Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Art of Worldly Wisdom
Chapter 19
Under Promise, Over Deliver

When you start something new, be extremely careful about people's anticipation and their imagination. They need to know enough to become curious and inspired but not enough to arouse unrealistic expectations. We can never accurately imagine the future's reality. No matter how beneficial the project or how much integrity the person, they will always fall short of the public's desire-inspired imagination. Hope distorts the truth and transfigures reality, creates a pitfall for the famous, and conjures detractors and enemies out of colleagues and customers. The highest success arrives when the results climb higher than the anticipation, the taste proves better than the appearance, when the reward goes further than the goal. With evil people and activities, however, the opposite applies. Expectations of great calamity manifest as easily tolerable and the negative event brings relief instead of frustration.



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