Tag Archives: Confucius on fate

Leadership Lessons from Confucius: no one understands me!

no one understands me

Confucius said: “No one understands me!” Zigong said: “How is it that no one understands you?” Confucius said: “I neither complain about heaven nor do I blame other people. I study what’s below in order to understand what’s above. If there’s anyone who understands me, it can only be heaven.”
子曰:「莫我知也夫!」子貢曰:「何為其莫知子也?」子曰:「不怨天,不尤人,下學而上達。知我者,其天乎!」

Do you really have what it takes to think different? Or, come to think of it, to just do it? Do you have the courage to follow your dreams despite the doubts and worries of your family and friends who are terrified that you will fail? Do you have the determination to keep on going despite the constant stream of rejections from potential investors and customers who shake their heads and roll their eyes at the sheer insanity of your idea? Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: no one understands me!

Analects of Confucius Book 6: by numbers

Analects of Confucius Book 6 by numbers

Book 6 of the Analects continues along the same lines as Book 5 with more comments from Confucius about his followers and historical and contemporary figures. 15 followers, 7 contemporary figures, and the legendary sage kings Yao and Shun are featured.

The followers Ran Yong, Ran Qiu, and Yan Hui each receive three mentions, while Zilu and Zigong get two. All the others are only featured once. Among these, Yuan Xian, Min Ziqian, Ran Geng (Boniu), and Tantai Mieming make their debut in the Analects. Continue reading Analects of Confucius Book 6: by numbers

Leadership lessons from Confucius: pointless arguments

Temple of Confucius Yilan: pointless arguments

子罕言利,與命與仁。
Confucius disapproved of profit, but he approved of fate and goodness. (1)

Pay close attention to how you speak and write. A poor choice of words or a lack of clarity in grammar or syntax might not just lead to misunderstandings today but also condemn others to thousands of years of pointless arguments over the meaning of the message you originally meant to convey. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: pointless arguments

Leadership lessons from Confucius: such is fate

such is fate

伯牛有疾,子問之,自牖執其手,曰:「亡之,命矣夫!斯人也,而有斯疾也!斯人也,而有斯疾也!」
When Boniu fell ill, Confucius went to inquire after him. Holding Boniu’s hand through the window, he said: “He is dying. Such is fate, alas! That such a man should have an illness like this! That such a man should have an illness like this!” (1) (2)

Life is fragile. Even though we have found cures for serious diseases like leprosy (which the follower Boniu is said to have died from), there are still plenty of others such as cancer that can strike us in our prime. Perhaps one day we will find a cure for that, too, but even that and the plethora of other astounding medical advances that technology is enabling won’t stop us from shuffling off this mortal coil. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: such is fate