Here are the best collection of quotes from Confucius. Confucius had a lot to say about how to live your life. Confucius was a philosopher who lived in China (551-479 BC) and he had a lot of wisdom to share about how to live life.
He was an expert on all things good and bad, and how to navigate the gray areas in between. It’s not surprising that his quotes are still applicable today, and that’s why I’ve curated a list of his most poignant and wise words.
Below are the best Confucius quotes you can use to guide your life.
Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. – Confucius
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. – Confucius
To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short. – Confucius
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Confucius
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. – Confucius
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. – Confucius
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Roads were made for journeys, not destinations. – Confucius
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. – Confucius
We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression. – Confucius
To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge. – Confucius
When anger rises, think of the consequences. – Confucius
To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace. – Confucius
He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions. – Confucius
And remember, no matter where you go, there you are. – Confucius
Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. – Confucius
The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live. – Confucius
The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. – Confucius
Study the past if you would define the future. – Confucius
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. – Confucius
The Most Famous Confucius Quotes
What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.
Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.
Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. – Confucius
The funniest people are the saddest ones. – Confucius
Sincerity is the way of heaven.
The object of the superior man is truth.
What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others.
Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.
Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
To understand yourself is the key to wisdom.
Learn as if you were not reaching your goal and as though you were scared of missing it.
What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.
To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.
Respect yourself and others will respect you.
To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle.
The Best Confucius Quotes
Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is sure to be failure.
Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.
A lack of patience in trifling matters might lead to the disruption of great project.
The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.
Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.
Straight-forwardness, without the rules of propriety, becomes rudeness.
Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.
When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points.
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You cannot open a book without learning something.
I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.
Love is like a spice. It can sweeten your life – however, it can spoil it, too.
Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.
The true gentleman does not preach what he practices till he has practiced what he preaches.
Silence is a true friend who never betrays.
The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.
It is man that makes truth great, not truth that makes man great.
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things.
Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.
Inspirational Quotes By Confucius
The journey with a 1000 miles begins with one step.
Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.
To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.
The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.
First there must be order and harmony within your own mind. Then this order will spread to your family, then to the community, and finally to your entire kingdom. Only then can you have peace and harmony.
Sincerity is that whereby self-completion is effected, and its way is that by which man must direct himself.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.
The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.
If you try to do too much, you will not achieve anything.
If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.
By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.
True goodness springs from a man’s own heart. All men are born good.
Do not let a leader lead you on a bad path.
You can successfully force people to follow a certain course, but you cannot force them to understand it.
The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress.
In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.
If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed, if in terms of ten years, plant trees, if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.
Short Confucius Quotes
Anyone can find the switch after the lights are on.
Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.
One joy dispels a hundred cares.
You are what you think.
Good people strengthen themselves ceaselessly.
Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.
To love a thing means wanting it to live.
He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.
Have no friends not equal to yourself.
Words are the voice of the heart.
He who will not economize will have to agonize.
A lion chased me up a tree, and I greatly enjoyed the view from the top.
Study the past, if you would divine the future.
To lead uninstructed people to war is to throw them away.
They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
A superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.
Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?
Can there be a love which does not make demands on its object?
He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.
Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.
Deep Confucius Quotes
When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.
Ah, music, sacred tongue of God! I hear thee calling and I come.
He with whom neither slander that gradually soaks into the mind, nor statements that startle like a wound in the flesh, are successful may be called intelligent indeed.
Knowing something is not as good as liking it. Liking something is not as good as rejoicing in it.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it – this is knowledge.
I slept and dreamt life is beauty, I woke and found life is duty.
Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.
Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life.
It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve, and bad things are very easy to get.
No matter how busy you make think you are you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.
Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.
The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?
There are three degrees of filial piety. The highest is being a credit to our parents, the second is not disgracing them; the lowest is being able simply to support them.
If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.
Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.
Study without reflection is a waste of time; reflection without study is dangerous.
To be truly happy and contented, you must let go of what it means to be happy or content.
A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do we know that his future will not be equal to our present?
The parents’ age must be remembered, both for joy and anxiety.
I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.
Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
When the multitude detests a man, inquiry is necessary; when the multitude likes a man, inquiry is equally necessary.
Learn as though you would never be able to master it; hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.
If the gentleman is not serious, he will not be respected, and his learning will not be on a firm foundation. He considers loyalty and faithfulness to be fundamental, has no friends who are not like him, and when he has made mistakes, he is not afraid of correcting them.
I have not seen a person who loved virtue, or one who hated what was not virtuous. He who loved virtue would esteem nothing above it.
The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.