“Who is wise? He that learns from everyone
Who is powerful? He that governs his passions
Who is rich? He that is content
Who is that? Nobody”
– Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1755
Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Nobody I know at least.
The stereotypical image of a buddhist monk comes to mind, but do you think there are people who fit the above criteria?
I like the third line. I think a whole chapter in econ was dedicated to the idea of “endless wants” but that line really hits home.
I think you missed the point DCP. The last line isn’t a quip or an observation. It’s a reminder to be humble and know that no matter how far you’ve come, you’re still human, and that you can still go further. No one is perfect, but that’s no reason not to strive for perfection.
I read the last line as a reminder to let go. You will never be all of those things all the time, so don’t try to will yourself to do so.
It seems like sometimes theres a point where striving harder – at least in the conventional sense, involving your will – doesn’t help you get where you want to go.
There’s this little quip that goes something like:
Q- Well, so what am I supposed to do now?
A- You do not do.
More eloquently stated:
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.
“A good athlete can enter a state of body-awareness in which the right stroke or the right movement happens by itself, effortlessly, without any interference of the conscious will. This is a paradigm for non-action: the purest and most effective form of action. The game plays the game; the poem writes the poem; we can’t tell the dancer from the dance.”
Are you reading malcolm gladwell?
the new site look dosent show text in windows propertyl it is all mashed up , you best be fixin’ to do somthing bout that
It could mean that no one with a fixed self can be so receptive and accepting. If you have a fixed idea of yourself, you have fixed aims and desires and will not stand to have them denied. And you cannot learn from everyone if you have fixed standards: you will judge others and therefore see only your own standards reflected, rather than the other as he really is.
Longing to ‘be somebody’ and define or fulfil oneself is a barricade to wisdom and virtue. This is why the lives of many philosophers belie their words. Schopenhauer was full of talk about the illusion of the self with its petty wants, yet he lived the petty and selfish life of a bourgeois political reactionary; something of a hedonistic survivalist.