A complete man refers to a person of sound moral integrity who also has command of various skills that in ancient times were needed to deal with social life. In the view of the ancient Chinese, a complete man did not just mean that a man reached adulthood. It also meant that a person had acquired sound morals and the skills required to adapt to society. A complete man needed to have wisdom, courage, and self-restraint and also to have mastered the skills necessary to appropriately deal with all types of matters in life, so that his words and deeds met the requirements of moral principles and justice.
Zilu asked what qualities a complete man needed to have. Confucius said, “If someone has the wisdom of Zang Wuzhong, is free from covetousness as Meng Gongchuo is, has the courage of Bian Zhuangzi and the versatile skills of Ran Qiu, and is versed in rites and music, he can then be considered a complete man.” Confucius then continued, “Now, what is the necessity of a complete man having all of these virtues? When faced with the temptation of self-interest, he thinks of the principle of justice. When at danger, he is ready to put his life at risk if necessary. When long in dire straits, he never forgets his past promises. Such a person can be said to be a complete man!” (The Analects)
With moral integrity, one can have strong willpower and are resolute in action; and with strong willpower and being resolute in action, one can respond to all changes with ease. Such a person can be called a complete man. (Xunzi)