Browse I Ching Hexagrams

The 64 Hexagrams
of the I Ching

Difficulty at the Beginning

PREVIOUS HEXAGRAM
3: Difficulty at the Beginning

About I Ching HexagramsPatience

NEXT HEXAGRAM
5: Patience

4: Youthful Folly

Be on guard for the careless or rebellious attitudes characteristic of inexperience. Just as a youth requires instruction, this is a good time to focus on learning lessons from a patient teacher or from life experience. Is there a circumstance in your life that you have failed to comprehend, perhaps because you didn’t appreciate its inherent complexities? Be respectful of anything or anyone who has something to teach you right now. If you are focusing on a relationship, ask yourself which of you is currently the student and which of you is the sage. If you are a parent, ask yourself: Who is being the teacher—my child or me?

In order to be ready for challenging times, let education be an ongoing part of your life. Develop the necessary mind-set and willpower to carry you through confusing times. The wise realize that experience—especially difficult experience—is a most powerful teacher. But we cannot be forced to learn, even from experience. Be the humble student who delights in learning, the one who nourishes an expanding awareness.

Examine your attitude for factors that would limit your openness. Observe how you deal with the mistakes of others. Let people live their own lives and learn their own lessons. You may offer them your wisdom or advice, but do so only if they are receptive. Give up trying to convince others that you are right, as it is both exhausting and counterproductive. Instead, allow others to proceed, even into difficult or dangerous circumstances. It may be the only way they can learn; and without learning, no one can achieve success. Care without forcing attention; trying to take care of someone who is unwilling can actually be harmful. Live and let learn.

Explore Any I Ching Hexagram

Click on an I Ching hexagram below to learn more about its individual message and the profound insight it provides for your life, decisions, relationships, or whatever is on your mind!