“When I Let Go...” - Lao Tzu About One’s Own Potential

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I could be.
When I let go of what I have, I get what I need."

- Lao Tzu / Laozi / Lau Tzu

What this quote means?

If I already have both hands full of something, I can't pick up anything new. It is the same with our mind, or with our character. If I cling too tightly to my existing character traits, I have little chance of developing further.

Lao Tzu describes this phenomenon excellently in his quotation. For as long as I do not let go of what I am, I cannot become what I could be. As long as I don't let go of what I have, I can't get what I need. However, we as humans tend to hold on to things even when they are not good for us. Once they have been in our possession for a while, we tend to identify with those very things and think of them as our own, which makes it all the more difficult to let them go.

If we hold on to something too tightly, we can easily break it or hurt ourselves

As long as I am something, I cannot be anything else. Whether what I could be is better than what I am at present, I do not know. However, if I never try it, I will never know. Possibly it is not quite so black either or White, but perhaps some qualities that I currently have and some qualities that I could have are gone from the ideal - so more of a picture of black and White.

However, I will never be able to know that unless I let go of what I am, unless I let go of what I have.

Nature is a constantly changing and evolving energy, something like standstill is hardly to be found. Whether from fish to mammal, from conifer to deciduous tree, or from an uninhabitable rock to a habitable planet. Just as there is no permanence in nature, we should not believe that we can maintain a permanence within ourselves.

There is also something adventurous in it, to become what you could besomething mysterious and encouraging.

And that's what I think you should discover. What are you waiting for? There is an infinite amount to discover. Or to miss...

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