The Analects of Confucius is one of the most influential books in history. His philosophy has profoundly influence China and other countries of the East over the centuries. He also influenced the thinking of philosophers of the Enlightenment and, through them, the thinking of America’s Founding Fathers.
Like the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who lived at about the same time (around 500 BC), Confucius believed that character is destiny and thought deeply about its development.
One of the ways Confucius illustrated character was by contrasting the actions of “the superior man” with the actions of “the small man.” Had he been writing today instead of in feudal China, Confucius – perhaps history’s first egalitarian philosopher – would have made his comments gender neutral. I honor the original text by quoting it as it was written.
Today, more than 2,500 years after he died, any man or woman can benefit from considering their own character in the light of the wisdom of Confucius. As we approach another New Year, think about you can refine your own personal character in the year to come by contemplating these precepts of Confucius:
The first six values in the Values Coach course on The Twelve Core Action Values (Authenticity, Integrity, Awareness, Courage, Perseverance, and Faith) are focused on building strength of character. Work on those values for yourself and you will become the sort of person that Confucius called superior.
At Values Coach our purpose is transforming people through the power of values and transforming organizations through the power of people. We do that by helping leaders build a stronger Culture of Ownership on a Foundation of Values.