On Conquering Thyself

“He who knows men is clever; He who knows himself has insight. He who conquers men has force; He who conquers himself is truly strong. 

He who knows when he has got enough is rich, And he who adheres assiduously to the path of Tao is a man of steady purpose. 

He who stays where he has found his true home endures long,

And he who dies but perishes not enjoys real longevity.” 

– From the Tao Te Ching

Yesterday was my birthday and I celebrated it by going to a good ol’ Texas BBQ place. I got a whole rack of baby-back ribs along with pulled pork on the side. Needless to say, I was stuffed. Then I hit the city to pick up some girls but for the first hour, I was so full that I barely felt like talking to anyone. As my food digested, I started feeling a lot better and so my willingness to approach and talk to women went up. I ended up meeting a few girls and exchanged contact info with them. Girls in Texas are definitely a bit nicer than they are in NYC. They’re less cold and more open.

Anyways, the reason I posted the above quote by Lao Tzu is that I wanted to break down the meaning of it and its effects on my personal life in a way that you can benefit from.

Recently, I’ve been getting a lot more into the Tao Te Ching. I find it to be one of the most profound spiritual guides on the planet.

“He who knows men is clever; He who knows himself has insight. He who conquers men has force; He who conquers himself is truly strong.”

I talk a lot about staying vigilant and the notion of internal enemies.

Some say that life is like a dance.

I say that life can be like a dance but it is also often times like a battle…like warfare.

Combat is reflective of life, only amplified and intensified. – Jocko Willink

Life can feel like a battle…a test…especially when you’ve chosen to take Spartan Ownership over every aspect of your life. Life can feel this way especially if you’ve chosen the path of masculine character development and self-mastery.

Therefore Lao Tzu really hits home when he speaks of conquering yourself and how that is true strength. When you conquer yourself, you are fully in control of your body and mind…your spirit vessel. From that point of control, you become much more effective in all that you do. You become a much better leader.

My life truly changed when I had this insight.


Maximillian Giamarco



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Maximillian Giamarco

Entrepreneur, coach, and author. Spartan Ownership is centered on providing groundbreaking content, products, and services tailored to improving men's lives. Main areas of focus include masculine lifestyle design, character development, self-discipline, MMA, women, mind and body optimization, and more!

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