If you stand on tiptoe, you cannot stand firmly.
If you take long steps, you cannot walk far.
Showing off does not reveal enlightenment.
Boasting will not produce accomplishment.
He who is self-righteous is not respected.
He who brags will not endure.
All these ways of acting are odious, distasteful.
They are superfluous excesses.
They are like a pain in the stomach,
a tumor in the body.
When walking the path of the Tao,
this is the very stuff that must be
uprooted, thrown out, and left behind.
Stand on you tiptoes and feel how unstable you are. The slightest nudge can knock you off balance.
Take long, exaggerated steps and see how quickly you tire out. You cannot sustain that sort of stride for very long.
This is a metaphor for how you show up in your own life. Showing off, boasting, acting self-righteous and bragging do not create a sturdy foundation on which to build your life. Eventually you will tire of continuing in this manner or others will tire of you acting in such a way. Disrespect is cultivated and opportunities for accomplishment and enlightenment are missed.
Acting in such a way is like a cancer. It eats away at your relationships, at your state of mind and potentially at your physical body.
By following the Tao you can uproot such behavior from your character and present your true, authentic self. This is the path of the Tao. It is the solid foundation to build life upon and it is able to span lifetimes.
Just be you! You are what the world needs. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be here.