Confucius is a wise Chinese philosopher, teacher, and political leader during 500-400 BC. His thoughts and teachings have influenced many people in the past, still inspire many people in present times, and will continue to contribute to many people’s thinking in the future.
Below are the top 50 quotes by Confucius in areas related to Life Lessons, Work, Inspiration, Communication, and Self-Reflection.
As the water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, a wise man should adapt himself to circumstances.
When it is obvious that goals cannot be reached, do not adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
Give a man a fish, feed [his] home for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed [him] for a lifetime.
All good things are difficult to achieve, and all bad things are very easy to get.
A man who does not think and plan ahead will find trouble right at his door.
A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart.
Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
Return good for good; return evil with justice.
Time flows away like the water in a river.
Not to discuss with a man worthy of conversation is to waste the man. To discuss with a man not worthy of conversation is to waste words. The wise waste neither men nor words.
The superior man cannot be known in little matters, but he may be entrusted with great concerns. The small man may not be entrusted with great concerns, but he may be known in little matters.
Knowledge is merely brilliance in organization of ideas and not wisdom. The truly wise person goes beyond knowledge.
Learning without thought is labor lost. Thought without learning is perilous.
The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect [his] work must first sharpen [his] tools.
The essence of knowledge is, [if] having it, to apply it; [if] not having it, confess your ignorance.
Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Do not worry about holding high position, worry about playing your proper role.
When anger rises, think of the consequences.
The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.
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.
We have two lives, and the second [life] begins when we realize we only have one.
The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.
Worry not that no one knows you; seek to be worth knowing.
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
Consideration for others is the basis of a good life.
Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.
Humankind differs from the animals only by a little and most people throw that away.
Act with kindness but do not expect gratitude.
Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?
Things that are done, it is needless to speak about; things that are past, it is needless to blame.
If what one has to say is not better than silence, then one should keep silent.
The man who asks may be a fool for one day, but the man who never asks will be a fool for life.
Silence is a true friend who never betrays.
Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.
We take greater pains to persuade others we are happy than in trying to think so ourselves.
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.
He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.
If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.
The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.
What the superior man seeks is in himself, what the small man seeks is in others.
When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.
To go too far is as bad as to fall short.
To see what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.