halfway dead tree with brown leaves falling off of it and dead plants near the entrance of the restaurant. The tables and chairs are old and broken down. There are stacks of old papers and trash piled up behind the cash register. The floor looks like it hasn’t been mopped in weeks. The ceiling fan looks to be on its last legs…
You walk into the second restaurant. It is clean. The carpet is not new, but it is clean and the tables are shiny. There are beautifully kept palm trees at the entrance of the establishment. The waitresses are all wearing nice, clean uniforms…
Well, I could go on, but why? I think both you and I have decided already which restaurant we are going to take our wife and kids to.
Isn’t it obvious? How could anyone expect that you or your business is doing well when you won’t even take the time to clean up and look after what is yours?
Don’t have dead plants in your office or home. Of course you should never have any dead plants at the entrance to your place of business or your abode. When people walk in and see dead plants, what could their subconscious possibly be telling them about the way you run your affairs? I mean, how hard is it to take care of a houseplant? If you can’t do that, then how could you possibly expect that you will be trusted with someone else’s business or their money? You can’t. You are dreaming if you think you can.
Don’t leave stacks of trash on your desk or behind the cash register. What does that tell me and other customers about the way you handle paperwork and your other affairs? You know what they say about u2018tip of the iceberg?’ If you have trash piled up in front of the store or restaurant, then I’d hate to see the disaster that lies behind those walls!
If you are a salesman (and, in a way, aren’t we all?) then you must expect that people do judge by appearances. Perhaps you can’t afford a shiny new car, but you can take the time to clean up that car of yours. How would I feel if I got into your car and there were old candy wrappers, empty coffee cups, receipts, trash, or even money on the filthy floor of your car? Not good, I can tell you that.
Think about it: How could anyone expect you to be doing a good business when your workplace and your home are filthy? They couldn’t. And if you sincerely stopped to think about it, you’d admit that what I’ve written here makes perfectly good sense.
The same rules will apply to your place of residence. It must be kept clean. A home is a place where one can escape the hustle bustle and reinvigorate themselves. A home is a place where one can relax. Relaxing is enjoyment. Who doesn’t want to relax? Who doesn’t want enjoyment? How can you relax or enjoy yourself in a pile of filth?
A home is warm. A home has an identity. That individual identity — whether it is yours as an individual person — or your family identity — must be preserved. You cannot do this without a home. Well, how in the world are you going to relax and refresh yourself when the place you live in is a filthy mess? You can’t. You need a home. Homes are to be kept clean.
Clear out that trash. Vacuum the floor; and especially do something about those dead houseplants.
It’s funny, when you stop to think about it, how dead plants remind people of, well, death; and how death doesn’t seem to correlate to good business unless, of course, you are an undertaker.
Many psychologists, and I think most people would agree, that we are products of our environment. Now what kind of product do you think you can produce, as a person, or as a business, when your environment is filthy? As the great statesman Benjamin Disraeli once said, "Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them."
Consider my friends: One can sit there all day thinking about ways to make more money, but they’ll not come up with a good idea while they wallow in filth. Good ideas are great. Great ideas don’t come from filth.
Do yourself a favor, clean up. And while you clean you’ll be refreshing your inner spirit and be able to make a place where you can relax and refresh; a place where your mind can create and play.
So remember: Feng Shui is not only common sense, Feng Shui means, "Make more money."
* For more on Feng Shui in easy to understand terms, I recommend, Feng Shui Your Life by Jayme Barrett.
Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He is the president of a mass-media production company and also runs a talent agency in Japan. His first book, Schizophrenic in Japan, is now on sale.