When the very best students learn of way-making (dao)
They are just barely able to keep to its center.
When mediocre students learn of way-making
They are sporadically on it and off it.
When the very worst students learn of way-making
They guffaw at the very idea.
-From Chapter 41, trans. Ames & Hall.
One must not apply oneself to resolving “difficulties” at the stage when the situation has become difficult. Rather, we are shown, one anticipates the predictable arrival of this stage and pays close attention to things while they are still easy to manage.
Neither should one desire immediately to realize any “great projects”; instead, always begin at the incipient stage of things, which, as such, constitutes a promise of development.
-Francois Jullien channeling some Daoist wisdom, above all from the Laozi (the Daodejing) in his book In Praise of Blandness: Proceeding from Chinese Thought and Aesthetics, as translated by Paula Varsano (page 43).
A recent post by Bogdan is what put me in mind of that particular passage.