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The 64 Hexagrams
of the I Ching

Endurance

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32: Endurance

About I Ching Hexagrams Great Vigor

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34: Great Vigor

33: Retreat

All worthy goals meet some resistance. When negative forces predominate, a well-timed retreat can be a good move -- in order to keep your energy up and allow you to persevere.

Strategic retreat is not to be confused with escape or surrender. Nevertheless, a well-timed retreat can require quick and nimble movement, in order to take up a new position before you are damaged by a current threat. You are not admitting defeat by such action, but increasing your options and preserving your energy and other resources. Sometimes it is necessary to slow down, let go or move back in order to better position yourself for future moves, or to draw an opponent closer. Timing is critical, as is positioning and considerations of personal security. Skillful retreat is truly a sign of intelligence and strength.

Periods of withdrawal or retreat call for cool-headedness, so keep your wits about you. Attend to details while allowing for enough time to contemplate the big picture. Be creative. Remember, not all progress follows a straight line. Maintaining a sense of self-confidence is essential; small setbacks can easily become defeats if we’re mired in self-doubt or self-pity. A confident retreat can produce success.

Waves of progress are short-lived. Strive to attune yourself to the up-and-down cycles of life. If you want something, allow it to come to you. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can “fix” any situation whenever you feel like it. Some things are bigger than you. Hold your pride in check, and you will be better prepared to discover creative openings when they arise.

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