Do not worry if you are without a position; worry lest you do not deserve a position. Do not worry if you are not famous; worry lest you do not deserve to be famous.

[不患無位、患所以立、不患莫己知、求爲可知也]

Confucius (c. 551- c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher, sage, politician [孔夫子 (Kǒng Fūzǐ, K'ung Fu-tzu, K'ung Fu Tse), 孔子 (Kǒngzǐ, Chungni), 孔丘 (Kǒng Qiū, K'ung Ch'iu)]
The Analects [論語, 论语, Lúnyǔ], Book 4, verse 14 (4.14) (6th C. BC – AD 3rd C.) [tr. Leys (1997)]
    (Source)

(Source (Chinese)). See also 1.16, 14.30, 15.19. Alternate translations:

A man should say, I am not concerned that I have no place, I am concerned how I may fit myself for one. I am not concerned that I am not known, I seek to be worthy to be known.
[tr. Legge (1861)]

One should not be greatly concerned at not being in office; but rather about the requirements in oneself for such a standing. Neither should one be so much concerned at being unknown; but rather with seeking to become worthy of being known.
[tr. Jennings (1895)]

Be not concerned for want of a position; be concerned how to fit yourself for a position. Be not concerned that you are not known, but seek to do something to deserve a reputation.
[tr. Ku Hung-Ming (1898)]

One should not be concerned at lack of position; but should be concerned about what will fit him to occupy it. One should not be concerned at being unknown; he should seek to be worthy of being known.
[tr. Soothill (1910)]

Not worried at being out of a job, but about being fit for one; not worried about being unknown but about doing something knowable.
[tr. Pound (1933)]

He does not mind not being in office; all he minds about is whether he has qualities that entitle him to office. He does not mind failing to get recognition; he is too busy doing the things that entitle him to recognition.
[tr. Waley (1938)]

Do not worry because you have no official position. Worry about your qualifications. Do not worry because no one appreciates your abilities. Seek to be worthy of appreciation.
[tr. Lau (1979)]

One is not worried about not holding position; one is worried about how one may fit oneself for appointment. One is not worried that nobody knows one; one seeks to become fit to be known.
[tr. Dawson (1993)]

Do not worry about having no office; rather, worry about whether you deserve to stand in that office. Do not worry about nobody knowing you; rather, seek to be worth knowing.
[tr. Chichung Huang (1997)]

Do not worry about not being on the position, just worry about my quality on the position. Do not worry about that nobody understand me, just seek I can be understood.
[tr. Cai/Yu (1998), #81]

Do not worry over not having an official position; worry about what it takes to have one. Do not worry that no one acknowledges you; seek to do what will earn you acknowledgment.
[tr. Ames/Rosemont (1998)]

He does not worry that he has no position; he worries about whether he is qualified to hold one. He does not worry that no one recognizes his worth; he seeks to become worthy to be recognized.
[tr. Brooks/Brooks (1998)]

Don't worry if you have no position: worry about making yourself worthy of one. Don't worry if you aren't known and admired: devote yourself to a life that deserves admiration.
[tr. Hinton (1998)]

Do not be concerned that you lack an official position, but rather concern yourself with the means by which you might become established. Do not be concerned that no one has heard of you, but rather strive to become a person worthy of being known.
[tr. Slingerland (2003)]

Don’t worry that you have no position -- worry about how you can qualify for one. Don’t worry that people don’t know you -- look for some reason to become known.
[tr. Watson (2007)]

Do not worry that you have no official position. Worry about tnot having the qualifications to deserve a position. Do not worry that others do not know you. Seek to be worthy of being known.
[tr. Annping Chin (2014)]

You should not worry about not getting an official appointment. You should instead worry about whether you have the capability to take that assignment. You should not worry that people do not know you. You should instead strive for remarkable achievement.
[tr. Li (2020)]


 
Added on 19-Mar-10 | Last updated 29-Nov-22
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