17: Following

Choosing to follow good influences brings supreme success. You may not be able to change the direction of the wind, but by frequently adjusting your sails, you can arrive at your destination with a joy that inspires others to follow you.

Those who wish to acquire a following must speak the language of their followers. Those who wish to be loved must become the imagined lover of their beloved. Those who wish to prosper must bend with the pressures of the world. In matters of principle, stand firm; in matters of style and taste, swim with the current. If guile or self-aggrandizement enters the equation, resistance will be what follows. Focus on the common good in order to remain unharmed.

In the affairs of humanity, change is constant; old ideas are discarded in favor of new ones. A great leader can emerge only by being adaptable to the demands of the times. Similarly, only by adjusting to changing circumstances can one prosper in the world of commerce. Remain flexible, and you will gain the confidence of those around you. Bend and you will not break.

Balance activity with some relaxation to serve the situation well and to maintain a state of healthy energy, minimizing both internal and external resistance to your goals.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

When a person of vision undertakes a challenge, he or she must sometimes change direction in the course of events. When these changes result from sincere communication with those of different opinions, good fortune will follow. But care must be taken not to be swayed by current opinion. Carry your convictions out into the crowd. Stay open to the ideas of others, but hold your ground on matters of integrity.

Line 2

Choose your associates carefully. If you have incompetent people around you, this may be the time to dismiss them, or to at least distance yourself from them. On the other hand, be wary of associating only with the strong and powerful. The moon shines brightly in a sea of small stars but vanishes with the rising of a single sun.

Line 3

As you move through life, opportunities arise to develop associations with powerful, distinguished, honorable people. Associating with them brings good fortune. But each new connection with someone of valuable influence may require an equal and opposite diminishing of a relationship you have with someone less influence. The strong of heart leave behind what is superficial and accept the challenge of developing better relationships.

Line 4

It often happens that as a person attains a position of influence, he or she attracts a chorus of flatterers who use their supposed loyalty to gain personal advantage. Be wary of such flatterers. Their influence is subtle but can be destructive. Flattery is most effective with the immodest (people with large egos). Hold your ego in check during times of success, and you will be able to see through the insincere intentions of others, including subordinates. Not being able to see parasites for what they are is a precursor to misfortune.

Line 5

Set your compass toward what is beautiful and true, have confidence in your intuition, and sail out into the glistening sea. Perseverance furthers, and good fortune follows.

Line 6 (top line)

It may be time to seek the counsel of someone wiser and more experienced than you are. Be receptive to advice from a person you respect, and make the proper adjustments. If he or she agrees to work actively on behalf of your cause or enterprise, supreme good fortune will result. Another possibility here is that through understanding and respect, you will be joined by a follower who forms a supportive bond with you.