Hence the sage is able (in the same way) to accomplish his great achievements. It is through his not making himself great that he can accomplish them.When we each are concerned with our self-image, our focus is divided. Instead of paying attention to whatever it is we have undertaken, one eye always is glancing in the mirror. We become drunk from gazing at our own reflection!
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
It does not show greatness,
And is therefore truly great.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
Even in the end, it does not regard itself as great
That is how it can achieve its greatness
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
It doesn't strive for success. That's why it succeeds.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
When our attention is fixed solely upon what we are doing -- without regard to power, wealth, status or popularity -- we can achieve great things. Our accomplishments are great because we're not trying so damn hard to make them so!
To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.