He worked harder than anyone. His company led its industry on every measure. He pushed his employees to achieve more every quarter. He acquired more wealth than just about anyone. His home was the largest in the city. He married five women, divorced them all and sired 15 children. He ate like a horse and weighed as much as a pig.
One night, George had a dream. He dreamed he was a pendant, suspended from a great pendulum by a thread. He had swung to one side as far as he could go. Any farther and the thread would snap. He knew he must stop and swing back or risk flying into the abyss.
The next day, George put both his company and his house up for sale. He instructed his attorney to divide his proceeds equally among his children and his ex-wives.
A few days later, he moved into a one-bedroom apartment with no furniture, except for a mat. He began eating only one bowl of rice a day and drinking only water.
Sitting on his mat, George began each day in prayer. Day after day, he talked with no one and saw only those passing by his window. He had no computer or cell phone. He read no books and watched no television.
Instead, he simply sat and reflected on the excesses of his life. He wondered how his life had veered off to such an extreme.
Over many months, George grew thin and weak. One morning, after prayer, he fell backward, too weak even to sit up. He looked up at the ceiling, which opened, revealing blue sky.
George watched as the clouds in the sky became more distant and realized he was falling. He fell for a long time. Then his fall slowed and stopped, and he began rocking, gently rocking, back and forth, as if he were in a cradle, rocking slower and slower and slower until at last he was centered and still.