Gateway to Dharma
What are the Principles behind the Advancement of Human Potential?
On the subject of advancing human potential, Confucius stated there are eight essential principles which should be undertaken one stage at a time, for each completed stage serves to support the development of the following stage. These eight essential principles are: to investigate things; to extend our knowledge; to be sincere; to rectify one's mind; to cultivate oneself; to regulate one's family; to manage the state; and to bring peace to the world. Confucius also advocates the practice that: whenever he meets an able man, he aims to emulate being his equal; and when he meets a man who is neither able nor virtuous, he engages in self-reflection to see if he shares the undesirable traits of the other person in any way.
To accomplish this end, Confucius's disciple Zeng Zi was known to examine himself on three things every day: Have I done my best in doing things for another man? Have I been trustworthy in my dealings with friends? Have I failed to revise what the Master had taught me?