Those who know others are intelligent; those who know themselves are truly wise



To draw out the best in you, be truly honest with your self.

As Lao Tzu says,

Those who know others are intelligent;
those who know themselves are truly wise.
Those who master others are strong;
those who master themselves have true power.

Being honest with your self, however, is easier said than done.

We tend to either overrate or under estimate capabilities, leading to two types of contradicting problems. Both are bad!

With overrating, we set targets beyond what you can achieve. This adds unnecessary pressure to our performance. It becomes a common cause of stress, anxiety and distress.

With underestimation, on the other hand, we truncate our growth; suppress the display of our true character. It makes us feel unfulfilled, lack of confidence. The result is equally miserable.

So how do you find the balance?

Being truly honest is the answer.

How, then, to be truly honest with your self?

Learn to stay detached

Try detachment.

Detach from yourself when you are looking at issues like who you are, what you’re good at and where your weaknesses are. View yourself as if you are another person.

Being detached allows you to see yourself with less attachment. It gets you to temporarily stay away and see your self from a distance. Disturbance such as ego and desires — obstacles that prevent you from being truly honest – are removed for a moment.

Try this, and you’ll see how you can get closer to the true you.

If you can do this during meditation, it’ll be great.

Of course, this is not a one-off activity. You can get to know your self a little better in one sitting. To truly see your true self, you’d have to do this repeatedly after hundreds of sessions. The effect is accumulative, and you should not under estimate the impact of each session.

The reason we have a lot of trouble
is that we have selves.
If we had no selves,
what trouble would we have?”
— Lao Tzu, Chapter 13

Thank you Michael Korhonen for the picture.

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