I will not be concerned at other men’s not knowing me; I will be concerned at my own want of ability. – Confucius
What does that mean?
This is an interesting quote, as it discusses our want, or lack, of ability. At least that is how I understand the quote.
The first part says we shouldn’t be worried about other people not knowing who we are. We shouldn’t worry about not being famous, or be concerned that others don’t treat us that way.
It concludes by asking us to consider why we are not famous. It asks us if we are skilled or able enough to be worthy of fame. That is where the quote author says he would look, and I believe it is good advice.
Even though today’s publicity driven culture often overlooks talent, the usual reason for a person not being famous is simply that they aren’t all that good.
To me, that is what this quote is saying. If you want to be famous, and aren’t, you can blame the others for not knowing you, or you can try to figure out how you can improve yourself. And I whole-heartedly agree.
Why is improving ourselves important?
Even if your goal isn’t to become famous, or even well known, we should still have goals. And I believe one of the more important goals is to try to get better at things, to improve ourselves.
Whether it is in our personal lives, our family life, or at work (or anywhere else, for that matter), there is always room for improvement. That’s why even those who are the best in their field continue to work hard at their craft, whatever it may be.
While we could do nothing to improve ourselves, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t changing. We are constantly forgetting things, and the muscle and flexibility we do not use, we will eventually lose. That means that things are getting worse, if we aren’t doing things to improve ourselves.
Life is like that, and it’s our job to try to thrive despite how life treats us. Improving ourselves is a key way to being competitive in the business world, and it is an important factor in becoming a better person as well. The road to enlightenment won’t walk itself, you know.
Where can I apply this in my life?
As I mentioned before, I believe none of us are perfect in any aspect of our lives. Not that I think we can attain perfection, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some room for growth, right? The big question is how much effort are you willing to put into improving any particular aspect of your life?
We have many broad categories to consider. Our physical selves, and what we are doing to improve our ability to move and accomplish tasks. Our spiritual selves, and what we are doing to become better people. Our intellectual selves, and what we are doing to improve our minds.
Then there are all the social directions we could consider. What are we doing to be better able to interact with others at home, at work, at play, or with friends? What other ways can you come up with in which you could improve yourself?
There are lots of ways to group things, so don’t feel compelled to use my methods. Just pick something you want to get better at, and get started. As I have for the last two and a half years, I’m trying to get better at blogging. I would like to think I am showing some signs of improvement.
What are some of your goals? Where do you want to improve an ability or some other aspect of your life? What would you want to learn to do or learn about? There are so many things to do, do you want to try to prioritize, or just take whatever happens to come along?
Do you want to be known world wide, or just by your friends? How good do you have to become, how great must your ability be, to make the kind of impact you wish to make? Knowing what you want to do, and how big you want to be are the first two of the three questions you must ask yourself.
The final question is how badly do you want to make it happen? The bigger you want to be, the greater you must make your ability. Are you willing to work hard enough to be that good, or is it time for a reality check? Yeah, that can be a tough reality to face, but you can only avoid it for so long.
Please note that this doesn’t mean you have to give up, you just need to align your ability, your goals, and your motivation. Life will change, so be ready to change as well. And always be mindful of where you focus. Are you not famous because of your ability, or simply because they don’t know you?
From: Twitter, @OprahsQuotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/confucius109989.html
Photo by Steven Foers
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