Zhou Enlai
Original publication: marxists.org

Guidelines for Myself (1943)

Written at Hongyan in Chongqing during the Yan’an Rectification Movement. [1]

1. Study diligently, grasp essentials. Concentrate on one subject rather than seeking superficial knowledge of many.

2. Work hard and have a plan, a focus and a method.

3. Theory and practice should be unified. Keep them in proper balance according to time, place, and circumstances. Take care to review and systematize; discover and create.

4. On the basis of principles, resolutely combat all incorrect ideology in others as well as in myself.

5. Develop existing strengths without neglecting other attributes. Overcome existing weaknesses by focusing on root causes and not minor details.

6. Never become alienated from the masses; learn from them and help them. Lead a collective life, inquire into the concerns of the people around you, study their problems and abide by the rules of discipline.

7. Keep fit and lead a reasonable regular life. This is the material basis for self-improvement.

  1. This was a 1942-1945 effort within the Communist Party of China to refocus the party line and shed subjectivist and sectarian tendencies. For more information, see Mao 1941 [web], Mao 1942 [web], Mao 1943 [web], and Deng 1943 [web]