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Miracle of Wisdom
Shenmo: the Miracle of Wisdom
--Interpretation of Li Mianjun and Shenmo Educational Cause

Written by Hu Meishan
Translated by Chen Lifang

Shenmo accompanies you in your progress!

Chapter I The Mathematical Prodigy at the Hometown for the “Sage of Abacus”

The Road to Success ……….>>>
Boasting of the spectacular Mount Meng and the shimmering Yi River, Linyi City is located in the south of Shandong Province. It is well known as a land of attractive resources and magical power and a birthplace of creative minds and gifted talents. With profound culture, it was the home to so many scholars and celebrities in the history of China, including Zhuge Liang, the saint of wisdom in the three kingdoms period, Zengzi, the erudite philosopher, Wang Xizhi, the Saint of Calligrapher in Jin Dynasty, Liu Hong, the sage of abacus in Han Dynasty, Yan Zhenqing, the famous calligrapher in Tang Dynasty, Kuang Heng, a notable chancellor and expert in Confucius Studies in Han Dynasty, Meng Tian, the general in Qin Dynasty, and Zuo Baogui, the national hero in the late Qing Dynasty.
Liu Hong (approximately 130-196A.D), styled Yuanzhuo and also known as the sage of abacus, was one of the most outstanding mathematicians and astronomers in ancient China. Born in Linyi in the late period of Eastern Han Dynasty, Liu was smart and diligent and his talents had been shown since his childhood. Erudite and well-informed, Liu had a firm belief in learning and large exposure to all the works of the six arts in ancient China, which refers to rites, music, archery, charioteering, reading and writing, and arithmetic. According to The history of the Later Han Dynasty, Liu was so distinguished in his achievements in mathematics that he was matchless in his times.” The imperial court paid high attention to his potential in mathematics and appointed him with such official duties of technical and academic implications as “Shangji Assistant”. Shangji referred to the methods regarding the annual statistical work of fiscal revenues and performance appraisals of the local officials, equivalent to statistics and auditing in terms of its function in modern times.
Liu Hong dedicated his entire life to the studies and exploration of the heritage and profound rules in astronomy and mathematics. He left us with many works such as Astronomical Calendar (Chinese pinyin, Qian Xiang Li), Seven Shine Arts (Chinese pinyin, Qi Yao Shu) and The Nine-Chapter Arithmetic (Chinese pinyin, Jiu Zhang Suan Shu). One of his greatest achievements in mathematics was the invention of abacus—one of the five great inventions in ancient China, which brought forth the great breakthrough in the calculating capacity of Chinese. Therefore, Liu Hong was called as “the father abacus calculation” and the sage of abacus.
Li Mianjun, the founder of Shenmo, was also born here, whose growth was greatly nourished by the fertility, culture and wisdom of this land.

The Mathematical Prodigy of Intellectual Family
Li Mianjun was born in a scholarly family and his father is a mathematics teacher. Li has displayed his strengths in mathematics since he was a little child. Intensely interested in mathematics, he was called the “mathematical prodigy”. Li could soon figure out or fully prove what is involved at the first sight of the mathematical problems, be they the four fundamental operations of arithmetic, the mathematical applications at the primary school level, or those of algebra and geometry at the high school. He could always respond well and quickly with answers to the questions teachers put forward in class with different methods, clear demonstration and logicality. He even worked as the assistant to his teachers and helped them with the check-up and review of students’ assignments. Full of so many new and difficult problems in his mind, Li often asked many of his teachers to elaborate on the profound rules and theories of mathematics, some of which were even beyond the teachers. As for the ordinary mathematics tests that were supposed to be done in more than two hours, Li generally spent half an hour at most before he finally turned the papers in. Li obtained full mark in all of the mathematical tests and experienced in an unparalleled manner about confidence and success, which in turn motivated him in the studies of other subjects. Li was honored as the “Triple-A Student” and “Model Student” nearly every term in high school. With outstanding academic achievements, ranking the top in the subjects of mathematics and English in Linyi County in 1990, Li Mianjun got enrolled in Linyi Supply and Marketing School, Shandong Province, where he majored in Finance and accounting.

Obsession with Abacus and Laureates of Abacus Arithmetic Competitions
In Linyi Supply and Marketing School, Li further developed his proficiency in abacus calculation. It was no exaggeration to say that he was obsessed with abacus. Besides the routine academic work, he persisted in the practice of abacus for more than 3 hours per day, including the weekends and holidays. Even when the vigorous training caused pains in his arms and back, he still carried on the practice without a minute of suspension.
No pains, no gains. In April 1991, after eight months of practice in abacus arithmetic, Li participated in the campus contest of abacus arithmetic and became the laureates of five single items, including the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and the abacus summons, and the all-round champion with exceptional scores far exceeding other competitors from three different grades. Li could finish the tasks within ten minutes, which were supposed to be finished in twenty minutes. Two months later, further improved in efficiency, he could finish the tasks within six minutes, which covered the levels from one to three meant to be done in twenty minutes. Li made a record that could have never been achieved by a primary school graduate. However, Li had never felt satisfied. He then gained the expertise in finger arithmetic and mental calculation. He made many innovations in the methods of operation regarding the additions and subtractions through abacus. He used some advanced positioning methods in the multiplying and dividing operations. He employed the traditional means with creative changes in summoning. Besides this, he also took part in many intensive training programs.

Li Mianjun (first on the left) took part in Shandong Provincial Abacus Calculation Competition for the first time in May 1992 and won first prize

Li Mianjun was in Shandong Provincial Abacus Calculation Competition in May 1995

Li Mianjun was honored as the excellent coach at the provincial level by the Department of Education and the Department of Finance in Shandong Province in 1999

He even could finish 20 consecutive addition and subtraction operations of 6-digital figures within 12 seconds. As for the operation similar to 90358167×26518, Li can figure out the answer within 5 seconds accurately. With the increasingly dexterous operations on the abacus, Li was just like a skillful musician on the keyboard of abacus. All the mathematical operations had become fantastic performances through the hands of Li due to his wholehearted dedication and excellent talents. Li was classified as the First-class Expert of Abacus calculation.

Since 1992, Li has been the laureates of various abacus competitions above the municipal level. From 1992 to 1997, Li obtained the first award of abacus calculation skills competition in Linyi City for 6 times straight. From 1995 to 1997, Li was the first-prize winner of the provincial industrial competition for three consecutive years. In 1997, he was the laureate of the first award and the top-level expert for the national industrial abacus arithmetic contest. In 1997, he took the position of coach for the intensive training program of abacus in Linyi City and his team won all the awards in the municipal competition of abacus calculation. In February 1999, he was honored as the excellent coach at the provincial level by the Department of Education and the Department of Finance in Shandong Province.

Actually, Li Mianjun became the symbol of pride for the industry of abacus calculation training. Whenever he obtained the awards, he was always welcomed with crowds’ cheering and highly hurrahed slogans and even his boss would greet him at the gate when he came back from the contests.
Not only had Li diligently learnt abacus calculation, but he integrated many of his thinking in learning. With his own experiences in learning and practice, he created a series of systematic learning and training methods, which set up a solid foundation and sound knowledge reserves for the establishment of the abacus and calculation school.

Five Million Yuan for Talents
In 1993, Li graduated from the Supply and Marketing School before he was assigned a position regarding financial accounting in Linyi Commercial Food Company. He was responsible for the settlement of accounts with the bank. His commitment and expertise won high praise from his boss and colleagues. The remarkable achievements brought him great awards one after another, which enhanced his popularity. Many departments in Linyi were amazed at Li’s talents. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of Linyi, which cherished talents highly, made substantial moves to bring Li into their team. The president of the bank made efforts to transfer Li Mianjun from the commercial food company to his department. However, the company, which Li was working with, felt reluctant to let Li go. Even the deputy major was involved in the “fight for talents”. Later on, the food company agreed to transfer Li to the bank on the condition that the ICBC, Linyi Branch offered a loan of 5 million yuan as the make up for the losses of brain drain. The fight for talents was ultimately settled through the provision of 5 million yuan loan and the story was widely spread in the local industry and finance. In 1996, Li was assigned a full-time position of teacher in his Alma Mater, since when he has been pursuing a career path he had been dreamt for—teaching career of abacus and mental calculation.

From then on, Li Mianjun has totally indulged himself into the spectacular world of abacus calculation.
A type of magic wisdom is under gestation and the large blueprint is under drawing.
Tips of Wisdom >>>
Li Mianjun was born in 1974. As a leader of Shenmo Empire, he is young. However, everything he does matters much. His elegance, erudition and kindness are well conveyed in his eyes. He is confident, wise and determined. What has made his success possible and what has served as the foundation for the great empire of Shenmo?

Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the USA, once said in Leaders that a great man can only be made on three conditions, i.e. the great event, the great country and the great person oneself. It can also be regarded that the birth of a talent requires the elements of times, geographical environment and personal qualities, among which the times and geographic positions are external driving force for the personal growth and the personal qualities are the internal driving force for growth. The combination of the external and internal driving forces can make the personal growth possible. In addition, the internal driving force is the key element.

We are in a great time of China. The prosperity of the country and the fast economic growth has made it possible for the nation and people to pay close attention to scientific development and education, to respect knowledge and talents, which constitutes abundant spiritual forces for the recognition and development of talents. Li Mianjun was raised up in an era with features exactly as Mao described in his poem entitled Changsha: “A hundred barges vying over crystal blue waters; eagles cleave the air, fish glide under the shallow water; under freezing skies a million creatures contend in freedom.”

In terms of the geographic environment, two aspects should be taken into consideration: the natural aspects and the human and cultural aspects, the latter of which plays an important role in the growth of talents. The reason why many philosophers, writers, scientists, strategists, educators, religionists and business celebrities appeared intensively in one region or one country during a certain period of history lies in the cultural and human environment where they were placed in. Suppose that Eisenstein, Mozart or Leonardo da Vinci were not born or raised up in Europe but in somewhere near the Arctic Circle or in the Islands in the sparsely populated central Pacific Ocean. They could have never brought their potential into full play in the absence of rich history and abundant cultural traditions, not to speak of their extraordinary achievements. Li Mianjun’s success is also closely related to the long history, the tremendous cultural traditions and diverse geographical environment, which served as permanent nutrition generator for his growth. 

The personal qualities can be measured from two aspects: those genetically inherited or cultivated in growth that is greatly subject to the surroundings, both of which are equally important.

The genetically inherited quality partially determines the intelligent quotients. People can be smart or stupid if approached from this angel.
Most people have IQ of around 100, the so-called genius has IQ of more than 130 and few people have IQ of less than 70. People with ordinary IQ can turn themselves into talents through diligence.

Li Mianjun has high genetically inherited qualities, which can be glimpsed from his exceptional mathematical talents and achievements in abacus calculation. However, none of these can solely contribute to what he has achieved without his personal dedication and perseverance. Li has made full use of his IQ and EQ in a well-balanced manner and therefore built up the great Shenmo Empire through all his own efforts and commitment. His prime time in career development is definitely within expectation.

Chapter II Precious and Beautiful Flower in the Garden of Education
The Road to Success ……….>>>
Li Mianjun is determined to dedicate his life to something big while making everyday count. He wants to pursue a career path on which his own personal values will be fully achieved. To be somebody capable of doing something, what is the best option? Li thinks it over and he figures out that education resembles a meaningful cause and worthwhile, to which he can be 100 percent committed with all his passion. It is mainly because education is a career that has immediate influence on the national development and therefore benefits generations to come. Li decided to approach the education career from what he is interested in most—abacus calculation training and children education. That is how he had established Shenmo School.
Fruit of Wisdom

Although Li Mianjun has ranked himself as the top-level abacus player at an early age, his understanding of the abacus and mental calculation was mostly resulted from some coincidences. Once he took part in the provincial abacus calculation competition in Jinan, the capital city of Shandong Province, he met a batch of kindergarten children were competitors—not for abacus calculation but for the abacus and mental calculation. This was the first time in his life that he knew about the abacus system of mental calculation. He was amazed at the little contestants’ quick mind and excellent skills in mental calculation. He could not help but wondering how those children could apply the rules of abacus calculation so well before they could have actually learned to play the abacus well. Based on some conversations with these little contestants, he started thinking—how teachers that were not proficient in abacus could have so good students  proficient at the abacus system of mental calculation. Suppose he himself combines his fluency in abacus calculation in teaching them, they could have become even better.
Since then, Li started his studies in the origin, evolution and future trends in the abacus system of mental calculation. He also learnt about how the abacus system of mental calculation can develop the potential and facilitate personal growth of children with the assistance with clearer understanding of the educational methods and techniques.
As the short name of mental calculation based on the rules of abacus, the abacus system of mental calculation is called in different manners in countries like China and Japan. For example, silent arithmetic, abacus arithmetic in brain, in-brain abacus calculation, abacus brain and mental calculation and speed calculation in abacus system calculation. It refers to the calculation system according to the reflection of program of abacus in brain. Its origin has close relations with abacus arithmetic and mental calculation.
Abacus calculation is made by moving the counting beads on the abacus. Being the excellent cultural heritage of Chinese nation, abacus has been named as one of the five inventions of China. Among all the small inventions in the world, abacus ranks the top. In the ancient times, Chinese use rope, stone or branches as the tools for calculation. Later on, the bamboo slips in the shape of square or circle were adopted. Those in the shape of chopsticks were called “rod (chou)” or “slips” in Chinese. With all these slips combined, ancient people used the rods to conduct the mathematical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in accordance with certain rules. This was called rod calculation. With the development of production and commerce, the calculation became more complicated and the traditional rod calculation could not meet the requirements of the mass calculation. Thus on the foundation of rod calculation, abacus calculation came into being. With the advances of human social development, abacus had turned into a universal calculating tool for people since the mid term of Ming Dynasty. It was during that period that
abacus and abacus calculation techniques were imported into Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia and other regions in the world as well. From the initial period of the Republic of China, the course of abacus calculation was set up in the Finance, Trade and Commerce School with specialized teachers and teaching materials regarding the abacus calculation training. Since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, the education of abacus calculation was further developed with corresponding courses opened at various levels of schools. Some academic disciplines in higher education institutions integrated the course of abacus calculation, such as public finance, accounting, statistics, banking, commerce, food and supply & marketing. All these had played an important role in the pedagogic studies of abacus training, the improvement of learning effect and educational career of abacus calculation.
Theoretically speaking, the origin of the abacus system of mental calculation can be dated back to the time when abacus and mental calculation firstly emerged. The images of abacus in people’s mind can never be formed before the invention of an abacus. However, when the prototype of abacus came into being in people’s mind, the methods based on abacus arithmetic had been employed in calculation. Therefore, we can safely argue that the origin of the abacus system of mental calculation might be earlier than that of an abacus. Other people think that the origin of the abacus system of mental calculation might be later than that of the abacus arithmetic on the ground that early before the birth of abacus, people had started the use of knot-tying and scoring for calculation, which could not work in the absence of brain’s overall coordination. Besides this, ropes, fingers and stones were just secondary in the process of calculation. Therefore, abacus calculation was originated at an early date. However, the popularization of abacus computing with the theoretical support was not initiated until recently—the past several decades witnessed the great prosperity of abacus calculation training.
Booming Career
In the 1950s and 1960s, many regions in China started the dissemination of combining three kinds of arithmetic (i.e. oral calculation, written calculation and abacus calculation) in mathematical teaching. Certain achievements have been made. The education of oral calculation can be regarded as the preface for the popularization of abacus and mental calculation. As a form of mental calculation, oral calculation is made according to the formula and the results are obtained through mental work, regardless of whether the arithmetic is done according to the rules of abacus arithmetic or something else. Consequently, the oral calculation done according to the rules of abacus calculation formula is a form of the abacus system of mental calculation in essence, which can be regarded as the abacus system of mental calculation at the initial stage of development.
With the development of economy, science and technology, and the educational cause, the abacus system of mental calculation is also being developed at a higher speed. In 1981, the achievements of the abacus and mental calculation shown in the first national abacus calculation skills competition in Jinan, Shandong won high praise from the public.
Mr. Niu Chunrong, the General Secretary of Secretariat, China Association for Science and Technology, pointed out then that “the development of abacus arithmetic in China should be conducted through the integration of abacus arithmetic and mental calculation.” In 1985, some kindergarten children dexterous in the abacus system of mental calculation went to Hong Kong for the competition. Judges and audience were surprised at their performance in the competition in Hong Kong. In 1988, a delegation of students led by Professor Suzuki Hisao, Chairman of National Abacus Research Association of Japan, visited China and joined a contest with Chinese counterparts. The top four awards of each item went to Chinese contestants and the entire delegation from Japan, the country famous for its strength in abacus arithmetic, felt greatly impressed. At the same time, the children education in abacus mental education saw rapid development in Taiwan and even all across the Chinese communities overseas. It is obvious that the abacus system of mental calculation has gained widespread influence in the world.
Some scholars overseas once said, “the amazing influence of the abacus system of mental calculation has been brought to countries other than China, which ushered a new age for the booming of the abacus system of mental calculation education.” From the 1990s to the beginning of the 21st century, the education for the abacus system of mental calculation was flourishing with the increasing number of trainers and trainees.
The Golden Key to the Development of Children’s Intellectual and Potential
One of the most obvious features of the abacus system of mental calculation is the combination of the traditional methods in abacus calculation and image memory. Through the brain projection, the results of arithmetic can be reached in a short period. The so-called brain projection refers to the maintenance of clear and complete images in the brain for a time regarding the things seen, felt or sensed in reality. Normally, children are good at brain projection. The reason why Japanese are so clever mostly is closely related to their emphasis on the development and exploration of brain projection in children at an early age. To put it in a simple way, the brain projection used in abacus mental education is to project the abacus operation in the brain. It can be regarded as a type of enhancement of abacus arithmetic or the higher stage of abacus skills development. Being intelligent skills formed on the foundation of abacus operation, the speed of calculation through brain projection is unparalleled fast, which can almost match that of the computer. We can safely maintain that abacus arithmetic serves as the basis and prerequisite of the abacus system of mental calculation, while the abacus system of mental calculation is the development and changed form of abacus arithmetic, constituting the ultimate target for students’ learning. The popularization of the abacus system of mental calculation makes the calculating function of brain well developed. Therefore, it becomes the powerful and educational method to explore intelligence. The training of the abacus system of mental calculation is suitable for children within the age group between four and twelve. The most preferred age for learning the abacus system of mental calculation is between four and ten.
Human brain has enormous potential for development. According to relevant studies, although human brain only weighs more than 1000 grams, it contains more than 10 billion brain cells. Albert Einstein, the great scientist, only brought less than 10 percent potential of his brain into full play. 
In May 2005, American scholars came to Shenmo School for academic exchange

In January 2004, SBS TV Station of South Korea visited Shenmo School and interviewed the mangers of Shenmo.
Normally, ordinary people even do not have 5 percent of their brains’ potential developed. Most people utilize functions of the left hemisphere. The right hemisphere of brain, on the other side, is in idleness or state of sleep. All the outstanding people in the world share one common feature—sound development and utilization of the right hemisphere of the brain. Meanwhile, the abacus system of mental calculation can greatly facilitate the development of right hemisphere, enhance the balanced development of both hemispheres of brain. As a result, it can improve the intelligence of children. Besides this, the abacus system of mental calculation has other benefits, including the coordination of eyes, ears, hands, mouth and brain, making children more focused in thinking and doing while improving their abilities of memory, imagination, observation and independent thinking. Through the abacus system of mental calculation training, children can be active in both playing and studying. With the developed skills in calculation, they can form good habits of concentration and commitment. So it follows that the abacus system of mental calculation education can develop children’s ingenuity and intellectual potential, motivate their activeness and initiatives in study, and can cultivate their curiosity and perseverance, rendering sound effect of morality education to them in an accumulative manner.
Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher and educator, said that those who have the talents in arithmetic could learn, naturally and rapidly, almost any other disciplines. He also argued that, for those who are slow-minded, the training of arithmetic could still stimulate their responsiveness, even in the absence of any other benefits. Professor Yuan Yumin, the authoritative person in education of the abacus system of mental calculation held to the view that education of the abacus system of mental calculation for children is an effective shortcut to develop human brain at an early stage. It is not only in that it serves as the fundamental intellectual cultivation for people in their childhood, but also that it works well to explore the potential of the right hemisphere of brain, and further utilize the overall functions of brain. According to the practices in the abacus system of mental calculation training all across China, it is obvious that the training is very helpful to develop children’s intelligence.
Based on the experimental studies, students who have training in the abacus system of mental calculation demonstrate far more advantages than those who do not in development of brain functions, concentration, flexibility, capacity of information processing, and location of figures. Those who do well in the abacus system of mental calculation have high academic achievements in such courses as mathematics and so on.
It is due to its so many benefits that the abacus system of mental calculation learning now becomes more popular in the mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. At the same time, the concept of education in the abacus system of mental calculation is disseminated all across the world. Many countries and regions take it as a “new culture” to introduce and learn. They pay close attention to the development of the abacus system of mental calculation and the establishment of the schools in order to enlarge its nation’s exposure to the education of the abacus system of mental calculation. In particular, in such countries as Singapore, Malaysia, Canada and the Oceania where there are more Chinese communities, the abacus system of mental calculation training has become a vogue. In October 2002, initiated by China Association of Abacus Arithmetic, the World Association of the abacus system of mental calculation was founded with the participation of more than twenty countries and regions
In April 2006, Delegation appointed by Japan Association of The abacus system of mental calculation came to visit Shenmo

including Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the USA and Hong Kong, Taiwan of China.

In an age when knowledge and the education of children are highly emphasized, the training of the abacus system of mental calculation has undoubtedly promising future for development and expansion.

The abacus system of mental calculation is a precious flower of wisdom with vigor and vitality in the garden of education.

Li Mianjun is a diligent gardener who makes it boom in a more beautiful manner.
Tips of Wisdom >>>
In the education report “Learning to Survive” by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the four pillars of education in the 21st century were proposed, which are learn to be curious, learn to do things, learn to be a good person and learn to be with others. “Learn to be curious” is the most important tasks for young people. The definition for illiteracy in future does not refer to those who cannot read but those who do not learn how to learn.
In the agricultural age, the largest production materials and wealth is the land. Therefore, those who own land enjoy highest social status.
In the industrialized age, the largest production materials and wealth is capital and resources. Therefore, who own capital and resources enjoy the privileged social status.
In the current knowledge and information era, knowledge, wisdom and information are the largest production materials and wealth. Those who own knowledge, wisdom and information enjoy the unique social status.
Then we can define centers for each of the above-mentioned ages: land-centered, capital centered and knowledge-centered.
In the incessant shift of center and power, the status of education has been changing accordingly.
In the agricultural age, land was irrelevant to knowledge. So knowledge was dissociated from the center of the society. Being a marginalized factor, education barely played a role in promoting productivity or social development, as there was no economic involvement in education at all.
In the industrialized age, education was related to capital and resources as the times needed the persons who master the capital, developing resources and who were professional in management and techniques, thus capable of promoting the production. Consequently, education started to count a great deal, but was still not the focus of the public’s concerns.
In the knowledge and information age, knowledge, wisdom and information is closely related to education. Since the birth of talents relies much on education of high quality. No knowledge, wisdom and information is possible without talents, not to mention the fast development of science and technology, economy and social causes. Peter F. Drucker, the management master, believes that knowledge society is a society with knowledge as its core, in which the intelligence capital is the most important resources for the survival of enterprises and the educated people become the mainstream. According to the annual report of Economic Cooperation and Development Organization, more than fifty percent of GDP of its main member countries were created and based on knowledge. According to one research report of the United Nations, how much education a person receives is closely related to how he/she can improve the productivity. Those with primary school education can increase the productivity by 43 percent, those with high school education 108 percent and those with college education 300 percent. It was also indicated in the study that people’s education is positively correlated to their income and inversely proportioned to their unemployment rate. Every one year in the increase of schooling will make an increase of 9 percent in GDP.
Based on the above analysis, we can conclude that the critical and vital role of education has been fully revealed now. From the marginalized position in the agricultural society to the central role in modern society, education has taken up a leading position and counted more in the arena of politics, economics and culture. It follows that education has attracted high attention from people, be them state leaders or the populace, in almost everywhere from the remote rural areas to the metropolitan cities. We can see the slogans such as “base the national development on the education”, “make our country more powerful through the advances of science, technology and education” and “build a stronger country by the hands of talents”. As the strong driving force for the development of productivity and all social causes, education has made itself recognized to a more obvious degree by the public.

People all over the world have reached common ground regarding the concept that education is the basis and first priority for the development of all causes. Jacques Delors, chairman of the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Education, said in his report of Education—the Treasure within, “when a global civil society was born in pains, education is more important than even in the personal and community development...education is the core of the society. It is the fundamental means to improve the living quality in the society.”

The state and the government emphasize much on education, so do the public. According to many surveys, peoples show more concerns over education of their children than such issues as housing, medical services and employment. All of them want their kids to go to college—to learn knowledge and be somebody. Among all the items for consumption, education accounts for an increasing percentage in all expenditures. In addition, from the social fever toward tutors, going to college, passing post graduation entrance examination, passing Tofel or IELTS, studying abroad, pursuing degrees of MBA or MPA and participating in various training , we can furthermore sense their stress on education. It is all agreed that “education determines our destiny while knowledge makes our future”.

Li Mianjun has sensed this social trend and made full use of education’s power in current development. Education is the cause for human being, which counts a great deal in the exploration of intellectual resources, the development of personality and the personal growth with its permanently positive influence.

If education can be taken as an industry, it will always be a sunrise industry.

Chapter III The Stage Extends As Far As the Heart Goes
The Road to Success ……….>>>
Li Mianjun has determined to engage in a great cause with an aim to explore the intellectual potential and enhance the intelligence of human being. He discovered the golden key to the magnificent career—the abacus system of mental calculation education. He is never a theorist only centering on dogmatism or slogans. He is a pragmatist who is willing to utilize all the resources available to achieve his goals. Compared to the cultivation of the seed, to the booming of flowers, he stresses the fruit yielding—he wants more people to be benefited. Rather than only being a teacher, he wants a larger arena. Shenmo Education is just like a big empire built with all his commitment. It is his ambition to let Shenmo accompany more people in their progress.
Starting from Being A Teacher to Four Kids

“A thousand-li journey begins with the first step—the highest eminence is to be gained step by step.” Li Mianjun’s career was started from his being a teacher to four kids.
Through several years of studies, Li gained a deeper understanding of the abacus system of mental calculation. It was time for him to establish a training school to bring more children’s potential into to full play by providing them with more advanced education. Since then on, he had been in a journey of exploration and hardships.
During the summer vacation in 1996, Mianjun printed 10 thousand copies of Admission Guide to his training program. Li posted them all around with his friends. At that time, he thought that 10 thousand copies of admission guide would bring him one thousand children. However, on the first day, he only had four students since most local people knew little about the abacus system of mental calculation in Linyi City. They did not understand how important the abacus system of mental calculation training for the development of children’s intellectual potential. Some people simply regarded the abacus system of mental calculation as nothing more serious than playing with the beads on the abacus.
Only four members in one class—a scale no larger than the private school in ancient China or a number no more than the postgraduate school students under the advisorship of one instructor. However, with his tough personality and determination, Li never took quitting the class as an option for him. He believed that the charm and advantages of the abacus system of mental calculation would be recognized by parents one day and he would finally win over his students. He started the training class as scheduled—a class of only four students.
Through careful preparation and interesting explanation of the rules, Li attracted the attention of his students from the very beginning. Being an eloquent and humorous teacher, Li was good at guiding and inspiring students. All these four students had been led into a magic world before they knew it—they all fell into love with the abacus system of mental calculation. Li Mianjun, on the other hand, would take notes regarding the problems and experiences of class, from which he tried to develop more efficient ways for teaching and learning. One term later, he became a good friend to his students. The excellent performance of his students in arithmetic and quick thinking amazed all the parents. They felt so proud and surprised at the improvement of their kids that they believed there must be something magic that had turned their children into prodigies.
In the summer vacation of 1997, Li had to suspend his training class for a while since he needed to represent Linyi City to participate in the provincial competitions. However, it was quite clear that the advantages of the abacus system of mental calculation could never escape the notice of the public.
The Tornado of Abacus and Mental Calculation

In the summer vacation of 1998, Li Mianjun started his training classes once again. This time, there were 48 students enrolled. All these 48 students were active members of publicity team for Li’s career of the abacus system of mental calculation education. Even their parents, grandparents, teachers in kindergartens and relatives join in the publicity team, whose performance even counted more than Li’s Admission Guide. The abacus system of mental calculation soon gained its popularity, and so did Li’s reputation. Until then, Li still holds to the view that the publicity through media is not the best way, which is closely related to his experiences at the initial stage of his career development in the abacus system of mental calculation education.
With the increasing number of the trainees for the abacus system of mental calculation, Li started to rent some places for schooling. More training classes at weekends and during vacations were started up. Due to the lack of teaching staff, he started with the training and recruitment of teachers for the abacus system of mental calculation. Meanwhile, the teaching effects were astonishing. 30 days of training in his class almost equalizes a period of one entire year through otherwise regular study. The calculating speed of his students was even faster than that of the calculator. Besides the best awards in oral and mental calculation, his students also ranked themselves top in the academic achievements in such courses as Chinese and Science. The continuous effect that “excellence in one subject brings forth benefits to many courses” occurs because of Li’s excellent teaching. All the parents of his students thought that, through the learning of the abacus system of mental calculation, their children became more quick-minded and efficient in oral and mental calculation. Realizing the promising future and great potential of the education in the abacus system of mental calculation,
In April 1998, Li Mianjun and his dear students
In May 2002, the arena for the thirdShenmo Little Doctor Competition for Mental calculation in Linyi City

many kindergartens and schools with far vision offered some cooperative initiatives in training programs. Li actively coordinated with them and appointed the first-class teachers with expertise and rich experiences to carry out the unified teaching.
The year of 1999 saw the turning point of Li’s educational career in the abacus system of mental calculation. Based on thorough literature review, industrious studies and incessant innovations, Li invented a new and inspiring teaching method, which was named as “the Shenmo Six-step Abacus and Mental Calculation Teaching and Learning Method”. It was mainly because of the systematic and scientific teaching concepts and methods that Shenmo educational system featuring with “Shenmo Abacus and mental calculation Education” won seven national patents in 2004. Shenmo educational system passed the academic appraisals organized by Educational Psychology Institute, Tianjin Academy of Educational Science. Afterwards, “Shenmo Mental calculation Teaching and Learning Methods” won the golden prize in the Second International Patent and Brand Expo of China”. The corresponding teaching materials obtained excellent achievements award in the “First National Fundamental Educational Courses Resources Expo”. Until then, he had a student body of more than 800.
In the spring of 2000, Li Mianjun got his school for children’s mental calculation training registered officially. Driven by the school for children’s mental calculation training, Li managed another round of tornado for the learning of the abacus system of mental calculation. So many parents queued for enrollment in the abacus system of mental calculation training classes. Li gained his reputation as the creator of prodigy. In the autumn of 2000, he had a student body of 1600 and a team of more than 30 teachers.
At the beginning of 2001, his school for children’s mental calculation training was renamed as Shenmo School for children’s mental calculation training. The website of the school was also built up with the cooperative training programs with more than 50 kindergartens all across Linyi City and its governing counties. Meanwhile, the amateur class was opened with members from such provinces as Hunan, Hebei, Jiangxi, Hainan, Jiangsu and Liaoning. Li Mianjun had more than 6000 students then.
Li was greatly encouraged by the development of the school and the support of the parents. The school can be developed into such a scale within such a short period, which can be regarded as great success for many people. However, Li would never pause for rest. He needed a larger arena.
Move to Beijing
Linyi City is a center of logistics and one of the largest cities for wholesaling in Northern China. The higher reputation of Shenmo school in Linyi, a city boasting of many businessmen and tourists, had attracted more people to have their children enrolled into the summer training program of the abacus system of mental calculation. When the summer vacation drew to its end, many students still felt reluctant to leave the school. Given this situation, Li started his new planning, “is it possible for me to start up Shenmo schools in many more cities outside Linyi”?
Just at that time, Li Mianjun received a letter from Yuyao city of Zhejiang Province, in which a woman named Feiyan Jin said, “As a mother of a six-year-old child, I have always shown concerns over and strongly supported the early education for children. After gaining an understanding of your advanced mental calculation methods through the review of your website, I feel urged that the abacus system of mental calculation is exactly something I have been sought for long to develop the right hemisphere of human brain and put the potential of my child into full play. My question is that, since Shenmo is the largest school for children’s mental calculation training, could you please expand your scale to a larger degree just to make more benefits for children. Through regional cooperation or the adoption of franchised operation, I am positive that more children will join the training of the abacus system of mental calculation and have their initial benefits from your program. It is my personal conviction that it is a good time. All you need is to establish a professional teaching staff team with high qualities and expertise and set up franchised training centers of children the abacus system of mental calculation in many cities of China. With a long-term planning, I think that your school will witness more stable and rapid development...” After several times of conversations on phone, Ms. Jin also offered many opinions on how to disseminate the training for the abacus system of mental calculation all across China, and how to establish the management system of the teaching staff and perfect the franchising system in a cost-effective manner.
In August, Li with Lu Shuquan for the first time when he came to Beijing
Encouraged and inspired by Ms. Feiyan Jin, Li Mianjun made up his mind to adopt the franchised system to expand his Shenmo education career by copying the mode of Linyi Mental calculation School.
As for the selection of location, Qingdao was the first word coming into his mind. According to Li’s knowledge, the development in Qingdao could have promising future. While discussing with a principal of a kindergarten in Qingdao regarding the cooperative training programs, Li talked about Beijing when he gave an example. “Beijing, how can Qingdao be compared with Beijing? Beijing is the capital of China and Qingdao is merely a coastal city in Shandong.” The principal responded. It was until then Li started to change his mind. Beijing is the center of politics, science and technology, education, culture and international exchange, which contains enormous possibilities. If Shenmo can gain its development there, then it will not be far for me to go globally. The principal of that kindergarten in Qingdao may have never realized how significant his unintended word to Li—he finally decided to take Beijing as the place of headquarter for Shenmo.
In August 2002, Li came to Beijing for the first time in his life. Without any families or friends there, he could only resort to yellow pages and the Internet for information. After being rejected for many times on phone, he came across Mr. Lu Shuquan, the leader of Beijing Montesorri Education Center and the prestigious experts in children education. Through a deep conversation with Li and brief review of the information regarding Shenmo School, Mr. Lu decided to cooperate with Shenmo immediately. With the warmhearted guide and help of Mr. Lu, Li did not endeavor much until he successfully recruited his team and selection of the premises. After purchasing the teaching equipments and the writing of teaching materials, Li soon changed substantially of the website of Shenmo and redesigned the logo of Shenmo while forming the expert panel. Upon the official registration of “Beijing Shenmo Education Center”, the headquarters of Shenmo was moved to Beijing. Since then, Shenmo career was embarked on a new path with its center in Zhongguan Village—the focus of the center for talents and wisdom in China.
McDonalds in the Educational Circle
After Li settled in Beijing, his horizon was greatly broadened. With full preparations, Li started officially with the granting of franchised schools of Shenmo all across China. The first franchised school is the school in Ningxia and the principal, Zhang Wenhua, soon joined the great family of Shenmo.
Under the leadership of Li Mianjun, Shenmo achieved the exponential growth—Shenmo and its teaching network were spread in a radius covering all the provinces of China. By the year of 2007, within a short period of five years, Shenmo has established first-class franchised schools in more than 300 key cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Lasa, Sanya, Harbin, Hohhot, Shenzhen, Urumchi and so on.
Secondary franchised schools of Shenmo were spattered in more than 1000 cities with more than 10 thousand partner kindergartens and over 500 thousand students. The accumulative student’s number has exceeded one million. The teaching staff of Shenmo schools achieved a number of between 10 and 20 thousand. Among the various training centers and educational organizations, Shenmo soon distinguished itself with its great achievements and more than 70 percent of market share.
Shenmo has created a miracle. The franchised operation is not unusual in commerce. However, it is very rare in the field of education. Shenmo can be regarded as the McDonalds in education.
At present, Shenmo has become a unique brand for education with fair large scale in China and certain international influence with children education as its specialty. A high class and notable taste of educational system has been formed in the empire of Shenmo.

Meanwhile, Li Mianjun won all kinds of award one after another. In June 2004, Li was honored as the “Excellent Talent with Entrepreneurship in China” and was invited to participate in the “National Forum of Outstanding Talents with Entrepreneurship” held at the People’s Great Hall. He was warmly greeted by the state leaders there. In 2005, Li was conferred the prize of “Model Principal in China’s Educational System”. In November 2006, Li Mianjun was named as the “2006 Celebrity of Education in” and

In October 2007, Li Mianjun was at a lecture of mental calculation for trainees of Shenmo in Taiwan
Golden Prize     Shenmo Enlightens the Great Land
The collective memory of the first national Shenmo Little Doctor Competition for Mental calculation

In November 2004, the first national Shenmo Little Doctor Competition for Mental Calculation was held at the People’s Great Hall

delivered a speech as a keynote speaker. Meanwhile, Shenmo Education Center set itself apart in the education survey organized in Beijing and won the award of “the most influential educational organization in Beijing” with the largest amount of votes.
Many media including People's Daily, Guangming Daily, Beijing Morning Post, the China Education TV, and Sina Education Channel had the experiences of Li Mianjun and his Shenmo education career revealed.
To the Broader Stage
The miraculous development and outstanding achievements in schooling attracted the concerns of people overseas.
On March 20, 2006, in Kuala Lumpur. The hall of several hundred square meters was crowded with audience. At the stage, Li Mianjun was talking to people. After the lecture, the Minister of Education in Malaysia met Li in person. This is where Li Mianjun gave lecture himself for the branch school of Shenmo Educational Center in Malaysia.
In addition to Malaysia, Li and many experts in education in such countries and regions as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Canada, Australia, Thailand and Taiwan, Hong Kong of China visited each other for many times to discuss the details of cooperative training programs. It was not long before the branch schools were established in these regions.
However, Li Mianjun could never feel satisfied. He aims higher with farther vision.
During the period from 2007 to 2010, Shenmo experienced a new stage of development—diversification. One hundred high quality courses of Shenmo presented themselves in the regions all across China. Shenmo covers a range not only within China, but also takes the initiative of acting globally. The full-round networking teaching is to make Shenmo known all over the world.
From 2010 to 2014, Shenmo is trying to bring forth its comprehensive development in a strategy of diversification, which will be integrated with the overall cause of the rejuvenation of Chinese nation. Shenmo has a goal to become listed in the USA, just as New Oriental did. Li has determined to turn Shenmo into one of the most prestigious brand in the educational career so that it can play a more influential role on the global stage.
Mr. Lu Shuquan, the counselor of Shenmo Education Group, once had an insightful summary of Shenmo’s development. “As one of the witnesses of Shenmo’s growth, I had experienced how Shenmo, a training school in Linyi, has rooted itself in Beijing and then become popular all across China and the world as well. Shenmo has won a leading position in the field of education due to
its universally recognized strength with unparalleled achievements in the pre-school education for children. As a scholar studying the children pre-school education, I have been amazed at the tremendous miracles Shenmo has created. The rooted educational concept of the Confucius school, the long-history of arithmetic tradition and evolution, and the perseverance and dedication of the Shenmo teaching staff—all of them work perfectly in the mechanism of market economy. With these supporting factors, the success of shenmo can be regarded as inevitable, which can well justify all the miracles that had taken place.
Tips of Wisdom >>>
Hu Xueyan, the great merchant in Qing Dynasty, said, “aiming at a county, you can do the business within one county, aiming at a province, you can close the deals within one province. If you aim at the entire world, you can always conduct business with the people all over the world. Hu had achieved all his successes in commerce with his unique insight—to aim high and have far vision.
What is vision anyway? Vision can be defined how far your heart can go—your view, thoughts, capacity, pursuits and spirit—all of these can be determined and approached from how far you want to go.
If you are at the bottom of a well, the mouth of the well is all that you can see. If you are at the edge of the well, the world in your eyes is larger than the one you can see within a mouth of the well. If you are positioned on the top of a mountain, your horizon can be much broadened. If you are flying in the sky, the universe is the world that is within your vision.
The arena of your life and career cannot be measured physically, it should be judged by how far and how high you can aim at.
Once there was a rich man in France who had no heir when he was aged. Not knowing how to deal with his large amount of heritage, he sponsored an award for a question—those who can figure out the right answer can get all he had when he died. The question is “what is the poor lack of”. When the question was released, millions of people deliver their answers. Some said the poor lack capital, abilities, thoughts, knowledge, methods, relationship network, and perseverance and so on. No answers could meet the old rich man’s expectation. However, a girl said that what the poor only want is ambition. She spoke up the truth and won the heritage in the end.
From this story, we can see that, ambition, which might be regarded something derogatory, resembles your dreams and pursuits.
Just imagine, if without ambition, how can any of the great political leaders, thinkers, scientists, educators, writers, strategists, entrepreneurs, and inventors become successful? Napoleon had started his dream of being a general in the games on the land of sands when he was merely a little kid. The Wright brothers had dreamed of creating a plane so that human being could fly like birds in the sky. Bill Gates had a dream that the computers can come into every household… These great dreams and ambitions have changed the world by promoting the development of science, education, cultural causes and economy. The human society has been ushered into an age of civilization and advances through our pursuit of dreams and realization of ambitions.
Ten years ago, when Li was a teacher in the Supply and Marketing School, he once talked about his life and future. One of his colleagues told him that all he wanted to do was to have 100 thousand yuan by the time his son would go to college. Li Mianjun said that he wanted to have a building of his own, which was taken as a joke by all those present. However, Li responded that God disposes and man proposes. Ten years later, Li built the building of Shenmo. When Li was busy at the spacious office in Zhongguan Village, Haidian District in Beijing, his ex colleagues were still teachers in the school.
Li was once an ordinary teacher in Linyi. Now he had turned the training classes of the abacus system of mental calculation into the great empire of Shenmo education. From Shandong, China to the world as a whole, Li had set his feet on his career path with dedication. His broadened horizon, foresight and insight into future have made his pursuit of dreams more smoothly with fruitful rewards. Li Mianjun has the most important and fundamental qualities to be a great entrepreneur in education: generosity, vision and dreams.
In the book The Wisdom of James Allen, James Allen said that “The dreamers are the saviors of the world. As the visible world is sustained by the invisible, so men, through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations, are nourished by the beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers. Humanity cannot forget its dreamers; it cannot let their ideals fade and die; it lives in them; it knows them as the realities which it shall one day see and know…To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to, achieve… dream, lofty dreams; and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you should be one day; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”

He who has talents shall try to use his extraordinary thoughts to do something big before he achieves his tremendous success.
The stage extends as far as the heart goes.