Three keys to self-improvement: self-knowledge, self-examination and self-discipline

/August 2022

Zhihu has a question:

"what should you do when others are moving towards success and you are standing still all the time?"

A high praise replied, "rather than envy the fish in Linyuan, it is better to retreat and form a net."

what is more meaningful than looking up at others is to improve yourself.

master these three "keys", and you can continue to grow and improve.


the first key: self-knowledge

there is a saying in Daojing: he who knows others is wise, and he who knows himself is wise.

A person's ability to recognize others is a kind of cleverness, but to be able to recognize himself is a kind of great wisdom.

after Han Gaozu Liu Bang ascended the throne, he held a celebration banquet in Luoyang. With a big wave of his hand, he happily asked the princes and generals:

"you say, why did I win the world, and why did Xiang Yu lose the world?"

when the ministers heard this, they all uttered compliments:

because your Majesty can be rewarded in terms of merits and deeds, and there is a clear distinction between rewards and punishments;

because your Majesty can fulfill his promises.


Liu Bang shook his head and said:

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"in fact, I know myself well." In devising strategies, I am not as good as Zhang Liang, I am not as good as Han Xin in the war, and I am not as good as Xiao he in running the country.

the reason why I am where I am today depends on the help of all of you. "

when he is successful and famous, he even says three "not as good as". This is not Liu Bang's excessive modesty.

but he has a clear understanding of himself and understands his strengths and weaknesses.

in the struggle between Chu and Han, he knew full well that his ability was limited, so he never acted arbitrarily and was able to know people well and make the best use of their talents.

people are self-aware.

to be a man, only by knowing enough about yourself can you find the right position and direction and better grasp yourself.

Butler said: "those who are self-aware often turn the mirror in their hearts to judge themselves."

the premise of one's growth is to know oneself first.

only when you know yourself can you cross, save and strengthen yourself.

can we develop and surpass ourselves better.


the second key: introspection

Mencius said, "if you can't do it, you can't do it."

means to reflect on yourself when something can't be done.

introspection is not only a person's inner upbringing, but also an excellent way to help one grow up.

Zeng Guofan, a famous minister in the late Qing Dynasty, always maintained the habit of keeping a diary.

and most of his diaries are from the province.

once, Zeng Guofan had a dream at night that someone had made a windfall. He envied it very much.

when he woke up in the morning, Zeng Guofan was very ashamed.

in his opinion, he has something to think about day and night, and it must be because he is too utilitarian that he envies others to get rich.

so he immediately wrote in his diary: "Last night, the dreamer made a profit and felt envious. When he woke up, he punished himself with pain."

use this to reflect on yourself and remind yourself not to put too much emphasis on money.

on another occasion, he had a verbal conflict with his hometown Zheng Xiaoshan because of a trifle and said a lot of hurtful words in anger.

afterwards, Zeng Guofan wrote in his diary: "there is a gap between Xiao Shan and Yu, and it is my fault to think about it carefully."

criticize your mistakes and remind yourself to be friendly and get rid of your impatient bad temper in the future.

not only that, Zeng Guofan often asks relatives and friends for advice, asking them to speak bluntly about their problems, so that they can better correct their shortcomings.

through long-term introspection, Zeng Guofan became the first of the four famous ministers in the late Qing Dynasty from an ordinary man with mediocre qualifications, and was praised as "the most perfect man in the world".

in his later years, even he could not help sighing:

I have not many advantages and disadvantages, and I am far from the saints in the Analects of Confucius. But there is one thing I have done quite well, that is, "I reflect on myself three times a day".

introspection is not only the beginning of growth, but also the best way to achieve life.

people who are really smart know how to examine themselves and examine themselves.

because they understand, constantly examine and review their words and deeds, they can become better people.

Xunzi said: "if a gentleman is knowledgeable and thinks about himself, he knows well but does nothing wrong."

measure yourself first, and ask yourself if you blame others.

to be a man, if you only focus on the faults of others, you will never see your own problems.

know how to examine yourself and often think about your mistakes before you can be a bosom friend and make up for your shortcomings.


the third key: self-discipline

there is a saying in

"the most important tool for solving life's problems is self-discipline."

self-discipline is the premise of controlling life and the cure for pain.

the writer Cassie once told his own story in the book.

for a time, she spent more than half of a month on a business trip, coupled with a simultaneous attack of toothache and headache, and often woke up in nightmares in the early morning, almost in a state of pain.

but even when she is most tired, she still sticks to her usual habit:

write one or two thousand words every morning and do yoga for more than ten minutes;

read books for half an hour every night and make a to-do list for the next day.

her colleagues are very confused about this. You don't need to clock in from 9 to 5 on a business trip, so why not relax and slack off once in a while?Oh, what? it's-it's.

Cassie's answer is very beneficial:

"it's not hard to make full use of every minute, because controlling time allows people to avoid unnecessary emotional consumption.

on the contrary, once you have inertia and indulge yourself, in the end, you will only be restless because you can't finish your work effectively, and you'll be disappointed and mad if you can't achieve your dream. "

it is true.

laziness and indulgence can engulf a person's fighting spirit, make people trapped in the trivialities of life and dissatisfaction with the status quo, and constantly breed more pain.

actively restrain yourself and adhere to self-discipline in order to achieve inner fullness and stability and a wonderful life.

A girl was successfully admitted to Beijing normal University, but her first English exam frustrated her because her grades were at the bottom of the whole grade.

she secretly made up her mind that she must strive to improve herself and take a small step every day.

from then on, she got up at 5 o'clock every morning, memorized words and practiced oral English in a grove in front of the teaching building for two or three hours every day.

as soon as the final exam results came out, everyone was shocked, and she jumped to the first place in the English department of Beijing normal University.

after realizing the great benefits of self-discipline, the girl has always adhered to the good habit of getting up at 5 o'clock every day.

this not only won her a national scholarship every year for four years in college, but also made her an excellent writer and entrepreneur.

this girl is Zhang Meng, founder of extreme Northern Coffee.

all the splendor of this world is the result of long-term self-discipline, and all the proud achievements are the feedback of adhering to some good habits day after day, year after year.

when you discipline yourself, your life will shine in the end.

Management guru Drucker once said: how you spend your day, you live your life.

muddling along in comfort will only drag you down and live up to your life.

keep improving yourself in self-discipline, and fate can give you everything you want.

Yang Jiang once said: "throughout our lives, we should constantly practice our souls and improve ourselves."

Life is a self-cultivation that has nothing to do with anyone.

on the way of spiritual practice, only self-knowledge can find the right position, self-examination can improve oneself, and self-discipline can cure anxiety and achieve oneself.