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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 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 October 13, 2020

                                                                                                      12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

                                                                                                      12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

                                                                                                      Having high self-esteem is important if you are aiming for personal or professional success. Interestingly, most people will high levels of self-esteem act in similar ways. That’s why it’s often easy to pick them out in a crowd. There’s something about the way they hold themselves and speak, isn’t there?

                                                                                                      We all have different hopes, dreams, experiences, and paths, but confidence has its own universal language. This list will present some of the things you won’t find yourself doing if you have high self-esteem.

                                                                                                      1. Compare Yourself to Others

                                                                                                      People with low self-esteem are constantly comparing their situation to others. On the other hand, people with higher self-esteem show empathy and compassion while also protecting their own sanity. They know how much they can handle and when they can offer a helping hand.

                                                                                                      In the age of social media, however, social comparisons are nearly ubiquitous. One study found that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”[1]. Basically, you will feel worse about yourself if you are constantly getting glimpses into lives that you consider to be better than yours.

                                                                                                      Try to limit your time on social media. Also, when you do start scrolling, keep in mind that each profile is carefully crafted to create the appearance of a perfect life. Check yourself when you find yourself wishing for greener grass.

                                                                                                      2. Be Mean-Spirited

                                                                                                      People with low self-esteem bully others. They take pleasure in putting other people down. People with positive self-esteem see no need to down other people, choosing instead to encourage and celebrate successes.

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                                                                                                      If you find that you feel the need to put others down, analyze where that’s coming from. If they’ve had success in life, help them feel good about that achievement. They may do the same for you one day.

                                                                                                      3. Let Imperfection Ruin Your Day

                                                                                                      Perfectionism isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but obsessing over making everything perfect is a sign that you have low self-esteem and can lead to never-ending negative thoughts. This can turn into an inability to solve problems creatively, which will only make self-esteem issues worse. 

                                                                                                      Those with high self-esteem disconnect from the results and do their best without expecting perfection.

                                                                                                      People with that kind of confidence understand that messing up is a part of life and that each time they aim and miss success, they’ll at least learn something along the way.

                                                                                                      If you miss the mark, or if your plan doesn’t work out exactly as you would have liked, take a deep breath and see if you can pivot in order to do better next time.

                                                                                                      4. Dwell on Failure

                                                                                                      It’s common to hear people dwelling on all the ways things will go wrong. They are positive that their every failure signals an impossible task or an innate inability to do something. People with healthy self-esteem discover why they failed and try again.

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                                                                                                      People with higher levels of confidence also tend to adopt a growth mindset[2]. This type of thinking supports the idea that most of your abilities can be improved and altered, as opposed to being fixed.

                                                                                                      For example, instead of saying, “I’m just not good at math; that’s why I did bad on the test,” someone with a growth mindset would say, “Math is difficult for me, so I’ll have to put in some more practice to improve next time.”

                                                                                                      Next time you experience a failure, check out this video to help you believe in yourself again:

                                                                                                      5. Devalue Your Self-Esteem

                                                                                                      People with high self-esteem value their own perception of themselves – they understand that they come first and don’t feel guilty about taking care of themselves. They believe charity starts within, and if they don’t believe that, they’ll never have a healthy self-image.

                                                                                                      Self-care is often top of the priority list for people with self-esteem. For some ways to practice self-care, check out this article.

                                                                                                      6. Try to Please Others

                                                                                                      They can’t please all the people all the time, so confident people first focus on doing what will make them feel fulfilled and happy. While they will politely listen to others’ thoughts and advice, they know that their goals and dreams have to be completed on their own terms.

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                                                                                                      7. Close Yourself off

                                                                                                      Confident people have the ability to be vulnerable. It’s those with poor self-esteem that hide all the best parts of themselves behind an emotional wall. Instead of keeping the real you a secret, be open and honest in all your dealings.

                                                                                                      As Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, points out, “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen”[3]. When you embrace each facet of who you are and allow others to see them as well, it will create deeper, more meaningful connections in your life. When that happens, you’ll realize that perfection doesn’t lead to people liking you more.

                                                                                                      You can learn more about the power of vulnerability in this TED talk with Brené Brown:

                                                                                                      8. Follow and Avoiding Leading

                                                                                                      People with low self-esteem don’t believe they can lead, so they end up following others, sometimes into unhealthy situations. Rather than seeking a sense of belonging, people with high self-esteem walk their own paths and create social circles that build them up.

                                                                                                      9. Fish for Compliments

                                                                                                      If you’re constantly seeking compliments, you’re not confident. People with high self-esteem always do their best (and go out of their way to do good deeds) because it’s what they want to do, not because they’re seeking recognition. If you need to hear compliments, say them to yourself in the mirror.

                                                                                                      You can even try some positive affirmations if you need a confidence boost. Check out these affirmations to get started.

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                                                                                                      10. Be Lazy

                                                                                                      People work harder when they have high self-esteem because they’re not bogged down by doubts and complaints. Those with low self-esteem end up procrastinating and wasting their energy thinking about all the work they have to do rather than rolling up their sleeves and just getting it done.

                                                                                                      This may also bounce off perfectionism. Perfectionists often feel intimidated by certain projects if they fear that they won’t be able to complete them perfectly. Tap into your confidence and simply do your best without worrying about a perfect outcome.

                                                                                                      11. Shy Away from Risks

                                                                                                      When you trust yourself, you’ll be willing to participate more in life. People with low self-esteem are always on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect moment to jump in. Instead of letting life pass you by, have confidence in your success and take the risks necessary to succeed.

                                                                                                      12. Gossip

                                                                                                      People with low self-esteem are always in other peoples’ business – they’re more interested in what everyone else is doing than themselves. People with high self-esteem are more interested in their own life and stay out of others’ affairs.

                                                                                                      Instead of participating in idle gossip, talk about some positive news you heard recently, or that fascinating book you just finished. There’s plenty to talk about beyond what this or that person did wrong in their life.

                                                                                                      The Bottom Line

                                                                                                      Self-esteem is to success in life. People who maintain a healthy level of self-esteem believe in themselves and push themselves to succeed, while those with low confidence feel a sense of entitlement.

                                                                                                      If you need a boost in your self-image and mental health, avoid negative self-talk and the other mistakes of people with low self-esteem. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

                                                                                                      More Tips on Building Confidence

                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

                                                                                                      Reference

                                                                                                      [1] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem
                                                                                                      [2] Brain Pickings: Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives
                                                                                                      [3] Forbes: Brene Brown: How Vulnerability Can Make Our Lives Better

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