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Friday, March 25, 2022

11. Peace



The Lines
1. [9] When a capable person sets out to accomplish things in propitious times, good helpers are attracted to the possibilities and join in gladly in the work that needs to be done. Good people want to be a part of a flourishing enterprise, and are gladly connected to the leader with similar objectives.
2. [9] Every person is able to contribute something to an enterprise, if they have a willing attitude. A leader, therefore, bears with those of lesser ability and tries to draw from them whatever they are capable of contributing. There is much work to be done, and some of it is quite difficult. Hence, everyone's contribution is needed and of value, and the attention of all should be directed towards the goals of the enterprise, not merely personal advancement.
3. [9] Good fortune never moves forward forever. There are always setbacks and periods of decline. Therefore, in times of good fortune, the wise leader is always aware that it will sooner or later run its course. And through whatever turns of Fate that come his way, he remains steadfast and focused on his worthy objectives.
4. [6] In times of success, the good leader is still approachable. He is not carried away by his good fortune and does not focus on his own advancement. He is generous to the lowly, because he knows that every man, regardless of his station, has a role to play and a contribution to make in this world.
5. [6] A person of great ability is capable of working under the direction of someone of lesser status without asserting their superiority. Such a submissive relationship is conducive to harmony and permits the accomplishment of necessary tasks.
Top [6] Change brings about the end of good fortune and prosperity. Decline is inevitable, and violent resistance would only make matters worse. All a person can do is keep to his worthy goals and be supportive of those around him that are in agreement with his intentions.
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Thursday, March 24, 2022

33. Retreat



The Lines
1. [6] At first, the man is still near the enemy. This closeness makes him somewhat vulnerable. But if he remains quiet, he will in all likelihood be ignored.
2. [6] Some of the inferior forces will not be put off; they persist and demand attention. But such inferior individuals really seek a more constructive engagement, and the superior man accommodates them. Such minor actions do not disrupt the superior man's withdrawal.
3. [9] Being prevented from withdrawal by the insistence of certain opposing individuals is a hindrance and an annoyance. But by making use of these otherwise opposing individuals, the man can continue with his withdrawal, even if they are of little real assistance to him.
4. [9] In taking his leave from the fray, the superior man acts on his own volition, without antagonism or animosity. This is no problem for him, because his position is not diminished one bit. But the inferior opponent is not so well situated: without the structure and significance provided to the conflict by the superior man, the inferior man is left with nothing but his own inferiority to contemplate.
5. [9] When the time for withdrawal arrives, the superior man acts forthwith. Nevertheless, because his actions arise from his own initiative, and not as a direct response to the actions of his opponents, he can be kind and generous about it. Still, having determined the proper time for withdrawal, he is compelled to stick to it and not be deterred by trivialities.
6. [9] The time for withdrawal is chosen with absolute certainty. It is obvious that the time has come, and the naturalness of it and the lack of doubt connected with the decision create a sense of joy. With all elements in accord, the future cannot be other than auspicious
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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

13. Fellowship




The Lines
Bottom. [9] From the very beginning, duties and responsibilities should be clearly understood by all. When the group enters into actual contact with the situation, there should be no doubts or misunderstandings about aims and means. Any dealings conducted behind the backs of other participants could only lead to disenchantment and failure.
2. [6] The formation of factions within the group must be eliminated by all means. If the leader has his favorites, if others are isolated from the main purpose and left free to pursue their own interests, this only encourages actions that work contrary to the group's overall purpose. This will result in mediocre work and failure.
3. [6] If the members cannot trust one another, if factions plot against other factions behind their backs, the strength of the group is dissipated and they cannot come together to accomplish anything important. All effort is diverted into calculations of one group against another, and the great and worthy purpose of the whole group is forgotten. Those who oppose the group cannot be overcome with such divisions, and the group begins to disintegrate. In time, all the good intentions have come to nought.
4. [6] Eventually, the divisions within the group are seen as counterproductive. It is impossible to make advancement when members are at odds with one another. But happily, the futility of it all begins to be universally recognized. The group is unable to advance, but the causes are clearly seen. This is good, because faults that are recognized can provide insight into the means by which they may be corrected.
5. [9] Members of a group may be at variance with one another, but deep down, they realize that they are all on the same side. Problems arise, and they must deal with them, but they recognize that the best path for them is to settle their differences and find ways to work together. It is a hard struggle, but in the end, they are happy to be working together.
Top. [6] When the fire that was present in the hearts of the members has gone, the members find they are still associated with one another, even if the initial attachment has grown weak. The work of the group is not finished, but all keep working towards it, realizing that it is a worthwhile thing and that all should focus on completion, even though the enthusiasm is no longer present


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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

61. Inner Truth



The Lines

1. [9] The man who relies on the Power of Truth must prepare himself. Such ability does not come casually neither is it the result of an instantaneous decision. It is a way of life. Only with such a serious attitude, developed over a long time, will he be uninfluenced by external circumstances and manipulative intents.
2. [9] A man's inner thoughts are reflected in his words and deeds, and his every expression has influence upon all around him. Others will respond to him if his inner being is congenial and his spirit resonates with their spirit. If his inner being is consonant with what is true, others will know, and his influence will spread far and wide. This influence depends on the Power of Truth; he cannot fake this influence.
3. [6] If a man's relationship with others rests on intimacy alone, and is not founded on truth, the man will be always off balance. All of his actions will depend on the response of his companions, not on the dictates of his own character. His stability will be controlled by circumstances.
4. [6] A man turns with respect to those who are stronger in the truth than he, but he stands firm against the contrary and divisive influences that have no part in truth. Only when he has an unwavering inner commitment to truth can he do this.
5. [9] A leader leads with the force of his whole character. His principles come from within and influence all around him. These principles are founded in what is true, and serve to unite all his followers. Without this foundation in truth, the unity breaks apart at the very first crisis.
6. [9] If a leader relies on empty pronouncements while his heart is not dedicated to truth, he may deceive many and succeed for a while, but in the end he must fail. Deception can never be the foundation for real advancement
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Monday, March 21, 2022

2.The Receptive


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The Lines

Bottom. [6] The worthy assistant remains alert to the first signs of deterioration in the endeavors of which he is a part. Since he does not have responsibility for everything, he can stand back and observe problems at their very beginning. Thus he is able to heed the early signs, take precautions against further deterioration, and keep things going smoothly.
2. [6] The subordinate accommodates himself to the needs of the creative leader. He supplies what the leader lacks, and thus makes himself indispensable. He suggests improvements and effective alternatives that enable the creative leader to achieve his goals. He has no motives or goals himself outside of making the work of the creative leader more effective.
3. [6] The effective assistant does not seek recognition for himself or his abilities, for he knows that to do so would undermine the joint effort. He may well have many assets that others are unaware of, and which he keeps concealed until needed. He avoids attracting attention to himself, because that can arouse resentment as well as all kinds of opposing forces that would defeat his usefulness. Even as an assistant, he may well occupy an important position. Nevertheless, his chief attribute is restraint. His aim is the success of the endeavors of which he is a part, not receiving credit for what he does. This will often require a considerable amount of working behind the scenes.
4. [6] In difficult times, one must act with great delicacy and avoid drawing even the slightest attention to oneself. Since he times are difficult, any degree of prominence is almost surely to be misunderstood or misinterpreted. By remaining completely in the background, the subordinate assistant can complete his work without anyone even knowing that he has been actively involved.
5. [6] If the Devoted Assistant is forced into a prominent position, even though he is not and cannot be an independent player, he must act with the highest degree of discretion, sincerity and dignity. These characteristics should reveal themselves, not in mannerisms or haughty attitudes, but indirectly through the way he does things and brings about results.
Top. [6] The man in a subordinate position who tries to assume the position of leadership brings down upon himself every form of opposition from those stronger than he. He causes great injury to himself, to the work he is supposedly a part of, and to all around him. Such an effort to which he is unsuited by nature can only bring defeat and disaster to everyone involved.
All lines 6's. When the subordinate is combined with the creative, the attributes of both are melded together, so that the man remains steadfast and enduring while working in the pursuit of what is right. Nothing great comes of this, but then nothing harmful happens either.
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Sunday, March 20, 2022

59.Dispersion


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The Lines

Bottom. [6] As soon as divisiveness arises, it should be faced up to and eradicated. If a man waits until it gains a foothold, it will be much more difficult to eliminate, and may, in fact, bring down disaster. As soon as evidences of discord, distrust and dislike begin to arise, it is important to get to the source of the disagreement, to discuss the differences, to uncover them and eliminate them through mutual understanding, so that all can return to working together in mutually supportive ways.
2. [9] As soon as in individual detects in himself an alienation from his fellow men, when he realizes that he mistrusts some and dislike others, it is essential that he take steps to eliminate these divisive feelings. He should not let himself slip into a growing separation unawares, but should rely on his own inner examination of the causes, based on a sense of justice and fairness, and a wish to be on good terms with everyone. He should not let ill will fester, for this has a deteriorating effect upon his own personality and can only lead to worse and worse relationships with his fellow man. If he is able to resolve his bad feelings and heal the breech in his relationships, he will avoid a situation that can only lead to regret.
3. [6] When a man's sense of duty calls him to responsibilities that are far beyond his personal interests, it becomes necessary for him to forget about himself and his mundane needs. What he seeks to accomplish will be of enormous benefit to mankind and is of far greater importance than his own material existence. So he abandons such personal concerns and is thereby enabled to complete the great and difficult task that lies before him. By focusing entirely on his calling, on the job that lies ahead, and on the accomplishment of this thing above all other things that might concern him, he arrives at the concentrated state of mind that will permit him to achieve this great humanitarian goal.
4. [6] A man engaged in work that is for the benefit of mankind does not allow himself to be concerned with the interests of those closely associated with himself. What he seeks is of far greater importance than the acquisitive wishes of self-centered friends. He cannot find the proper approach nor develop the proper policies if he allows himself to descend to such petty private interests. What he seeks is far greater than the needs of any single individual, and only he who is able to go beyond such small matters is capable of achieving great and lasting things. Not everyone is able to see this, however. Only he whose vision encompasses the great connectedness of all humanity.
5. [9] There are times when ideas have enormous power. When people are torn apart from one another, when what was a great movement is breaking up with disputes and disagreements -- it is at just such a time that a great man can step in and electrify everyone with a solution, a purpose, an ideal that can bring all the fracturing groups together and prevent their scattering abroad. It is at just such a time -- just when it appears that everything is lost and all is dissolving into bickering factions -- that a tremendous insight can serve as a rallying point to bring everyone together and to resolve all their differences. This is the time when a man in a leadership position can eliminate misunderstandings and bring an entire movement back together.
Top. [9] By taking precipitate action, a man can rescue himself and all those associated with him. In this way, danger is avoided and all are saved from harm. He recognizes the danger, and he knows that it will soon do great harm to everyone if he fails to act and they remain where they are. Therefore he does whatever the situation demands in order to avoid the danger and to assure that everyone is out of harm's way. He does not remain to face the danger, nor to stand his ground against it. He escapes with all the people that are important to him, and escape is unquestionably the right move for him to make.
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Saturday, March 19, 2022

52. Keeping Still


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The Lines

Bottom. [6] At the very beginning is the time to stop and consider the direction one is about to take. It is in the time before a man becomes involved in all the complications and possibilities that are thrust upon him, that he can see things clearly and disinterestedly, i.e., with a mind that looks at things objectively and is not overridden by personal interests. If a man carefully considers the way before him at this time, he is not likely to go wrong. If the man sets his sight on a path that is honest and true, he will be able to identify the right path . But halting at the beginning does not mean that he procrastinates or wanders around aimlessly. It is essential that he begin in a timely manner and stick conscientiously to the work that lies before him.
2. [6] If a man is working for someone else, he does not have control over his overseer. There is a tendency for the subordinate to be swept along by whatever direction the leader takes. Even if the leader heads down a wrong path, the subordinate cannot stop him, and, indeed, can only with great difficult prevent himself from going down the same path. If the leader is a strong man and determined to go ahead with the path he has chosen, there is nothing that a subordinate can do about it. At most, he can refuse to follow him.
3. [9] When practicing quiet meditation, it is absolutely necessary that a man not try to quiet his mind by forcing it to stop entertaining thoughts. Such rigidity can be very dangerous, and will increase tension and anxiety, rather than decreasing them. A man must let thoughts pass through his mind like birds flying through a belfry. He should let thoughts come and let them go without holding onto them. He should observe them as they enter, and as they leave, without dwelling on them and without chasing after them. When a man does not actively pursue thoughts, when he does not use a time for meditation in order to plan the day's activities or to think through some interesting topic, then he will experience an inner composure and be perfectly calm.
4. [6] Keeping the mind free of self-centered concerns and desires is the first step towards a mind that is liberated and free to contemplate the world and the universal forces that act upon the world. Practicing meditation leads the man in that direction. What he is able to do in meditation, he is eventually able to do in other activities where the thinking processes are not needed. Thus, meditation that frees the mind from the wordy thought processes helps free the man from the dominance of self-centered ideas. Even if a man's meditation is imperfect, even if he is unable to carry it over into other daily activities, an approximation of the meditative state still affords some benefits. Moreover, early attempts at practice can lead to improved performance later on.
5. [6] Learning how to quiet the mind helps a man learn how to quiet his tongue. Often, when a man is involved in a tense situation, he babbles on with his mouth as a result of his nervousness. But if he can learn to relax and free his mind from anxious thoughts, he can avoid those situations where he may chatter on, sayings things that cause him embarrassment and later regrets. When he learns the techniques of meditation, his speech will be relaxed and the words he deliberately chooses to speak will have greater effect.
Top. [9] When a man achieves the highest meditative skills, the tranquility of his mind pervades his entire life and personality. He not only is able to remain calm and collected in ordinary situations, but he has a calm acceptance of himself and every aspect of his life. This pervasive tranquility is the mark of a superior man. His presence emanates a sense of peace, and his calm and settled counsels bring good fortune to all who associate with him.
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Friday, March 18, 2022

40. Deliverance

 


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The Lines

Bottom. [6] The struggle with obstructions and difficulties is over. Normalcy returns, and new opportunities present themselves. The man now has time to relax and recover his equilibrium. He can make plans for progress and good fortune.
2. [9] Inferior men are still around, but their time is past. They can easily be removed from the scene, and then the struggle is completely over. It is not necessary to take vigorous action, which might instead spoil the time of recovery. Taking the high ground and adhering totally to what is right will provide the personal strength necessary to complete the final phases of deliverance.
3. [6] When a man of modest means escapes from difficulties into an easier lifestyle, he may feel tempted to make a display of his newly acquired freedom. He may even want to boast of his good fortune to perfect strangers, and brag about the advantages he now enjoys. But this would be a big mistake, because it attracts those who are naturally envious of anyone who thinks they are well off -- those who would wish him ill and would like to deprive him of whatever they can, if only out of meanness. If he continues with such a pretentious attitude, he is sure to meet with misfortune. A man more accustomed to an easier lifestyle is more circumspect. He enjoys himself quietly without expecting strangers to appreciate his favorable situation, and he attracts little attention or envy.
4. [9] When a man's progress is halted in the face of difficulties and obstructions, he may find that inferior men associate with him because they are in similar circumstances, even if permanently. It is easy for the man to think that these are reliable companions just because they are similarly situated and their fate seems to be the same. But when the time of deliverance comes, and the man is able to move ahead out of these unhappy circumstances, it is important that he abandon these characters he had begun to identify with. They are not suitable companions for the higher, more accomplished circles he is destined to move in. If he tries to bring them with him, other people who would be of real assistance to him, and who could help him accomplish his goals, will become wary and inclined to stay away. Superior people do not want to associate themselves with someone who surrounds himself with disreputable characters.
5. [6] When a superior man who has been through a period when his progress has been stymied finally is able to free himself and experience deliverance from his former circumstances, he will find that the inferior people who have attached themselves to him during his period of decline are not so easy to get rid of. He feels some obligation towards them and tries to be accommodating to them, but they interpret that as a desire to continue the association, and they seem to take advantage of his lack of resolve. It is necessary, therefore, that he become clear in his own mind that he definitely no longer wants to continue associating with the lesser characters. Once he acquires that inner certainty, it will be obvious in his general attitude. The lesser people will soon get the point, and will leave him alone.
Top. [6] The possibility exists for the man to move out of a difficult situation that has been holding him back, but an evil person in a powerful position is preventing the man from moving on. This is all that is holding him back, but being evil, this person will not relent and must be dealt with. It is necessary, therefore, for the man to take whatever steps are necessary to overcome this evil obstruction. Once this obstacle is out of the way, everything proceeds smoothly.
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Thursday, March 17, 2022

23. Splitting Apart

 


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The Lines

Bottom. [6] When inferior men invade those people who are the foundation upon whom the superior man depends, they begin undermining his support and turning people against him. Those who remain true to him are attacked and their reputations besmirched. No one remains who is loyal to the man. He is nominally in charge, but there is nothing that he can do. Disaster appears imminent, and there is no rescue in sight. All that the man can do is wait and hope that things will work themselves out on their own.
2. [6] Once entrenched, inferior people begin taking control and seek to discredit the superior man himself. He sees this, and is troubled by it, but there is no one that he can turn to. His subordinates have deserted him, and no one above him even cares. He faces the crisis quite alone, and his enemies are waiting for him to make a wrong move. This is a very delicate situation. Since the superior man is entirely vulnerable and standing alone, his best course is to avoid taking action and remaining out of the line of fire. If he were to vigorously defend himself and try to forge ahead, he would only meet with disaster.
3. [6] A man may find himself compelled to associate with evil people because of commitments he has made to others. It would be a bad situation, except if he were forced to deal with them alone. Fortunately, he has ties to a superior man who acts as a guide and inspiration, so that the evil environment leaves him unscathed. This means he is not part of the corrupt people around him, but that is what keeps him from himself going down a wrong path.
4. [6] When misfortune arrives, it cannot be avoided and must be endured. But even in defeat, the superior man adheres to his principles. He is well aware that all things are subject to the law of change. He remains true to himself, endures the adversity, and looks forward to emerging in time from disaster, just as he, in time, happened upon it.
5. [6] At last, the inferior elements that had been so threatening finally relent and submit themselves to the leadership of superior men. The inferior no longer seek to undermine the efforts of superior men, but back down, realizing that their best interests are promoted by the best people, not by evil designs. Moreover, even inferior men caution other inferior men to adopt the course laid out for them by the superior man. When this happens, everyone -- high and low -- benefits, and all goes well.
Top. [9] Finally, after the inferior elements have done their mischief, the time of misfortune ends, and the future holds greater promise. That which was intended from the beginning at last has a chance to manifest itself. With the inferior elements out of the way, the superior man is again able to move ahead and accomplish great things. His influence upon his subordinates is again established, and they readily follow his leadership with loyalty and enthusiasm. The evil man, however, is confronted with his evil, and it consumes him, because evil has nothing constructive to offer and attracts no positive rewards. In the end, the advances it attains through deceit and the honors it wins through dissimulation are all shown to be an empty shell, and the evildoer is humiliated. The inferior man, incapable of creatively pursuing what is right, true and just, contributes best to his own advancement by allying himself with the superior man, not opposing him.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

21. Breaking Through


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The Lines

Bottom. [9] The penalty imposed for a first and minor offense should be mild. The purpose of the penalty is not to destroy the wrongdoer, or to make a healthy relationship to society impossible, but to serve as a warning and to provide incentive for the offender to correct his behavior. A young man, prone to following the path of wrongdoing, can be diverted from that path, brought to his senses, and given incentive not to suffer even worse penalties, by being given a mild but real punishment for his first offense. If, on the other hand, he is let off too easily, he will be encouraged to commit additional offenses by the light way he was treated; and if he is dealt with too severely, he will be embittered by the unjust severity and converted into an enemy of the society looking for revenge. Only a skilled judge can determine the exact punishment that is proper for a given offender.
2. [6] When the difference between right and wrong is clear, and a person persists in doing wrong, it is easy to be excessive in meting out punishment. Nevertheless, no great harm is done, since some degree of punishment is surely merited, and the hardened sensibilities of the wrongdoer suggests severe treatment is appropriate.
3. [6] If a man lacks the official authority to correct a wrongdoer, and if the wrongdoer has no respect for him for that reason, the man may feel inadequate for the task and unable to be effective in changing the wrongdoer's behavior. Yet, wrong has been done, and some kind of correction must be imposed, whether it has a corrective effect or not. This might cause difficulty and embarrassment, and the wrongdoer may feel only contempt for the man, but he is justified in proceeding regardless of the awkwardness of the situation. No wrongdoer should be allowed to escape punishment just because he has no respect for the punishing authority.
4. [9] There are times when wrongdoers are powerful men themselves, and in powerful positions. Prosecuting and punishing them presents grave problems, and this places the man up against a formidable opposition. But in spite of the difficulty, a man can succeed against powerful wrongdoers. Their great weakness is that they are in the wrong and deserve to be brought to task for their acts. Nevertheless, this requires that the man be firm in his dealings and inflexible in his pursuit of justice. If he recognizes the difficulties, and faces up to each one of them squarely, he will succeed in the end. Even powerful wrongdoers must be brought to task for their offenses.
5. [6] A situation involving wrongdoing may be clear, but it may still involve great difficulty. It would be easy, because of the complexities, to overlook the extent of the problem and to place limitations on those matters that are being investigated. But that would be a mistake. A person must be thorough, but remain absolutely thorough and fair. He must not pretend to ignore certain aspects of a problem in order to make the task easier, neither should he let a wrongdoer escape responsibility just because the matter is too complicated. The man's responsibility is to be honest, fair, straightforward, and thorough, and that is the only way that he can competently bring the matter to a successful conclusion.
Top. [9] If a man is beyond redemption, if he refuses to modify his behavior, and if no amount of punishments have an effect upon him, then he is truly in an unfortunate state. His wrongdoing has made him an enemy of society, and his obstinacy makes it certain that he will never be reconciled. Such a man will never find a fulfilling destiny. His situation will only grow more desperate with time.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

23. Splitting Apart


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The Lines

Bottom. [6] When inferior men invade those people who are the foundation upon whom the superior man depends, they begin undermining his support and turning people against him. Those who remain true to him are attacked and their reputations besmirched. No one remains who is loyal to the man. He is nominally in charge, but there is nothing that he can do. Disaster appears imminent, and there is no rescue in sight. All that the man can do is wait and hope that things will work themselves out on their own.
2. [6] Once entrenched, inferior people begin taking control and seek to discredit the superior man himself. He sees this, and is troubled by it, but there is no one that he can turn to. His subordinates have deserted him, and no one above him even cares. He faces the crisis quite alone, and his enemies are waiting for him to make a wrong move. This is a very delicate situation. Since the superior man is entirely vulnerable and standing alone, his best course is to avoid taking action and remaining out of the line of fire. If he were to vigorously defend himself and try to forge ahead, he would only meet with disaster.
3. [6] A man may find himself compelled to associate with evil people because of commitments he has made to others. It would be a bad situation, except if he were forced to deal with them alone. Fortunately, he has ties to a superior man who acts as a guide and inspiration, so that the evil environment leaves him unscathed. This means he is not part of the corrupt people around him, but that is what keeps him from himself going down a wrong path.
4. [6] When misfortune arrives, it cannot be avoided and must be endured. But even in defeat, the superior man adheres to his principles. He is well aware that all things are subject to the law of change. He remains true to himself, endures the adversity, and looks forward to emerging in time from disaster, just as he, in time, happened upon it.
5. [6] At last, the inferior elements that had been so threatening finally relent and submit themselves to the leadership of superior men. The inferior no longer seek to undermine the efforts of superior men, but back down, realizing that their best interests are promoted by the best people, not by evil designs. Moreover, even inferior men caution other inferior men to adopt the course laid out for them by the superior man. When this happens, everyone -- high and low -- benefits, and all goes well.
Top. [9] Finally, after the inferior elements have done their mischief, the time of misfortune ends, and the future holds greater promise. That which was intended from the beginning at last has a chance to manifest itself. With the inferior elements out of the way, the superior man is again able to move ahead and accomplish great things. His influence upon his subordinates is again established, and they readily follow his leadership with loyalty and enthusiasm. The evil man, however, is confronted with his evil, and it consumes him, because evil has nothing constructive to offer and attracts no positive rewards. In the end, the advances it attains through deceit and the honors it wins through dissimulation are all shown to be an empty shell, and the evildoer is humiliated. The inferior man, incapable of creatively pursuing what is right, true and just, contributes best to his own advancement by allying himself with the superior man, not opposing him.
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Monday, March 14, 2022

32. Duration


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The Lines

Bottom. [6] The works of man that endure do not come about quickly. Rather, they require much planning, a foundation that is constructed carefully, and a structure that is built laboriously over a long period of time. If a man wishes to build something overnight with the expectation that it will endure through the ages, he asks for a result that is contrary to the nature of things. Things that endure have longevity and solidity as characteristics of their every element, and those characteristics are not created instantaneously. They take time to become established and to grow.
2. [9] When a man's ability exceeds the material resources available to him, he naturally hesitates to begin something for fear that he cannot carry through on it because the supply of necessary materials will not endure. But if he can control his efforts and limit himself to the employment of what is readily at hand, there will be no problem. Just because he is capable of more does not mean he must do more.
3. [9] When a man's character is affected by forces in the outer world, when his attitude varies depending on the responses he receives from outside, he loses his ability to endure and to conduct himself with stability. This, in turn, creates constant distress, and he can never be sure from what quarter the distress will arise. This is the consequence of his lacking a reliable view of what he is about, a solid center that will allow him to act according to his goals and objectives. This lack of consistency will result in an endless stream of humiliating blunders.
4. [9] Persistent effort alone is not enough. To be successful, any effort must be directed intelligently in ways that are likely to accomplish the goal. Misdirected effort, no matter how much energy is expended, will accomplish little or nothing. An important part of any endeavor is an efficient and well-focused employment of energy. Men too often prefer to expend physical effort without applying their minds to the best way to arrive at the end. Thought should precede action, and certainty about means should precede the employment of any means.
5. [6] A subordinate should always follow the instructions of his leader or supervisor, but a leader must examine carefully the aims and purposes that are relative to any endeavor and let that be a guide to the direction in which he leads others. A leader cannot follow the directions of someone else, much less can he look to his followers for the path they want or expect him to take. It is no error for the subordinate to follow directions. But for a leader to be unable to discern what is the proper direction he should take and to look to others in order to know the steps that must be taken, is a disgrace. If he does that consistently, he is no leader. The subordinate expects to be told what to do and how to do it. It is not his job to do original thinking and discover new ways of doing things. But original thinking and discovering new ways of doing things is definitely the responsibility of a leader. To do that he must remain open-minded and willing to experiment with new and original ideas for accomplishing the work that he has set out to do.
Top. [6] A man who is in a constant state of turmoil, who is never certain about what he is doing, and always jumping from one project to another, or leaving one task undone to work on something different, will bring misfortune to whatever he attempts. Putting out fires is not good management of affairs. Stepping aside, quietly reflecting on overall objectives and carefully examining the way things are handled is a far superior way of accomplishing great tasks. But running around and fixing first this problem and then that one as they arise is a method that never settles into an enduring method of managing things. Such constant activity actually prevents a studied way of management. It takes the place of an enduring procedure for accomplishing tasks, keeps everyone and everything in a constant state of uncertainty, and inevitably brings misfortune
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Sunday, March 13, 2022

5. Waiting


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The Lines

Bottom. [9] At the very beginning, there is a sense that something significant is approaching, but it is not yet apparent. Under such circumstances, it is important to continue with normal activities and not to act prematurely. A premature move at this time is a display of anxiety and exposes one's hand. This could weaken one's position when the time comes to act.
2. [9] Danger gradually approaches, and all become aware that it is imminent. This causes unrest and questions to arise, resulting in disagreements and recriminations. If sharp words are not answered in kind, the feelings they display will develop no further. Those who stay calm at this early stage will retain the presence of mind to deal with things properly when they become full-blown.
3. [9] A premature move places one in an unfavorable position, which does not go unrecognized by the enemy, who naturally try to take advantage of it. But eventually they had to know anyway, and a calm, steadfast attitude that is fully cognizant of the whole situation will allow one to stay on course and avoid catastrophe.
4. [6] Now the danger has grown, and it is very serious. The worst is in danger of happening, and there is no way that it can be avoided. The only course of action is to remain steadfast and let whatever happens happen. Only by keeping calm and a well aware of all that is happening can the situation eventually resolve itself favorably.
5. [9] Even in the worst of battles there are lulls in the fighting. It is important to use these moments to regroup and prepare for the remainder of the struggle, being careful to keep the ultimate goal in mind. One must not allow such quiet moments to deceive oneself into thinking that the struggle is over and to let down one's guard. The person who does not think ahead, who has no overall strategy, but moves only from moment to moment, becomes fooled by temporary respites, lets down his guard, and loses ground. But the superior man has a broader vision. He recognizes the necessity for taking time out to relax in the midst of an ongoing effort, but he keeps in mind the ultimate goal and the steps that remain to reach it. This brings good fortune.
Top. [6] It seems that the struggle has come to an end in the worst possible way. All seems to be lost, one cannot escape, and all the effort expended seems to be of no use. Things are now out of his hands, and at just such a time, help apparently arrives. But the help is ambiguous, and one cannot be certain of its meaning. Nevertheless, even at this time, when it seems that only disaster is one's lot, it is important to keep calm and steadfast, and not give up in despair. By staying on top of things, everything goes surprisingly well, and the disaster is averted. An optimistic attitude, even in the face of unquestioned defeat, can result in a favorable outcome, whereas pessimism usually brings it own expected ruination.
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