top of page

These stories are not about us... or aren't they?

management consulting
business coach
executive advise


The Lost Key


A man is walking home late one night when he sees an anxious Mulla Nasrudin down on all fours, crawling on his hands and knees on the road, searching frantically under a streetlight for something on the ground. “Mulla, what have you lost?”the passer-by asks.
I am searching for my key,” Nasrudin says worriedly. “I’ll help you look,” the man says and joins Mulla Nasrudin in the search. Soon both men are down on their knees under the streetlight, looking for the lost key. After some time, the man asks Nasrudin, “Tell me Mulla, do you remember where exactly did you drop the key?” Nasrudin waves his arm back toward the darkness and says, “Over there, in my house. I lost the key inside my house…” Shocked and exasperated, the passer-by jumps up and shouts at Mulla Nasrudin, “Then why are you searching for the key out here in the street?” “Because there is more light here than inside my house,” Mulla Nasrudin answers non-chalantly.

Are you also sometimes searching where there is a light, rather than where there is a solution?  Any other thoughts?

Image by Claudia Altamimi

The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin:


The Smuggler

Time and again Nasrudin passed from Persia to Greece on donkey-back. Each time he had two panniers of straw, and trudged back without them. Every time the guard searched him for contraband. They never found any.
‘What are you carrying, Nasrudin?’
‘I am a smuggler.’
Years later, more and more prosperous in appearance, Nasrudin moved to Egypt. One of the customs men met him there.
‘Tell me, Mulla, now that you are out of the jurisdiction of Greece and Persia, living here in such luxury – what was it that you were smuggling when we could never catch you?’

Aren't we all paying a great deal of attention to the content of things, when the answer might be in the container? 

There are said to be 7 meanings of these stories. What is yours?

Do you?

"When i run after what i think i want, my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety; if i sit in my own place of patience, what i need flows to me, and without pain. From this i understand that what i want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. there is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it

                                                                                       Rumi (1273)

Buddhist Monk Lighting Candles

Two Travelers and the Monk


One day a Traveller was walking along a road on his journey from one village to another.  As he walked he noticed a Monk tending the ground in the fields beside the road.  The Monk said “Good Day” to the Traveller, and the Traveller nodded to the Monk.  The Traveller then turned to the Monk and said “Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you a Question?”.

“Not at all,” replied the Monk.

“I am travelling from the village in the mountains to the village in the valley and I was wondering if you knew what it is like in the village in the valley?”

“Tell me,” said the Monk, “what was your experience of the village in the mountains?”

“Dreadful,” replied the Traveller, “to be honest, I am glad to be away from there.  I found the people most unwelcoming. When I first arrived I was greeted coldly.  I was never made to feel part of the village no matter how hard I tried.  The villagers keep very much to themselves, they don’t take kindly to strangers.  So tell me, what can I expect in the village in the valley?”

“I am sorry to tell you,” said the Monk, “but I think your experience will be much the same there”.

The traveller hung his head despondently and walked on.

A while later another Traveller was journeying down the same road and he also came upon the Monk.

“I’m going to the village in the valley,” said the second Traveller, “do you know what it is like?”

“I do,” replied the Monk “but first tell me – where have you come from?”

“I’ve come from the village in the mountains.”

“And how was that?”, asked the Monk.

“It was a wonderful experience. I would have stayed if I could but I am committed to travelling on. I felt as though I was a member of the family in the village.  The Elders gave me much advice, the Children laughed and joked with me and people were generally kind and generous.  I am sad to have left there.  It will always hold special memories for me.  And what of the village in the valley?”, he asked again.

“I think you will find it much the same”, replied the Monk, “good day to you”.

“Good day and thank you,” the Traveller replied, smiled, and journeyed on.

bottom of page