10 Traits of the superior man

10 Traits of the superior man

10 Traits of the superior man

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the ten traits of the superior man as identified by Confucius.

First a quick update:

“Signs you need to dump your friend”
What is a real friend? What are the 3 keys to look for in a friend? How do you know when it is time to dump the toxic friend? Read my article: https://patrickwanis.com/blog/dealing-with-toxic-friends/

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“What’s wrong with you?”
 Have you ever said that someone or has someone ever said that to you? Have you asked yourself that same question? You’ll be shocked by the answer to that question. Watch my video https://youtu.be/nrcRkXhuYJw

Now, let’s talk about the ten traits of the superior man as identified by Confucius.

Confucius (551- 479 BC) was a famous Chinese thinker, educator and politician, comparable to Socrates in the West. Confucius developed a social and political philosophy that became the foundation of subsequent Chinese thought.

When asked to define and identify the attributes – the traits and qualities –  of the “superior man” – Confucius offered various insights. Here are ten of Confucius’ teachings on the superior man along with my interpretation of his message:

1. Personal development
“The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has.”

Message: Focus on improving yourself rather than being noticed. Identify your talent, apply it, avoid wasting it and beware of seeking recognition.

2. Purpose & direction
“The superior man learns in order to attain to the utmost of his principles.”

Message: Find your purpose by establishing your principles and values; make your purpose to adhere to your principles.

3. Morality & ethics
“The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.”

Message: Beware of falling into temptation, betraying your morality or losing your integrity. Engage self-discipline.

4. Openness
“The faults of a superior person are like the sun and moon. They have their faults, and everyone sees them; they change and everyone looks up to them.”

Message: You have the choice to evolve by being open, allowing others to see your faults while also working on those faults to better yourself.

5. Self-sufficiency 
“What the superior man seeks, is in himself; what the ordinary man seeks, is in others.”

Message: Be self-reliant; you are whole and complete; look within for answers; you can do it.

6. Love of truth 
“The object of the superior man is truth.”

Message: Always look for answers; seek only the truth; be open to the truth versus your preexisting thoughts; avoid gossip.

7. Love of others
“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do unto others.”

Message: The Golden Rule – treat others the way you want to be treated. Think before you act; express compassion.

8. Benevolence & integrity 
“To be able to judge others by what is in ourselves, this may be called the art of virtue.”

Message: Be kind. Establish strong values in yourself. Adhere to those values. Take a personal inventory – identify your strengths and weaknesses. Before judging others, notice what is in you – do you share the same negative qualities which you are criticizing? Build the positive qualities and attributes in you and you will see them in others.

9. Action over words
“He acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions.”

Message: Avoid boastful and tall stories about what you are going to do. Instead, of talking about it, take action and do it; do what you said you were going to do. Ensure your words are in alignment with your actions.

10. Emotional intelligence and responsibility 
Confucius wrote and taught a lot about the superior man and a lot about virtue. When asked about virtue, he responded that virtue is the love of all men. He taught to always be considerate and respectful; seek harmony and balance in all areas of life and; avoid extremes in behavior and emotion. In this final insight by Confucius on the superior man, Confucius is actually teaching emotional intelligence and personal responsibility:

“The superior man has nine things that are subjects of thoughtful consideration:

In regard to the use of his eyes, he is anxious to see clearly.
In regard to the use of his ears, he is anxious to hear distinctly.
In regard to his countenance, he is anxious that it should be benign.
In regard to his demeanor, he is anxious that it should be respectful.
In regard to his speech, he is anxious that it should be sincere.
In regard to his way of doing business, he is anxious that it should be reverently careful.
In regard to what he doubts about, he is anxious to question others.
When he is angry, he thinks of the difficulties his anger may involve him in.
When he sees gain to be got, he thinks of righteousness.”

Message: Become fully self-aware; become aware of the way you impact the world. Engage emotional intelligence. Think before you speak. Establish your values and live by virtuous principles. Take personal responsibility for your  actions. Notice that you have abilities and gifts that can make a positive difference.

Read more about Confucius and the superior man: https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2065
and The Ethics of Confucius: https://www.sacred-texts.com/cfu/eoc/eoc06.htm

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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