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Wu Wei - Doing Less & Wanting More

Although modern Western society tends to emphasise the importance of willpower and striving, there are some central human goals –happiness, relaxation, charisma – that appear to come only to those who are not trying to achieve them. The importance of ‘not trying’ was recognised by early Chinese thinkers, who understood how relaxed spontaneity could lead to both personal and social success. The early Chinese ideal of effortless action is also looking increasingly plausible from the perspective of modern psychology, as we come to better understand the pervasive role of embodied, tacit knowledge in human behaviour.

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