6 life lessons from the Tao Te Ching

I am currently reading the Tao Te Ching and came across this passage that seems simple and profound. The beauty of the Tao Te Ching is that its wisdom evolves as you evolve, and the message you can take from it will change depending on your life experience and the stage you are currently in.

Here are 6 powerful lessons I learned:

You live in an apartment close to the ground.

Our society prioritizes living on higher floors, but what are the real benefits? Privacy, seclusion, exclusivity? Are these the things you really want out of life? No man is an island and I don’t think anyone wants a life devoid of connection. Also, on the more practical side, if something happens to a building, those living on the upper floors are least likely to survive.

Keep your thinking simple.

Today, it’s easy to leave our thinking to Google. Almost every problem has an answer on the internet. I take this quote to mean, use your own brain and think about things about work, relationship and other important aspects of your life.

In conflict, be fair and generous.

This is Lao Tzu’s way of saying Win-Win. If you ever want to defuse a conflict, remember to make sure both sides get what they want. If you break the other side, be prepared for their revenge one day. So let me repeat: Be honest and generous. It will work every time.

While you rule, don’t try to control.

When you gain power, remember that it’s not about control, it’s about leadership to achieve a shared mission. Give your subordinates (employees, children, etc.) autonomy, but at the same time the necessary resources for their success. History has shown that control is not a good long-term strategy. Lead by empowering.

Do what you enjoy at work.

Work makes up a good part of your life. Why spend that time doing something you don’t enjoy. Find the intersection between your strengths, interests and career. This way you can spend your time building on what you do best and have people pay you to do it for them. Those who achieve great things always follow their passion.

Be fully present in family life.

How many times do we spend time with our loved ones, but our thoughts are elsewhere. We either think about future things we have to do or about ways we have been hurt in the past. If you want a great relationship with your family, be fully present with them and enjoy the moment. They will thank you for it.

There he is. Six simple lessons that I find applicable in my daily life and I hope they are applicable in yours as well.

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