During the middle of Tang Dynasty, there lived a man named Du Kuan (杜宽) who had spent most of his life in official circle, but disappointedly he was still a petty official.
Seeing the years glided swiftly along, he felt troubled and distressed.
One day, when he went out to visit a temple for elevating boredom, Du Kuan got tired and fell asleep on a bench.
He dreamed that he was in a beautiful but strange valley in which he saw a old monk sitting under a huge rock with a small thurible smoking in front of him. He went over to the old monk, asking for direction. The old monk said, " Here is your home. Why take all the trouble to seek the way back?"
The old monk's words made Du Kuan suddenly recall his prelifes, in all of which he fought hard for room at the top but always ended up being a lightweight petty official.
After he woke up, he lost all his "ambitions"", and was fed up with the life fluctuating in official circle. So he gave away everything he possessed and became a monk.
Hearing about this story, Bai Ju Yi, one of the greatest poets of Tang Dynasty, wrote a poem, one sentence of which was:
Old age creeps on without being noticed,
How can I face the fact I had achieved nothing.
Background and Writer Comment:The idiom of Achieve Nothing--Yi Shi Wu Cheng is now refer to the case in which nothing is accomplished or is used to describe someone who find himself/herself a complete failure in life.
一事无成的英文是 Achieve Nothing, 拼音是 yī shì wú chéng. Read the English version of “Yi Shi Wu Cheng“。
他听了老和尚这番话，恍然有点醒悟悟，彷佛记忆中三世所做的官，都是庸庸碌碌，一事无成。 于是，再也不愿意在宦海里浮沈，对人生似乎大彻大悟。 后人有诗句：“干戈未定欲何之，一事无成两鬓丝”的感叹语。