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50 Wise Quotes of Confucius that will Change Your Day

50 Wise Quotes of Confucius that will Change Your Day

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.

Life Lessons

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.

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                    Time flows away like the water in a river.

                      Work

                      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.

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                                        When anger rises, think of the consequences.

                                          Inspiration

                                          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.

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                                                            Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

                                                              Communication

                                                              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.

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                                                                                Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.

                                                                                  Self Reflection

                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                    Respect yourself and others will respect you.

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                                                                                                      Lifehack Quotes

                                                                                                      Lifehack Quotes is a special editorial division that has been dedicated to collecting and curating quotes for over 10 years.

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                                                                                                      Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                                                                                                      7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                                                                                      7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                                                                                      The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                                                                                                      Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                                                                                                      Posture

                                                                                                      First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                                                                                                      • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                                                                                                      • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                                                                                                      • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                                                                                                      • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                                                                                                      All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                                                                                                      Facial Expressions

                                                                                                      Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                                                                                                      • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                                                                                                      • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                                                                                                      • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                                                                                                      If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                                                                                                      1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                                                                                                      A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                                                                                                      The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                                                                                                      This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                                                                                                      2. Relax Your Face

                                                                                                      New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                                                                                                      The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                                                                                                      To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                                                                                                      3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                                                                                                      Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                                                                                                      The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                                                                                                      To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                                                                                                      3. Smile More

                                                                                                      There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                                                                                                      Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                                                                                                      4. Hand Gestures

                                                                                                      Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                                                                                                      It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                                                                                                      5. Enhance Your Handshake

                                                                                                      In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                                                                                                      “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                                                                                                      It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                                                                                                      6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                                                                                                      As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                                                                                                      Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                                                                                                      Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                                                                                                      Final Takeaways

                                                                                                      Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                                                                                                      If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                                                                                                      More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

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