Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Art of Worldly Wisdom
Chapter 3
The value of restraint and inscrutability

Putting all our cards on the table face up diminishes our achievements, welcomes frivolous criticism, and makes us more vulnerable to failure. When we clearly describe a new venture too early, it attracts criticism and competition and—if it fails—can become doubly disastrous. Instead, mix a little mystery into everything you say and do, hold decisions in suspense for a time, and don't explain things too clearly. Clear purposes proclaimed stimulate criticism and—if they fail—double the misfortune. By holding decisions in check without declaring conclusions too soon, you create anticipation, cultivate admiration, wonder, and respect. "Cautious silence is the sacred sanctuary of worldly wisdom."



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