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.
confucius, reading on confucius, pursuit of knowledge, the time and energy