10 April 2014

Behavior of Winners - Learn from Confucius

Successful people behave differently from the common people. Winners act differently from the losers. Here is some guidelines from Confucius about how wise gentleman shall behave. Does the list give you some new pointers to improve your behavior?
孔子曰:「君子有九思:Wise Gentleman has nine considerations:
  1. 視思明,See with clarity.
    Enterpreneurs have special keen eyes to spot the opportunites for new business whereever and whenever they make visits. They notice the difficulties that workers have in doing their jobs. The makeshifts temporary solutions to make the job easier. The environment noices and cleanliness where the job was performed. The frequent stoppages and interruptions. For many people, they could not even notice the new hairdo or new dress that their spouses have put on!
  2. 聽思聰,Listen with understanding.
    Listening is not just about paying attention to what is said. It is also about hearing what are not said and the real meaning for the speech. If there be any lack of understanding, it will be good to ask to clarify if possible. 
  3. 色思溫,Facial Expression is to be gentle and welcoming.
    It is easy to be rude to people. Just give them some faces or looks. A smile is very attractive. 
  4. 貌思恭,Manners must be respectful.
    Giving respect begats respect. If you show respects to others, others are more willing to teach and guide you.
  5. 言思忠,Speech with integrity/honesty.
    Praising others are good but it should be done with sincerity and truthfully. Otherwise, the praises without sincerity actually become insults. It is easy for people to tell. Even though we are encouraged to tell the truth and be honest, we must know how to cover the truth with grace. Truth could be cutting and hence when we speak it, it has not be done in love. 
  6. 事思敬,Work with excellence(respect for the work)
    There is the saying that any task worth doing is worth doing it well. The pursue of excellence is the foundation for all great work.
  7. 疑思問,Ask when in doubts (don't blur through it)
    If there by any doubt or lack of clarity in our thought, then we should ask questions to get the right answers. Not asking because of loss of face or mere laziness show our lack of learning and improvement.
  8. 忿思難,When angry, consider the potential bad consequences before blowing up.
    It is easy to let it out and let the other have it when we are angry. It takes great self control to hold our our outburst and use it as a starting point to find out. Emotion acts as your emotional “sensors”. They are to be indicators of reality, not fabricators or framers of reality. ... Ravi Zacharias.
  9. 見得思義。When seeing profits, consider getting them righteously」
    When offered an opportunity, it is easy for us to jump at it and take advantages of. But we must consider the rightfulness of doing it first. Profits from short-cuts, cheating, beating the laws are but temporary. The consequences on self and related others could be worse in the longer term. The best way to make money is to make them righteously. It will be long term and you can sleep peacefully.
If there be one word that unit the nine considerations, it is about taking interests to know more about whatever you may find yourself in. Having the interest to know more about things and people will enrich not just your knowledge but also the people relationships. You interests in others triggered corrsesponding interests in you by the others.

Hope you pick up some pointers for improving yourself.

and for more Chinese Wisdom see Ancient Chinese Wisdom

Lim Liat (c) 10 Apr 14

10 March 2014

The Power of Yin-Yang and the Teaching of Lao Zi

For the western mindset, existence of bi-polar extremes is considered a dichotomy. The mindset is an either A or B and the co-existence of A and B becomes a dichotomy or a dilemma. For the Chinese mindset, the existence of both extremes and the range of possible intermediaries create a harmony of abundance in options and of lives.. The existence of one extreme requires the co-existence of the other. Either does not and could not exist alone. This complementary and supportive extremes are the key for creating a harmonious world with men and with nature and universe. This thought is clearly expressed by Lao Zi in Dao De Jing Chapter 2.
Dao De Jing 道德经 2

  1. 天下皆知美之为美,斯恶已。
    Everyone knows about beauty because there is ugliness.
  2. 皆知善之为善,斯不善已。
    All knows about goodness because there is evil.
  3. 故 有无相生,难易相成,长短相形,
    Hence, substance and void complement each other for life;
                difficulty and easiness complement each other for completeness;
                long and short make up for all shapes and sizes;
  4.      高下相倾,音声相和,前后相随;
    height and bottom make up for all inclinations;
    sound and voice make up for harmony;
    front and back make up for a progression;
  5. 恒 也 。
    resulting in everlasting.
  6. 是以 圣人处无为之事,行不言之教,万物作焉而不辞;
    Hence, the saints work on non-violating tasks,
                teach by examples without the speech,
                and all things work well without rejection.
  7. 生而不有,为而不恃,功成而弗居; 夫唯弗居,是以不去。」
    Give birth or create something and yet own not,
    do all the work and demand not,
    completed the tasks and claim no credits or rewards.
    Yet because not claiming credits, the benefits are everlasting.
The lessons learned:
  1. The co-existence of two extremes is the permanent reality. Don't choose either extreme but work within the range, the dynamic balance of extremes according to the situations and people involved.
  2. The opposite is not against you but a help to you.
    Your competitors keep you on your guard and help you to become better. There are an opportunity in crisis and a crisis hidden in an opportunity.
  3. To accomplish great things effortlessly, follow the narrow order of nature. Even if doing the right thing according to the natural order is difficult (there are oppositions against you), you still do it because in the long run, the total benefits of doing right things outweighs the short-term gains or ease of doing the wrong things.
  4. For lasting leadership and success, do things because they are needful rather than for your own glory and gains. Following the natural order or principles will lead to greater productivity.
  5. The better form of leadership is to lead by examples and not by force or lectures only.
  6. Lao Zi does not teach us to take no action and leave it to nature. Rather, he teaches us to grasp the principles and laws of nature and then faithfully follow them to create a better world that last.
  7. What other lessons can you learn from Lao Zi's saying written above?

See also:

Lim Liat (c) 10 March 2014