Decifer these confucius quotes?

Here are two of many sayings by Confucius that got me thinking, and stumped because I find it hard to believe I can apply them in real life. Do you find them true?

“One joy dispels a hundred cares.”


“Solve one problem and keep away a hundred more.”

The first one seems simple enough, but I feel like there’s so little joy in my life, how can I possibly dispel all those things that get me down or bother me? On the flip side, it suggests I’m not the only one, that lots of people care about too many things that get them pissed for, down. And yet also, if you don’t care about anything at all, where is the passion or life force? Maybe I’m caring about all the wrong things.

The second one is harder to believe. Usually the saying goes, problems are like weeds, get rid of one, another pops up. This saying is the opposite. He’s suggesting that by solving one problem, the others disappear or seem to be? As if by solving one problem, you build up enough confidence to where the other problems you had no longer seem like problems at all?
Correct me if I’m wrong.


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  • "This life's dim windows to the soul,
    Distort the heavens from pole to pole,
    And leads you to believe a lie,
    When you see with, not thro', the eye"-William Blake

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  • For the second i would say if you quit an addiction (solving one problem) you can solve hundreds of problems that came with active addiction. So i would apply that principle

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  • I can understand why the second one is a bit confusing. When you solve one problem, how does that automatically mean you know how to solve every problem that comes your way? Yeah, confusing as hell.

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  • The first one is supposed to make the reader realize the value of a reward. It's potentially not stated on purpose, to allow someone to figure it out on their own, but appreciating one positive "thing" can take your mind off of bad things

    In general, if you take the time to appreciate what you have you'll be less burdened by what you don't. It's actually a pretty powerful mental tool, because if you can maintain a base level satisfaction with your life then you won't have to worry about a lot of life struggles; you'd always be satisfied and most things you'd try to do or get would be icing on the cake

    The inverse is true as well though. Have you heard of FOMO? People all over get riled up if they don't get what they want. They care about not getting everything they want because they don't have enough to be satisfied without it. This is what a path of instant gratification yields, lust and gluttony

    The second quote I feel could be really well received if you watch the anime Mob Psycho 100, at least with the confidence building part you mentioned. But when you fix a problem, you start to understand the physics of whatever you fixed. If you're a farmer and you have to fix a fence for your cattle, you've then built up experience to fix your fence again easier as well as being able to redesign your fence systems. You've also reinforced how to get and process wood. Even if this farmer has to do barn or house maintenance he would still be able to use his fence building experience, and add onto it of course

    This quote actually tells you like "hey you have these things called neural networks and you could create your own life hacks if you pay enough attention"

    The problem with your weed simile is that it disguises the moral of carrying on through adversity with the hopelessness of trying. All life just about everywhere doesn't just give up. I have seen a lion with a broken jaw (literally swinging on skin) go to sleep next to crocodiles/alligators, sure, but I've seen cats hit by cars, having no sight, with "dead" limbs swat, hiss, and run away from the people who would end up restoring their health. I think it's better to focus on life's resolve than life's dilemmas. The dilemmas will show us how deceptive they can be, but resolve will show us how to handle them. The two build different mindsets

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    • Yeah. I’d say I’ve been happier when more grateful of everything. But it’s hard sometimes when life isn’t going your way, or maybe it is but so many things get on your nerves. I definitely think I relate to the FOMO part, and it’s hard to tell what I truly need vs what I think I need desperately to feel okay.

      As for the second part, it’s not my simile , it’s a common euphemism. Which if interpreted correctly, means to stop fretting over your problems so much or need to solve them, because there will only be new problems, new challenges, so on. That’s what that is teaching which I think you understood.

      But that is still in contrast to the meaning of this Confucius proverb. I’m not sure it’s about learning skill sets and experience which can then help you with problems further down the road, although it’s true nonetheless.
      I honestly feel it’s also about mindset and perspective, similar to my euphemism. That if you feel so empowered, so successful, in solving or winning at one thing, the others dissolve before you; they are nothing, because your confidence (and resolve as you say) will carry you through any adversity, even if you don’t have the skills or experience.

      I honestly think one of the worst things that can befallen a person is to have the aptitude and experience to solve their very problems, but their mental state and mindset prevents them from ever taking action, getting results, solving those problems (procrastination as an example)

      Well, your comment helped. I think I understand it better

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  • By learning to really solve one problem... you have learned how to solve a great many problems, and often can prevent them from occurring based on what you have learned.

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