Confucius Quotes | 194 inspirational quotes and sayings

Confucius quotes and sayings

Inspirational and Famous Confucius Quotes

There is a list of top 194 famous and inspirational Confucius quotes and sayings on life, relationships, love, hate, success, failure, happiness, education, work, respect, and more.

Confucius quotes and sayings

 

    1. It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.

    2. To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage, or of principle.

    3. He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.

    4. Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?

    5. Confucius advice Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated

    6. To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue…They are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.

    7. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.

    8. If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.

    9. From Confucius Quotes, Imagination is more important than knowledge.

    10. Acquire new knowledge whilst thinking over the old, and you may become a teacher of others.

    11. We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.

    12. He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.

    13. Confucius quote Silence is the true friend that never betrays

    14. When I walk along with two others, from at least one I will be able to learn.

    15. Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

    16. Confucius quote When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps

    17. 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.

    18. 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.

    19. Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.

    20. From Confucius Quotes, Review the old and deducing the new makes a teacher.

    21. Confucius quotes A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

    22. A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake.

    23. Do not worry about holding high position, worry rather about playing your proper role.

    24. Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.

    25. Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.

    26. Confucius quote It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop

    27. The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

    28. From Confucius Quotes, Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.

    29. Roads were made for journeys not destinations.

    30. 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.

    31. Behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest.

    32. Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.

    33. The parents age must be remembered, both for joy and anxiety.

    34. He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.

    35. From Confucius Quotes, When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.

    36. Think of tomorrow, the past can’t be mended.

    37. If we don’t know life, how can we know death?

    38. 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.

    39. Be strict with yourself but least reproachful of others and complaint is kept afar.

    40. It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.

    41. The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest, success only comes later.

    42. Virtue is more to man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue.

    43. The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it not having it, to confess your ignorance.

    44. From Confucius Quotes, Silence is a true friend who never betrays.

    45. Humility is the solid foundation of all the virtues.

    46. A superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.

    47. Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs.

    48. Learning without thought is labor lost, thought without learning is perilous.

    49. Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.

    50. The superior man thinks always of virtue, the common man thinks of comfort.

    51. Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.

    52. Do not be desirous of having things done quickly. Do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.

    53. The journey with a miles begins with one step.

    54. From Confucius Quotes, Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.

    55. The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.

    56. A gentleman would be ashamed should his deeds not match his words.

    57. Learn as though you would never be able to master it, hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.

    58. He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.

    59. It is only the wisest and the stupidest that cannot change.

    60. A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do you know that his future will not be equal to our present?

    61. Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.

    62. Things that are done, it is needless to speak about…things that are past, it is needless to blame.

    63. He who acts with a constant view to his own advantage will be much murmured against.

    64. I am not concerned that I am not known, I seek to be worthy to be known.

    65. Confucius quote Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things

    66. He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.

    67. From Confucius Quotes, One joy dispels a hundred cares.

    68. To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.

    69. When a man’s knowledge is sufficient to attain, and his virtue is not sufficient to enable him to hold, whatever he may have gained, he will lose again.

    70. If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.

    71. Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

    72. Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.

    73. When we see persons of worth, we should think of equaling them, when we see persons of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

    74. From Confucius Quotes, To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.

    75. I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

    76. To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order, to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order, to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life, and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.

    77. You cannot open a book without learning something.

    78. The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.

    79. No matter how busy you make think you are you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.

    80. The man who says he can, and the man who says he can not… Are both correct.

    81. Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.

    82. Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things.

    83. From Confucius Quotes, To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.

    84. A lion chased me up a tree, and I greatly enjoyed the view from the top.

    85. When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

    86. Confucius saying Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure

    87. Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.

    88. Confucius quote Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without

    89. Confucius quote The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trial

    90. 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.

    91. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

    92. When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

    93. Death and life have their determined appointments, riches and honors depend upon heaven.

    94. Learn advidly. Question it repeatedly. Analyze it carefully. Then put what you have learned into practice intelligently.

    95. The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.

    96. From Confucius Quotes, Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.

    97. Confucius advice A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake

    98. Have no friends not equal to yourself.

    99. The faults of a superior person are like the sun and moon. They have their faults, and everyone sees them, they change and everyone looks up to them.

    100. Worry not that no one knows of you, seek to be worth knowing.

    101. Confucius advice Do not use a cannon to kill a mosquito

    102. 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.

    103. From Confucius Quotes, Boldness, without the rules of propriety, becomes insubordination.

    104. Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

    105. Confucius advice What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others

    106. Anyone can find the switch after the lights are on.

    107. When anger rises, think of the consequences.

    108. Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.

    109. Learn as if you were not reaching your goal and as though you were scared of missing it.

    110. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

    111. From Confucius Quotes, I slept and dreamt life is beauty, I woke and found life is duty.

    112. Those who know the truth are not equal to those who love it.

    113. Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.

    114. Act with kindness but do not expect gratitude.

    115. I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.

    116. Respect yourself and others will respect you.

    117. You are what you think.

    118. Confucius saying Have no friends not equal to yourself

    119. What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.

    120. We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.

    121. The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.

    122. Confucian quote Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall

    123. The people may be made to follow a path of action, but they may not be made to understand it.

    124. From Confucius Quotes, He who excels in study can follow an official career.

    125. With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow, I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as a floating cloud.

    126. To love a thing means wanting it to live.

    127. 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.

    128. Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.

    129. To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.

    130. A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace.

    131. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.

    132. Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.

    133. 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.

    134. Confucius quote The superior man is modest in his speech, but excels in his actions

    135. In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.

    136. The expectations of life depend upon diligence, the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.

    137. The perfecting of one’s self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development.

    138. From Confucius Quotes, Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men

    139. The superior man does not, even for the space of a single meal, act contrary to virtue. In moments of haste, he cleaves to it. In seasons of danger, he cleaves to it.

    140. Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.

    141. The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.

    142. From Confucius Quotes, All people are the same, only their habits differ.

    143. Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.

    144. Men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.

    145. When you see a worthy person, endeavor to emulate him. When you see an unworthy person, then examine your inner self.

    146. Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned?

    147. By nature, men are nearly alike, by practice, they get to be wide apart.

    148. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

    149. The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.

    150. Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.

    151. Isn’t it also great when friends visit from distant places? If one remains not annoyed when he is not understood by people around him, isn’t he a sage?

    152. From Confucius Quotes, He who will not economize will have to agonize.

    153. When a person should be spoken with, and you don’t speak with them, you lose them. When a person shouldn’t be spoken with and you speak to them, you waste your breath. The wise do not lose people, nor do they waste their breath.

    154. Confucius quote 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

    155. If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.

    156. The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.

    157. Do not use a cannon to kill a mosquito.

    158. Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.

    159. If you don’t want to do something, don’t impose on others.

    160. A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.

    161. Think no vice so small that you may commit it, and no virtue so small that you may over look it.

    162. From Confucius Quotes, Study the past if you would define the future.

    163. What the superior man seeks is in himself, what the small man seeks is in others.

    164. Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.

    165. We take greater pains to persuade others that we are happy than in endeavoring to think so ourselves.

    166. The wheel of fortune turns round incessantly, and who can say to himself, I shall today be uppermost.

    167. I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge, I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there.

    168. Wealth and rank are what people desire, but unless they be obtained in the right way they may not be possessed.

    169. The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability, he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has.

    170. If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?

    171. Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.

    172. The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.

    173. From Confucius Quotes, The object of the superior man is truth.

    174. Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.

    175. Mankind differs from the animals only by a little and most people throw that away.

    176. The real fault is to have faults and not amend them.

    177. 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.

    178. To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue, these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.

    179. Virtuous people often revenge themselves for the constraints to which they submit by the boredom which they inspire.

    180. Confucius quote A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace

    181. When prosperity comes, do not use all of it.

    182. Confucius saying The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue

    183. The cautious seldom err.

    184. A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart.

    185. Fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving kindness, and find your recreation in the Arts.

    186. The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trial.

    187. He who learns but does not think is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.

    188. The superior man understands what is right, the inferior man understands what will sell.

    189. They must often change who would remain constant in happiness and wisdom.

    190. To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.

    191. There are three things to beware of through life: when a man is young, let him beware of his appetites, when he is middle-aged, of his passions, and when old, of covetousness, especially.

    192. It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach his own family.

    193. The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.

    194. Confucius quote He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools

We hope these Confucius quotes and sayings put you on a virtuous path! Let us know in the comments if there are any of your favorites that we missed.

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Sam HaddadSam Haddad
Dad, Husband, Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Arts Comparative Religion, Author.

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