Tag: confucious

Confucius and Double decker buses

As I was walking the streets of London watching double decker buses I started thinking about my morning reading on Confucius.

As you travel the world you see all the good and then all the global problems at the same time. It’s easy to be overwhelmed. But Confucius had a simple answer for the worlds problems. An answer that you don’t hear very often.

Here is what he said:

“The ancients who wished to illustrate the highest virtue throughout the empire first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their own states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their own selves. Wishing to cultivate their own selves, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.

Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their own selves were cultivated. Their own selves being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their states were rightly governed. Their states being rightly governed, the whole empire was made tranquil and happy.”

I’m not sure there has ever been a more wise or concise answer to the problems that face you and me in the world we live in.

So go out and change the world but start with investigation and curiosity about all things – that will eventually bring you knowledge and set you on the path for real impact.

Then you will be able to describe yourself like Confucius described himself:

“He is simply a man who, in his eager pursuit of knowledge, forgets his food; who, in his joy (of its attainment) forgets his sorrows; and who does not perceive that old age is coming on.”

So every once in a while skip a meal and use the time and energy to build an appetite for knowledge.

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Confucius says… Go Outward… The Answer Is NOT Within; Tais Mentor Tip of the Day

Today I was reading one of the great books of all time: The Analects by Confucius. One line in Book 15 stuck out, “I once did not eat all day and did not sleep all night in order to think, but there was no benefit. It would have been better to study.”

It reminded me of the lie so many of us have bought into – that all the answers are “inside of us.”

Confucius says that’s a bunch of BS.

The answers are not within us. They are OUTSIDE of us – they are external.

You can’t just close your eyes and meditate and somehow magically have the answers to life’s hard problems pop into your head.

There are a whole bunch of dumb books and magazines telling you about ‘the truth within.’ It sounds great. Too bad it’s simply not true.

A few years ago, a friend of mine met a girl and married her in like a month. I asked him if he thought that was a wise idea. He told me that he had sat in silence and meditated and he received a clear answer from the Universe that this was the girl to marry.

A few months later I was hanging out with him again and I asked, “Hey where is your wife?” He told me that he was divorcing her because he had now gotten new ‘clarity’ from ‘within’ that she was no longer the right girl for him.

Kind of hilarious, I know. But I can’t laugh. We have all made stupid mistakes when we thought we were following our gut.

Meditation might be good for lowering your blood pressure and relaxing, but for finding the answers to life it’s a pretty poor way according to Confucius.

Look, I don’t care how you measure success. If you are spiritual maybe you consider Martin Luther King, JR. or Gandhi successful. Or if you’re an artist you consider Picasso or Mozart successful. Or if you like money you consider Sam Walton or Bill Gates successful. Or if you like sports you consider Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan successful…

Guess what? Everyone of those people got there BY STUDYING other people and external principles.

Picasso spent his whole life studying, so did Sam Walton, Gandhi, and Tiger Woods.

Michael Jordan had coaches. He didn’t meditate to learn how to shoot a basketball.

As the proverb says, “Study to show thyself approved.”

How did you learn English? You didn’t cross your legs as a baby, contemplate life, and somehow magically have the words form in your brain.

You listened to other people, you studied.

Sure we have some natural truth and instincts within us. The problem is most of our natural instincts do NOT work in the modern world. They are dead wrong.

There is an amazing book called Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by the Pulitzer prize winning Michael Moss. He shows how we naturally evolved to eat up salt, sugar, fat the second we find it. Now back when we lived in caves and in tribes that made sense. There wasn’t much opportunity to get extra calories.

But that natural craving instinct is horrible now in a world full of Doritos and Big Macs. It makes us fat, ugly, and die of heart attacks.

This is the scientific principle called “Mismatch Theory” and is explained like this:”Traits that were at one time adaptive in a certain environment, are now ‘mismatched’ to the environment that the trait is currently present in. This can present a number of problems for the organism in question.

One example is the taste of foods high in fat and sugar to humans. In Pleistocene environments, sugars and fats were relatively uncommon in the human diet.

In the modern Western diet, however, foods with such properties are relatively easy to acquire. This can be problematic since an abundance of such foods combined with the human adaptation to prefer them can, and often does, contribute to obesity and chronic metabolic syndrome.”

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Tais Mentor Tip of the Day

Tai’s Mentor Tip of the Day

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