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Step 7: Puff yourself with honor and pride and no one can save you from a fall.


Principle: Humility

Thie 9th verse of the Tao creates an opportunity for us to to view our lives through the filter of balance which is a fundamental principle of the Tao. It helps us understand when enough is enough and that within the natural order there is enough. Excess upsets the balance. Our own excesses upset the balance in our lives. A prideful ego sets us up for a fall which is the natural consequence of this excessive behavior when it pushes out the appreciation and acclamation of others and their efforts and contributions. If we live our lives humbly, we know how much is enough, when to stop and when to let go. In living our lives mindfully, we can find joy in any moment.

Text or Verse

To keep on filling is not as good as stopping.
Overfilled, the cupped hands drip,
better to stop pouring.

Sharpen a blade too much and its edge will soon be lost.
Fill your house with jade and gold and it brings insecurity.
Puff yourself with honor and pride
and no one can save you from a fall.

Retire when the work is done;
this is the way of heaven.
9th Verse
Tao Te Ching


  1. Make a commitment to clean out whatever is excess in your life.
  2. What do you need to stop?
  3. What do you need to release and let go?
  4. How can you consume less and recycle more?
  5. How can you live more simply with less?


Dyer, Dr. Wayne. Change your Thoughts, Change your Life. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2007.

Lao Tzu. trans. by Stephen Mitchell. Tao Te Ching: A New English Version.


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