The assertion likely sounded sage when first uttered by ancient philosopher Lao Tzu but it can seem a little dumbed down when applied ungraciously to Scottish football. It is perhaps merciful, then, that Terry Butcher has sought to reignite Inverness Caledonian Thistle's ambitions of securing second place by using a few more heated words.
Any outburst would seem timely since his side have gone cold; the Highland side have taken just a point from their last six matches. A trip to face Hearts today is the latest opportunity to arrest that slide, even if Inverness have only slipped as far as third place in that time. The gradient of their descent perhaps only seems as steep given how strong their results seemed earlier in the campaign.
The drop in form also jars since the club's ambitions are still in the hands of the same players, albeit captain Richie Foran is still out of contention due to a knee injury. There has been no such dip in confidence as a result and Owain Tudur Jones is not perturbed unduly by absence of a win in recent weeks.
"The team hasn't changed that much," said the Inverness midfielder. "If you take the Motherwell game [a 3-0 defeat last week] out of it we have been playing pretty good on the whole, and because of how well we have done for the majority of the season it almost gave us the cushion for when this little spell came.
"However, we are still above most of the teams but this run can't carry on or else teams will start to pass us, as Motherwell did last week. But we are fine, we are feeling good and confident and ready to go again. We have a lot of faith in each other."
That is a sentiment which is also evident among the young players that currently populate the Hearts first team. The likes of Jamie Walker, Callum Tapping and Billy King have proven adept at knitting together attractive patterns of play since they were introduced to competitive action, even if those have often unravelled in the final third. The Tynecastle side languish in 10th place as a result but their belief has not taken a similar downturn.
"There's a good team spirit," said Walker, a spry and elegant midfielder. "Obviously we got to the League Cup final but the past couple of weeks haven't gone so well, so we're looking forward to this game. We're due the fans a good performance and hopefully we can get the three points."