Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu Chapter 24, Those who rush ahead
This might be termed the ‘keep your ego in check’ verse.
It’s something we all have to be vigilant about, for the actions spoken of here are things we’ve been brought up to see as signs of power and success: rushing ahead, climing higher, trying to outshine others, creating a solid sense of ego or ‘self’ and displaying our accomplishments so that others can recognize how ‘great’ we are.
However, such behaviours are ultimately self-defeating and very often have the opposite effect than we’d hoped.
Just do your job, Lao Tzu suggests, and let the rest go.
Why the need to constantly fluff up our egos? To spend our lives living in such a way just leaves us exhausted and ultimately unfulfilled. Why not just get on with it and set aside the need to be “better” than others or have our accomplishments or virtue recognized. Let things be as they are.
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