Book - Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu
Stephen Mitchell Translation
Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity. - Stephen Mitchell
Other translations I like
Brim-fill the bowl, it’ll spill over.
Keep sharpening the blade, you’ll soon blunt it.
Nobody can protect a house full of gold and jade.
Wealth, status, pride, are their own ruin.
To do good, work well, and lie low is the way of the blessing.
Ursula Le Guin
Over-filled, the cupped hands drip.
Better to stop pouring.
One over-sharpens the well-forged blade,
and it won’t last long.
With gold and jade in the hall,
the house isn’t safer.
Wealth and pride
are the authors of error.
When the work is completed,
it’s time to retire.
That is the Tao of heaven.