There once was a man from the North who wanted to travel to Chu. He rode a chariot, traveling on a road heading north. His friend, quite surprised, asked him: "Chu is in the South. You should be traveling south. Why are you heading north?"
"Never mind," the Northerner replied obstinately. "My horse is a good steed. It runs very fast."
His friend said: "No matter how fast it runs, you can never reach Chu by going north."
The Northerner said: "I have prepared enough travel expenses."
His friend said: "Sufficient travel expenses can help you neither."
The Northerner was still more obstinate: "I have a strong and capable groom at my service."
His friend said: "No groom, how capable and strong he may be, can be of any use to you if you stick to going northward."
The traveler did not listen to his friend, so he never reached Chu.
The idiom derived from this story indicates that one's action was the opposite effect to one's intention.
nán yuán bĕi zhé
xīn líng shŏu qiăo
have a lively mind and a quick hand; be clever and deft