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Personal growth and the need for flexibility April 15, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal development, Tao Te Ching.
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People seriously working on a program of personal growth realize that having the intellectual and emotional capacity to be flexible is a key requirement for success.

Without having the ability to be flexible, or the willingness to accept or at least consider new ideas, progress in self-improvement will be small or non-existent.

Intellectual and emotional flexibility also contains elements of the state of tranquility, or acceptance, a major ingredient in building peace of mind. And for many studying personal growth, acceptance, or tranquility is and end-goal.

The need for developing an attitude of flexibility is a common thread through wisdom-writing from the texts of the ancients to those of today.

Flexibility or the ability to bend is a quality present in living things – dead entities are not pliable.

The Tao Te Ching (1), for example, alludes to this. Section 76 discusses how dead things are usually stiff, brittle, hard, and dry, and goes on to say:

Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.

The hard and stiff will be broken,
The soft and supple will prevail.

(1) Tao Te Ching: A New English Version, as interpreted by Stephen Mitchell, HarperPerennial, A Division of HarperCollins Publishers, 1991, New York

 

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