Confucianism categorizes human mind into “human mind” and “moral mind.” The human mind is affected by the human body. The moral mind refers to the good and pure human nature. The moral mind is kind, but the human mind may be good or bad because it is directly linked to desires and emotions. Those who control their desire and emotions are good, but they may break bad if they fail to do so.
These philosophical concepts seem complicated, but it can be put to easy terms. Humans have pure and good nature. But at the same time, they have emotions such as joy, anger, sorrow and pleasure and desires for power, honor and comfort. They also have instinctive desires such as eating, sleeping and having sexual intercourse. Humans bound to have these desires and emotions, and we don’t have to deny it. But we must control and direct these emotions and desires into the right way. Moreover, human desires are so strong that they jeopardize human minds. And overcoming a desire does not mean an end as human desires sprout any time. This means ceaseless exertion is needed to move onto the highest virtue — moderation.
Imagine you became a king. At first, you would make a resolution to be a good and wise king who will stand tall in history. But it would be never easy to stick to the resolution. Those who made excellent achievements at an early stage often grow slack by the end.
Kings should keep the balance of their mind and reflect on their bad thoughts to fix them right away. But the problem is that it is hard to get the feet back on the ground alone. Only wise men can reflect on their behavior and thoughts to gather up their mind. Most people need a motive to look back on themselves or others around them to motivate them. They need to reflect on themselves by listening to outspoken comments of others and make it a habit.
I took an example of a king, but the lesson applies to everyone. No one is lazy on the first day of work or a project. They are determined to do well and make good results to surprise others. But they gradually let their habits take over and their original resolution dissipates as they pursue comfort.
We need reflect on ourselves daily and listen to others. We will be able to start and finish well only when we make such efforts.