Nov. 23, 2022

The Solar Way -- A Fable About Successfully Riding the Solar Coaster

Gather around the fireplace, solar friends. Pull up a seat at the bar. On the next, Probably True Solar Stories, we're going to tell the first-ever solar fable. It's a fairytale. A hero's journey sort of thing. With a Texas accent. (Forgive me in advance.)

This story may be a familiar one to people inside and outside the solar industry.  It's about a young, ambitious solar installer who seeks her fortune to be the most successful solar installer in all the land.  And like many fables, our ambitious installer meets a wise guide--or in this case, a wise couple--who teaches her about The Solar Way, a solar-inspired guide to living life on The Solar Coaster. Will our fable have a happy ending? Let's find out.

True Solar Takeaways

This episode doesn't have many solar facts about the solar industry. The main takeaway is that the solar biz is difficult. It has so many ups and downs and policy twists and turns that people have called it "The Solar Coaster." 

The people riding the solar coaster can get discouraged, including me. To help smooth out the ups and downs, I've read a lot of philosophies, but mostly Taoism and Stoicism. For this fable, I turned some of my philosophical learnings into "The Solar Way." 

The Solar Way's main points are:

  • Be warm. Shine like the sun.
  • Let go of broken solar panels. 
  • Be interconnected. 
  • The sun rises every day. Be as consistent.
  • The sun sets every day. This too shall pass. 

If you're interested in learning more about Taoism and Stoicism, here are a  few audio and text resources:

  • The Daily Stoic. Through his website, podcast, and books, Ryan Holiday offers modern insights through ancient Stoic wisdom. Although the Stoic philosophy is very old, Holiday keeps it simple and relevant to the way people live today.  Check out his free daily podcast and daily email. Of course, his books are a great resource, as well.
  •  The Tao of Daily Life by Derik Lin is a well-deserved bestseller. It teaches the principles of Taoism through the classic Taoist and Buddhist fables. Although the stories are still set in ancient China, Lin translates these stories in a way that is very accessible for our modern world. Then he cites a passage from the Tao te Ching and explains the wisdom behind each story. This book and other David Lin books are also available in audio and digital forms.
  • Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine by Derren Brown. You may know Derren Brown as an international illusionist, but he's also a professed Stoic. Happy is his easy-to-read guide to happiness using examples from his shows, his illusions, and from his own life. He often cites Stoic texts, but it's not a book about Stoicism. Check out his many YouTube videos to see his stage performances and British TV shows. Brown also has two shows on Netflix. They're always entertaining and educational. They offer tips for how we can stop our minds from tricking us... or at least how we can become aware of the trickery. 
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