Jie Zi Shu
By Zhuge Liang
To carry out the practice of a noble person,
Cultivate yourself in quietude,
And develop virtue with frugality.
Without a simple life, you will lack clarity of will;
Without tranquility, you will not go far.
To learn, you must have quietude,
And to have ability, you must learn.
Without learning, you will not broaden your abilities;
Without quietude, you will not accomplish your learning.
Being scattered, you will not achieve true excellence;
Being reckless, you will not control your own nature.
Over time, the years will race by,
And your aspirations will depart daily.
Having dried up and fallen behind,
You will then not engage in the world.
Sitting alone in regret and poverty,
What will your accomplishments be?