March 14th, 2013



Practice non-action.
Work without doing.
Taste the tasteless.
Magnify the small, increase the few.
Reward bitterness with care.

See simplicity in the complicated.
Achieve greatness in little things.

In the universe the difficult things are done as if they are easy.
In the universe great acts are made up of small deeds.
The sage does not attempt anything very big,
And thus achieved greatness.

Easy promises make for little trust.
Taking things lightly results in great difficulty.
Because the sage always confronts difficulties,
He never experiences them.
Keep still.
Don't work so hard.
Learn to appreciate everyday life.
Pay attention to details.
Start small and work your way up.
When people give you trouble,
let it slide.

Break everything down to its essentials.
Get the job done
before it becomes a chore.

With the right preparation,
difficult tasks
can be completed with ease;
every major project
consists of simple steps.

The Masters don't take on
more than they can handle,
which is why
they can do just about anything.

Don't promise
more than you can deliver,
and don't underestimate the task:
You'll only make things harder for yourself.

The Masters are always aware
of the difficulties involved,
which is why
they never have to deal with them.

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

Chapter 63

63.1 Do non-doing,
       strive for non-striving,
       savor the flavorless,
63.2 regard the small as important,
       make much of little,
       repay enmity with virtue;
63.3 plan for difficulty when it is still easy,
       do the great while it is still small.

63.4 The most difficult things in the world
       must be done while they are easy;
       the greatest things in the world
       must be done when they are small.
63.5 Because of this sages never do great things;
       that is why they can fulfill their greatness.

63.6 If you agree too easily,
       you'll be little trusted;
       if you take it easy a lot,
       you'll have a lot of problems.
63.7 Therefore it is through difficulty
       that sages end up without problems.

Tao Teh Ching - Cleary Translation