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100 Best Confucius Quotes & Life Lessons

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100 Best Confucius Quotes & Life Lessons

Welcome to the best Confucius quotes collection around.

Confucius is widely considered as one of the most important and influential individuals in shaping human history. His teaching and philosophy greatly impacted people around the world and remains influential today.

Confucius (551–479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.

The philosophy of Confucius, also known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.

His principles have commonality with Chinese tradition and belief and he embraced the well-known principle “Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself”, the Golden Rule.

I’ve put together the best Confucius quotes that also act as life lessons to help you live an inspired and successful life.

I hope these Confucius quotes will help you learn from the inspiring teacher, ultimately making the world a better place in the process.

Top 100 Confucius Quotes

1. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

2. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius

3. “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” – Confucius

4. “To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.” – Confucius

5. “You cannot open a book without learning something.” – Confucius

6. “The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” – Confucius

7. “Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.” – Confucius

8. “A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” – Confucius

9. “We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.” – Confucius

10. “If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?” – Confucius

11. “Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.” – Confucius

12. “Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.” – Confucius

13. “To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.” – Confucius

14. “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.” – Confucius

15. “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

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

17. “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius

18. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

19. “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” – Confucius

20. “When anger rises, think of the consequences.” – Confucius

21. “To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” – Confucius

22. “I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.” – Confucius

23. “The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.” – Confucius

24. “When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself.” – Confucius

25. “Study the past, if you would divine the future.” – Confucius

26. “To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.” – Confucius

27. “The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.” – Confucius

28. “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” – Confucius

29. “Respect yourself and others will respect you.” – Confucius

30. “The man who says he can, and the man who says he can’t are both correct.” – Confucius

31. “If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.” – Confucius

32. “Your life is what your thoughts make it.” – Confucius

33. “The journey with a 1000 miles begins with one step.” – Confucius

34. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

35. “You are what you think.” – Confucius

36. “Learn advidly. Question it repeatedly. Analyze it carefully. Then put what you have learned into practice intelligently.” – Confucius

37. “We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” – Confucius

38. “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.” – Confucius

39. “Act with kindness but do not expect gratitude.” – Confucius

40. “Worry not that no one knows you; seek to be worth knowing.” – Confucius

41. “The essence of knowledge is, having it, to use it.” – Confucius

42. “They must often change who would remain constant in happiness and wisdom.” – Confucius

43. “Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.” – Confucius

44. “No matter how busy you may think you are you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” – Confucius

45. “Think of tomorrow, the past can’t be mended.” – Confucius

46. “Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.” – Confucius

47. “When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.” – Confucius

48. “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.” – Confucius

49. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Confucius

50. “A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace.” – Confucius

Enjoying these Confucius Quotes? Then I’m sure you’ll like these Lao Tzu Quotes too!

51. “The gem cannot be polished without friction nor man without trials.” – Confucius

52. “Forget injuries, never forget kindness.” – Confucius

53. “What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.” – Confucius

54. “A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart.” – Confucius

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.” – Confucius

56. “It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.” – Confucius

57. “If you are courteous, you will not be disrespected; if you are generous, you will gain everything. If you are honest, people will rely on you. If you are persistent you will get results. If you are kind, you can employ people.” – Confucius

58. “If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nations. When there is order in the nations, there will peace in the world.” – Confucius

59. “Be loyal and trustworthy. Do not befriend anyone who is lower than yourself in this regard.” – Confucius

60. “Expect much from yourself and little from others and you will avoid incurring resentments.” – Confucius

61. “The perfecting of one’s self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development.” – Confucius

62. “These are the four abuses: desire to succeed in order to make oneself famous; taking credit for the labors of others; refusal to correct one’s errors despite advice; refusal to change one’s ideas despite warnings.” – Confucius

63. “It is difficult to inspire others to accomplish what you haven’t been willing to try.” – Confucius

64. “Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” – Confucius

65. “Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.” – Confucius

66. “When prosperity comes, do not use all of it.” – Confucius

67. “If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it’s OK. But you’ve got to shoot for something. A lot of people don’t even shoot.” – Confucius

68. “Consideration for others is the basic of a good life, a good society.” – Confucius

69. “He who chases two rabbits, catches none.” – Confucius

70. “In speaking, it is best to be clear and say just enough to convey the meaning.” – Confucius

71. “The superior man, while his parents are alive, reverently nourishes them; and, when they are dead, reverently sacrifices to them. His thought to the end of his life is how not to disgrace them.” – Confucius

72. “Exemplary persons are steadfast in the face of adversity, while petty persons are engulfed by it.” – Confucius

73. “A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others.” – Confucius

74. “It is better not to proceed at all than to proceed without purpose.” – Confucius

75. “A man is great not because he hasn’t failed; a man is great because failure hasn’t stopped him.” – Confucius

76. “Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.” – Confucius

77. “When strict with oneself, one rarely fails.” – Confucius

78. “I was complaining that I had no shoes till I met a man who had no feet.” – Confucius

79. “Happiness does not consist in having what you want, but in wanting what you have.” – Confucius

80. “As the water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, so a wise man adapts himself to circumstances.” – Confucius

81. “Cultivate the root; the leaves and branches will take care of themselves.” – Confucius

82. “Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.” – Confucius

83. “Do not wish for quick results, nor look for small advantages. If you seek quick results, you will not reach the ultimate goal. If you are led astray by small advantages, you will never accomplish great things.” – Confucius

84. “Don’t curse the darkness, light a candle.” – Confucius

85. “Of course you want to be rich and famous. It’s natural. Wealth and fame are what every man desires. The question is: What are you willing to trade for it?” – Confucius

86. “There are 1,000 lessons in defeat. But only one in victory.” – Confucius

87. “The archer who misses his mark does not blame the target. He stops, corrects himself and shoots again.” – Confucius

88. “There is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life – reciprocity.” – Confucius

89. “Keep it simple and focus on what matters. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed.” – Confucius

90. “Don’t let your past determine your destiny.” – Confucius

91. “We are so busy doing the urgent that we don’t have time to do the important.” – Confucius

92. “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step the man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius

93. “If one is guided by profit in one’s actions, one will incur much ill will.” – Confucius

94. “A man who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.” – Confucius

95. “If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.” – Confucius

96. “Great is the man who can overcome the world, but greater still is the man who can overcome himself, for he will have the world spinning on the palm of his hand.” – Confucius

97. “There is only one thing in life which never changes, and it is change.” – Confucius

98. “A reasonable man adjusts himself to the world. An unreasonable man expects the world to adjust itself to him. Therefore all progress is made by unreasonable people.” – Confucius

99. “The one who was born a genius can’t win against the one who tries, and the one who tries can’t win against the one who enjoys.” – Confucius

100. “Please stop waiting for a better and more appropriate time to become happy and focus on the moment you live in. Happiness is not an arrival, it is the journey itself. Many people seek for happiness above the height of human beings, some below. Yet, happiness is exactly at the exact height of human beings.” – Confucius

Did you find these quotes by Confucius inspiring?

What are your favourite Confucius quotes? Let me know in the comments and please share this post to help and inspire others.

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