An analysis of this quote of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tze (meaning “Old Master”).
“Watch your thoughts; they become words”: Every word that comes out of our mouth comes from a thought – whether consciously or unconsciously. A happy, kind thought precedes happy, kind words. And vice versa, if our thoughts are less than desirable, then somewhere along the thought process, we must’ve kindled matching thoughts.
“Watch your words; they become actions”: Our tone of voice and body language instinctively follow the words we’re saying (unless you’ve credible acting skills) – whether sweet or sour – they follow the thought we have bundled behind our words.
“Watch your actions; they become habits”: All of the habits we have were created by the actions we choose to take over and over again. Habits can be changed when we begin to take different actions which will form positive habits.
“Watch your habits; they become your character”: This is the set of qualities that distinguish us from one another – the way other people see us. They can’t feel our feelings or think our thoughts (maybe a soul mate can) – they only hear our words, see our actions and habits that define who we are and what we stand for.
“Watch your character; it becomes your destiny”: Our destiny – our reality – our world. Each of us has a unique perception of the world we live in. This is to an extent because we’ve created it – by our past thoughts. Take the example of the glass being half full or half empty – the point of view is unique to one’s interpretation of reality.
Though we may desire our future to be different to our past and present – many of us don’t achieve our goals because we’re stuck in a chronic cycle of “doing the same things over and over and expecting different results”. If we keep doing what we’ve always done, will we not get what we’ve always got?
To complement this in the words of another sagacious thinker, Aristotle:
“Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit”