In life (not in geography), the South always has its South, and the North always has its North. The same with the East and the West. It doesn’t matter where to go – you will be always surrounded by the South and the North, and the East and the West. Just keep your track.
One of the main differences between a living person and a not entirely living individual is the ability to appreciate beauty
Gratefulness is a blessing upon a grateful person.
Everything in this world is relative because there are no clear boundaries between big and small, soft and hard, good and bad, etc. Even a large thing is small in comparison with the largest one, and even a soft thing is hard compared to the softest one. A good deed can be bad in a broader context, and a bad action can be perceived as good in a new dimension. Failure can create luck, and luck can open the way to subsequent failure. Your joy is not eternal, nor is your sorrow. Everything changes, everything turns into its opposite. Winnings carry out losses, and losses contain winnings. Rejoice, knowing that you will grieve, and grieve, knowing that you will rejoice.
There are two sides of the world we live in: expected and unexpected. They go side by side, playing with each other a game of strategy. The expected always has some unexpected within it, and the unexpected eternally contain some expected inside it. So, they are like Yin and Yang in the Tai Chi symbol. We expect, for example, that we die, but we don’t know when and how this may happen. We didn’t expect some virus pandemic suddenly would happen but we expect that something like that might happen at any time.
No one could envisage unexpected things because they are unexpected. But those who expect some unexpected things are not surprised by them because they know that some unforeseen events inevitably may occur. Wise people are prepared for both expected and unexpected happenings. Good strategists can think about many steps ahead, and they know what to expect in each step. The best strategist can not only calculate their and others’ actions in different situations but also leave the place for the unexpected development of everything. The most effective strategy is the one which can easily adapt to the unexpectedness.
All historical events combine both expected and unexpected elements. Every great leader demonstrates both expected and unexpected actions. And truly wise person sees the expected in the unexpected and recognizes unexpected in the expected.
What is the joy of a good conversation? What is the beauty of an interesting place to travel? What makes an individual charming? What makes a company of people attractive? The combination of expected and unexpected elements. So, don’t be too expected, and avoid being too unexpected. Combine both sides of these vitalities in your thinking, behavior and personality. Enjoy all expected and unexpected situations in your life. Try to find out the expected in the unexpected, and the unexpected in the expected. And when you meet with the unexpected, be prepared to say: “I expected you”. And when you are in the expected situation, try to find something unexpected in it.
The best among professional diplomats I have known are also excellent everyday diplomats. it is even hard to imagine that someone who is not a good everyday diplomat could become a good professional diplomat.
One can practice philosophy without being a philosopher. In fact, good philosophers may not even realize that they are philosophers.
Push your limits – but gently.