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"天將降大任於斯人也,必先苦其心志" seems to be a saying by 老子 or 孟子. Could someone provide a literal translation + what the saying means?

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You can find James Legge's translation on ctext. Here's the snippet:

故天將降大任於是人也,必先苦其心志
when Heaven is about to confer a great office on any man, it first exercises his mind with suffering

You can also take a look at A. Charles Muller's translation of the same section:

Thus, when Heaven is going to give a great responsibility to someone, it first makes his mind endure suffering.

If you want to understand about the psyche behind such quotes you could flip through a book like The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology which goes into some detail on their interpretation of the saying. One such excerpt notes:

As stated in the Confucian doctrines, individuals should endure stress or suffering because these 'negative' experiences can be beneficial to individuals through strengthening their will, resilience, and inadequacies

Of course, you should consider the context around the quote, also, to get a clearer picture of what was being spoken of.

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孟子.

天將降大任於斯人也,必先苦其心志。 If diety gonna put a very important undertaking on a person, he must make him suffer emotionally.

It is because diety want to train him. So that it is ok to let him to do somethings important.

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天將降大任於是/斯人也,必先苦其心志,勞其筋骨,餓其體膚,空乏其身,行拂亂其所為,所以動心忍性,增益其所不能。(traditional Chinese)
天将降大任于是/斯人也,必先苦其心志,劳其筋骨,饿其体肤,空乏其身,行拂乱其所为,所以动心忍性,增益其所不能。(simplified Chinese)

Standard translation from internet (the first sentence is modified by me):

When the Heaven is about to place a great responsibility on one man, it always first frustrates his spirit and will, exhausts his muscles and bones, exposes him to starvation and poverty, harasses him by troubles and setbacks so as to stimulate his spirit, toughen his nature and enhance his abilities.

Both 是 and 斯 are right, but 是 is better. 是/斯 means this, 也 here means nothing in classic Chinese, it is a particle like do in an interrogative sentence in English sometimes.

(The heaven) 将(is about to, will) 降(befall) 大任(a great mission) 于(to) 是人(this man) 也,必(must) 先(first) 苦(exhaust) 其(his) 心志(will)...

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Found this here, with a nice explanation in easier Chinese. It's all about EQ.

Basically, gods are fickle, they choose you, then nearly kill you, then want you to do their work for them! Threaten them with disbelief, they will behave!

Mencius the Melodramatic:

孟子曰:「天將降大任於斯人也,必先苦其心志,勞其筋骨,餓其體膚,空乏其身,行拂亂其所為,所以動心忍性,增益其所不能。」

Quick translation: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

天將降大任於斯人也,
(If) the gods want to get someone to do a big job for them,
必先苦其心志,
(they) will first test his willpower,
勞其筋骨,
test his strength,
餓其體膚,
starve his body,
空乏其身,
empty his life,
行拂亂其所為,
brush away in confusion his daily routine,
所以動心忍性,
therefore who endures this (and survives)
增益其所不能。
(will) increase his abilities.

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I am looking for an equally idiomatic translation of this popular text phrase that every school kid knows in China. The closest I can think of now is “no pain no gain” by the governator.

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