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Confucius quotes

60 Confucius quotes about life, love, and wisdom to inspire you

Our latest collection of Confucius quotes for everyday wisdom!

Kong Qui or K’ung Fu-tzu, but more commonly known as Confucius, was a Chinese philosopher and political figure. He is best remembered for his teachings, which served to create admirable interactions and standards within society.

Confucianism, which is in essence a way of life and thinking for its followers, is based off of the aphorisms of Confucius. Although little is known about his life, his teachings on love, kindness, and respect still live on today. In fact, he is considered to be one of the most influential teachers not only in China, but in the world.

Born: 28 September 551 BC

Died: 479 BC

Let yourself be inspired by some of the best Confucius quotes on life, love, and success.


Wise Confucius quotes about life and love

1.) “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


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


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


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


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


6.) “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.” – Confucius


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


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


9.) “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius


10.) “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.” – Confucius


The best Confucius quotes on knowledge and education

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


12.) “The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.” – Confucius


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


14.) “Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.” – Confucius


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


16.) “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius


17.) “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.” – Confucius


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


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


20.) “Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.” – Confucius


Inspirational Confucius quotes on love and leadership

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


22.) “Study the past, if you would define the future.” – Confucius


23.) “Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.” – Confucius


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


25.) “Instead of being concerned that you have no office, be concerned to think how you may fit yourself for office. Instead of being concerned that you are not known, seek to be worthy of being known.” – Confucius


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


27.) “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.” – Confucius


28.) “He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.” – Confucius


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


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


Quotes and words of wisdom from Confucius

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


32.) “The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.” – Confucius


33.) “I will not be concerned at other men’s not knowing me; I will be concerned at my own want of ability.” – Confucius


34.) “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.” – Confucius


35.) “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.” – Confucius


36.) “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.” – Confucius


37.) “Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.” – Confucius


38.) “Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.” – Confucius


39.) “Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs.” – Confucius


40.) “The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most.” – Confucius


Confucius Quotes That Will Change Your Perspective on Life

41.) “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ― Confucius


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


43.) “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” – Confucius


44.) “If we don’t know life, how can we know death?” – Confucius


45.) “Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.” – Confucius


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


47.) “Silence is a true friend who never betrays.” – Confucius


48.) “Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.” – Confucius


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


50.) “Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.” – Confucius


More Confucius quotes and sayings that still ring true today

51.) “The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.” – Confucius


52.) “Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.” – Confucius


53.) “Men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.” – Confucius


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


55.) “They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.” – Confucius


56.) “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.” – Confucius


57.) “Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.” – Confucius


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


59.) “All good things are difficult to achieve, and all bad things are very easy to get.” – Confucius


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


Did any of these Confucius quotes make you think? Why or why not?

The ideologies of Confucius were so significant that during the Han, Tang, and Song dynasties, it was his ideas that influenced the political principles of these ruling families. His teachings were recorded in analects, which were later on compiled by his disciples. They have been translated so everyone in the world can learn from his beliefs.

Surprisingly, Confucius himself did not believe that his teachings would make any impact at all. Who would think that centuries later, his principles would be shared across the globe in the form of these inspirational Confucius quotes.


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Carole Epp

    August 16, 2018 at 11:07 am

    The quote that stands out for me is ” your life is what your thoughts make it ”
    This quote is extremely powerful. I have seen many variations, science has even proved it. ( If that matters).

    Joe dispenzo says “wherever you put your thoughts and awareness, becomes your reality”.

    Where are you putting your thoughts?

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