Rigorous self-cultivation

Zilu asked what makes a leader. Confucius said: “Rigorous self-cultivation.” Zilu asked: “Is that all there is to it?” Confucius said: “He cultivates himself to bring comfort to the people. He cultivates himself to bring comfort to the people: this is something even Yao and Shun would have found very difficult.”

You can read all the “pearls of ancient wisdom” and “inspirational quotes” you like, but there’s no substitute for the daily grind of cultivating your thoughts and behavior. In the end, it’s all down to you.

Confucius used the final phrase before in Book 6, Chapter XXX. Yao and Shun were ancient, probably mythical, kings from the third millennia BC who were regarded as role models for rulers.

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