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The Essence of True Wisdom and Strength: Conquering Self

Introduction In a world constantly seeking the definition of true strength and wisdom, an ancient adage offers profound insight. It states, “Those who understand others demonstrate intelligence; those who understand themselves exhibit wisdom. The strong may conquer others, but the true champions are those who conquer themselves.” This saying encapsulates a timeless truth about human nature and success.

Understanding Others: The Mark of Intelligence Intelligence, often measured by one’s ability to navigate the world, solve problems, and understand others, is a valuable trait. It allows individuals to interact effectively in social environments, predict behaviors, and make informed decisions. This form of intelligence is critical in leadership, diplomacy, and everyday social interactions.

The Depth of Self-Understanding: The Root of Wisdom Wisdom, however, delves deeper. It’s not merely about understanding the external world but turning the gaze inward. Self-awareness and introspection lead to wisdom – a profound understanding of one’s own motivations, emotions, and limitations. This self-knowledge is often more challenging to attain, as it requires honesty, vulnerability, and reflection.

Conquering Others vs. Self: The True Measure of Strength Strength is traditionally viewed as the ability to overpower others, whether through physical might, influence, or intellectual prowess. However, the ability to conquer oneself is a higher form of strength. This involves mastering one’s impulses, overcoming weaknesses, and staying true to principles in the face of adversity. It’s a silent, personal battle, often unnoticed by others, yet it marks the essence of a true champion.

Conclusion: A Champion’s Journey and Di Tran’s Realization

The journey to becoming a champion in this sense is lifelong and personal. It involves constant learning, growth, and the courage to face one’s innermost fears and flaws. By understanding others, we become intelligent; by understanding ourselves, we become wise. But by conquering ourselves, we become more than just strong – we become true champions, both in our eyes and in the essence of our being.

Di Tran has heard this many times, but the true depth of its meaning only resonates through personal experience. To actually feel it and somewhat incorporate this into one’s life, it takes a certain life experience. For Di Tran, this wasn’t just a theoretical understanding; it was a transformative journey. This philosophy, thus, serves not only as a guide in our quest for personal development but also as a beacon for achieving not just external success, but internal harmony and fulfillment. Di Tran’s experience exemplifies that wisdom and strength are not just concepts to be understood but lived and felt deeply through the trials and triumphs of life.

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Di Tran’s Journey to Understanding Humility: A Reflection on “Drop the ME and focus on the OTHERS”

Di Tran’s exploration of humility is not just a philosophical undertaking but a deeply personal journey that spans over three decades. His recently published book, “Drop the ME and focus on the OTHERS,” elucidates his insights and the profound understanding that life is multi-faceted and that each facet involves elements that are intricately connected to other people.

Early Influences

Di Tran’s mother’s words, “shut up and listen,” were more than just a stern command to a young child. They were an echo of wisdom that would take Di Tran more than 30 years to truly comprehend, internalize, and practice. These words encapsulate the idea that listening and understanding others’ perspectives is more valuable than one’s own voice.

Humility in Action

For Di Tran, the adage “actions speak louder than words” is more than a cliché; it’s a living philosophy. Through years of observing and acting, he recognized that deeds often have a more profound impact than mere words. People’s actions, including his own, showed him that meaningful change is often initiated and propagated through what we do rather than what we say.

In “Drop the ME and focus on the OTHERS,” Di Tran emphasizes that true humility is not just about self-reduction but focusing on others, understanding their needs, and acting accordingly. It’s a layer upon a layer, like a well-crafted cake, where each stratum adds depth and flavor to the entire understanding of life.

The Multi-Faceted Nature of Life

Di Tran’s writings reflect a realization that life is multi-faceted and that each facet involves other elements of life, more importantly, other people. This interconnectedness reveals that our individuality is not isolated but part of a more extensive network of relationships and interactions.

His belief that focusing on others rather than self is an essential aspect of humility, and his philosophy is rooted in recognizing the shared human experience. By concentrating on the “OTHERS,” Di Tran highlights how individuals can forge deeper connections, encourage empathy, and foster a community-driven approach to life.


Di Tran’s journey to understanding humility is a poignant reminder that personal growth and wisdom often come through listening, observing, and recognizing our connections to others. His book “Drop the ME and focus on the OTHERS” is a testament to his journey and a guide for those seeking to embrace a life where actions resonate, and empathy and community thrive.

His words and actions create a compelling narrative that encourages us to reflect on our own lives and how we may better connect with others. It’s an invitation to drop the self-centered view and embrace a philosophy that values the shared human experience, recognizing that in doing so, we enrich not just ourselves but the world around us.

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Perception, Responsibility, and Non-Judgment: Navigating Life’s Challenges


Our perception of the world, along with the recognition, understanding, and knowledge of what we encounter, shapes our lives significantly. It is often said, “If you see it, recognize it, understand it, and know it, then do something about it. It is your responsibility.” This phrase, while insightful, isn’t without its limitations. Equally true is, “Everyone has their own limitation in seeing, understanding, comprehending, feeling, and attaching to something, then even when it’s their job, it’s not necessarily they can do something about it.”

Seeing and Recognizing: Acknowledging Problems

There’s a Buddhist teaching that says, “With our thoughts, we make the world.” This highlights the profound role our perception plays in how we encounter and interact with reality. Life is a myriad of experiences that can be seen as problems or opportunities depending on our perspective. Recognizing a problem is the first step towards solving it. As Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once observed, “To recognize a problem is halfway to solving it.”

Understanding and Knowing: The Key to Responsibility

Understanding a problem involves empathizing with its complexity. It is where knowledge and intuition intersect. According to Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people.” Here, Jung implies that by understanding and knowing our problems, we can better handle the challenges we face. Taking responsibility becomes natural once we genuinely understand a situation.

Everyone’s Limitations: The Impediments to Action

However, as humans, we have limitations in our perception, comprehension, and the depth of our emotional attachment. This can restrict our ability to act, even when we feel responsible. This limitation isn’t a character flaw, but an inherent part of our human condition. As American author Harper Lee famously wrote in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” This underlines the importance of empathy in acknowledging others’ limitations.

Non-judgment and Personal Responsibility: Towards a Better Self and Society

As we navigate life’s challenges, being non-judgmental towards others and holding ourselves to high standards can lead to personal growth and societal harmony. The stoic philosopher Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” This principle can be applied to judgment as well, encouraging us to listen and empathize more and judge less.

On the other hand, being strict with oneself fosters resilience and personal growth. American novelist James Baldwin wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” This suggests that we must confront our personal issues before we can hope to address them.

God’s Burden: Challenges as Pathways to Strength

In religious teachings, there is a belief that God doesn’t burden a soul beyond its capacity. In Islam, for example, this concept is explicitly mentioned in the Quran (2:286). This suggests that the challenges we face are proportionate to our capability to bear them and are meant to strengthen us, not others.

Conclusion: The Metaphor of Sand in the Eye

In essence, we need to stop worrying about the sand in others’ eyes and instead focus on our own. This metaphor, which is a variation of a saying from the Bible (Matthew 7:3), reminds us to focus on our issues before we scrutinize others. As we strive to navigate life’s challenges, let us be aware of our perceptions, take responsibility, respect our limitations,

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Shut Up and Listen: The Power of Being a Good Listener

“Shut up and listen” is a phrase that many of us have heard at some point in our lives. It’s a simple but powerful reminder that sometimes the best way to communicate with others is to stop talking and start listening. Di Tran’s mother taught him this valuable lesson early on, and it’s one that has stayed with him throughout his life.

Di Tran’s mother believed in the importance of listening more than speaking. She taught him that when we talk too much, we miss out on the valuable information that others have to share with us. By being quiet and attentive, we can learn more about others and gain new perspectives on the world around us.

This same sentiment is echoed by many successful people in all walks of life. From business leaders to politicians to everyday people, the importance of listening is stressed time and time again. In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that the most effective leaders are those who listen actively and empathetically to others.

Another key lesson that Di Tran’s mother taught him was to not align his feelings to those of others. This can be a difficult lesson to learn, as it’s natural to want to empathize with others and understand their perspective. However, it’s important to recognize that everyone is different and that we can never truly know how someone else is feeling.

Instead of trying to align our feelings with others’, we should focus on being open-minded and receptive to their perspectives. By doing so, we can learn more about their experiences and gain a deeper understanding of the world around us.

The key to being a good listener is to let the mind be open and let the brain absorb like a sponge. This means being fully present in the moment and actively engaging with what the other person is saying. It’s important to avoid distractions and to give the speaker our full attention.

Finally, it’s important to remember that conversations are not about us, but about the people we are speaking with. This means putting our own ego and needs aside and focusing on the needs of the other person. By doing so, we can build stronger relationships and have more fruitful conversations with others.

In conclusion, the lessons taught by Di Tran’s mother are valuable reminders of the importance of listening and being open-minded in our interactions with others. By shutting up and listening, we can gain new insights, build stronger relationships, and create a better understanding of the world around us.