A slightly different phrase which is used interchangeably from time to time in Taoist literature and whose translation is more telling is wei wu wei, the literal translation of which is "acting not acting." In light of this it is easy to see how Taoism (and its Japanese reflection Zen) have been misconstrued as advocating laziness and stagnation, however this is not the case. Annihilation of the self is not implicit in wu wei, in fact the opposite is true. Each of us is born infused with a temperament which will remain largely unchanged throughout our lives; if we misguidedly decide that an aspect of our temperament is undesirable and fight against it we are acting--pretending to be something we are not. Worse yet, whereas it may be necessary in some cases to undergo stress to cause a positive change (the breaking of a bad habit, for instance), fighting something which we cannot change will only acclimate us to conflict. By adding stresses to our lives which do not need to be there we remove ourselves even further from reality than our limited senses determine we must remain. What wu wei suggests we do is only that whatever we are doing at a given time we do it completely, as shaped by our closest approximation to our selves.