Confucius was an important influential teacher and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.
Confucius works emphasized not only the significance of intellectual development and belief, but also how to lead a moral, happy, and peaceful life.
This practical approach is one of the reasons why his quotes and teachings widely resonate with the people of the modern world.
You may well have come across Confucius words in inspirational books, pictures, and motivational quotes shared on the internet.
Let’s take a look at some of Confucius’ most famous quotes and how they can help us today – right here, right now. When we read inspirational quotes it can be quite easy to simply flick through thirty or forty and feel briefly inspired, only to then move onto the next thing. Here, we are going to look in detail and reflect on five so they can resonate, move us, and help us gain experience in our life.
1) “Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.”
Our stress and anxiety arise because we spend much of the time thinking about what could happen in the future or what has happened in the past. This makes it very challenging to appreciate the present moment. Our life is passing us by so quickly, so in this fast-paced world we multitask to keep up. Mindfulness practice helps to draw us into the present moment to appreciate where we are. This quote perfectly leads us to the present moment. Listening to the sounds around us, experiencing being in our body, and observing our breathing can help us to discover, that here we truly are.
If we are truly present in each moment we can extract the greatest meaning from our life.
2) “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
Is life as complicated as we feel it is? It is, when we have a myriad of conflicting thoughts flying through our mind, with health, financial, and relationship worries troubling us. To have a simple life it may seem as though we need to leave or abandon our complications. However, if we recognize that the complications in are life are arising from our mind, then we are empowered to lead a simple life by changing our mind. In particular, by doing one thing at a time. When we eat, we eat; when we walk, we walk; when we talk, we talk; and when we listen, we listen.
Pacifying the multitasking approach to the activities in our life can start to bring simplicity to our existence.
3) “Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”
Learning to cultivate silence in our mind is one of the most important skills that we can learn. There are many different types of silence. When our mind is silent and peaceful then we can be content in any situation. It’s easy to blame a situation for the way that we are feeling; however, it’s our mind that is responsible for our experience. If we can cultivate a peaceful mind then we can continually feel good and positive within. If we know how to silence the mind then we have a very strong ally. Sometimes our friends don’t help when things are challenging, simply because they don’t have the wisdom to know what to say or how to say it. Whereas, if we know how to cultivate a silent mind then this can keep us strong during life’s difficulties.
4) “It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.”
Of course, it can be disappointing if we feel under appreciated by others or criticized. It can even bring our confidence levels down.
One approach is to follow this advice from Confucius. Instead of focusing on what others should be thinking about us, we change our view and start to focus on how we think about them. We should take time each day to appreciate how others are helping and assisting us in our life. If we are feeling adventurous, we can even appreciate those who challenge us in someway.
Instead, we need to adopt the thinking of ‘this person is helping me to practice patience and grow as an individual.’
5) “The journey with a 1000 miles begins with one step.”
This is one of Confucius most well-known quotes and has almost become so used it has nearly lost its meaning. However, it’s so well known for a reason. For example, I teach Meditation and one element of the training that I am continuously emphasizing is to simply make a start. Rather than feeling that we can only can start practicing when we have a free thirty minutes each day to train, we can think instead, “Today I will do a short practice, even if it’s just for a few minutes.”
Make that first step. Begin the process and start to establish the habit. If we keep making those short steps, then gradually overtime we start to make progress. This approach can be applied to any form of learning – just make that first step!
So, a big thank you to Confucius for offering his inspirational words to our world, which are still just as relevant, being used and appreciated several thousand years later!
Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jiazi/ via flickr.com