Confucius Quotes

confucius.
confucius.
Confucius Tang Dynasty
Confucius Tang Dynasty

Confucius (551–479 BC) was a teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. Confucius teachings deeply influenced East Asian life and thought.The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.

Confucius is credited with writing and editing some of the most influential traditional Chinese classics. These include a rearrangement of the Book of Odes as well as a revision of the historical Book of Documents.

Confucius’s principles had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives. He also recommended family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself”, the Golden Rule.

Confucius quotes are highly influential and motivational. These Confucius quotes have inspired and motivated people throughout the centuries. Below is an amazing collection of Confucius quotes which will inspire and motivate you.


Confucius Quotes
Confucius Quotes
Confucius Quotes
Confucius Quotes

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

“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”
― Confucius

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
― Confucius

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”
― Confucius

“The superior man is quiet and calm, waiting for the appointments of Heaven…”
― Confucius

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

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
― Confucius

Confucius Quotes
Confucius Quotes

“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”
― Confucius

“I am not bothered by the fact that I am unknown. I am bothered when I do not know others.”
― Confucius

“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
― Confucius

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

“Study the past if you would define the future.”
― Confucius

“He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.”
― Confucius

Confucius Quotes
Confucius Quotes

“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”
― Confucius

“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 quotes

“The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.”
― Confucius

“If you see what is right and fail to act on it, you lack courage.”
― Confucius

“In all things success depends on previous preparation, and without such previous preparation there is sure to be failure.”
― Confucius

“Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.”
― Confucius

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

“Listen widely to remove your doubts and be careful when speaking about the rest and your mistakes will be few.”
― Confucius

Confucius Quotes
Confucius Quotes

“Be loyal and trustworthy. Do not befriend anyone who is lower than yourself in this regard. When making a mistake, do not be afraid to correct it.”
― Confucius

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
― Confucius

“To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.”
― Confucius

“The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress.”
― Confucius

“A man living without conflicts, as if he never lives at all.”
― Confucius quotes

“A scholar who loves comfort is not worthy of the name.”
― Confucius

“All things are nourished together without their injuring one another.”
― Confucius

“A lion chased me up a tree, and I greatly enjoyed the view from the top.”
― Confucius

Confucius Quotes
Confucius Quotes

“The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.”
― Confucius

“At fifteen my heart was set on learning; at thirty I stood firm; at forty I had no more doubts; at fifty I knew the mandate of heaven; at sixty my ear was obedient; at seventy I could follow my heart’s desire without transgressing the norm.”
― Confucius

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

“Have no friends not equal to yourself.”
― Confucius

“Sincerity becomes apparent. From being apparent, it becomes manifest. From being manifest, it becomes brilliant. Brilliant, it affects others. Affecting others, they are changed by it. Changed by it, they are transformed. It is only he who is possessed of the most complete sincerity that can exist under heaven, who can transform.”
― Confucius

Confucius Quotes
Confucius Quotes

“See a person’s means … Observe his motives. Examine that in which he rests. How can a person conceal his character?”
― Confucius

“The Superior Man is all-embracing and not partial. The inferior man is partial and not all-embracing.”
― Confucius quotes

“Being in humaneness is good. If we select other goodness and thus are far apart from humaneness, how can we be the wise?”
― Confucius

“Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.”
― Confucius

“When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.”
― Confucius

“In silence is the offering presented, and the spirit approached to; there is not the slightest contention.”
― Confucius

“When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.”
― Confucius

“The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin.”
― Confucius

“Benevolence is the characteristic element of humanity.”
― Confucius

“Sincerity is the way of Heaven. The attainment of sincerity is the way of men.”
― Confucius

“Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.”
― Confucius

“Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.”
― Confucius

Things have their root and their branches. Affairs have their end and their beginning. To know what is first and what is last will lead near to what is taught in the Great Learning.
― Confucius quotes

“It is the way of the superior man to prefer the concealment of his virtue, while it daily becomes more illustrious, and it is the way of the mean man to seek notoriety, while he daily goes more and more to ruin.”
― Confucius

“If you would govern a state of a thousand chariots (a small-to-middle-size state), you must pay strict attention to business, be true to your word, be economical in expenditure and love the people. You should use them according to the seasons(i.e. You should not enlist farmers during seeding or harvest time).”
― Confucius

“The superior man examines his heart, that there may be nothing wrong there, and that he may have no cause for dissatisfaction with himself. ”
― Confucius

“When the Superior Man eats he does not try to stuff himself; at rest he does not seek perfect comfort; he is diligent in his work and careful in speech. He avails himself to people of the Tao and thereby corrects himself. This is the kind of person of whom you can say, “he loves learning.”
― Confucius

Confucius Quotes
Confucius Quotes

“Reviewing what you have learned and learning anew, you are fit to be a teacher.”
― Confucius

“When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine your own self.”
― Confucius

“The Superior Man is aware of Righteousness, the inferior man is aware of advantage.”
― Confucius

“When I walk along with two others, from at least one I will be able to learn..”
― Confucius

“They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in it.”
― Confucius

“He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place when all the stars are rotating about it.”
― Confucius

“The man of virtue makes the difficulty to be overcome his first business, and success only a subsequent consideration: this may be called perfect virtue.”
― Confucius

“If what one has to say is not better than silence, then one should keep silent.”
― Confucius quotes

“I do not open up the truth to one who is not eager to get knowledge, nor help out any one who is not anxious to explain himself. When I have presented one corner of a subject to any one, and he cannot from it learn the other three, I do not repeat my lesson.”
― Confucius

“There is nothing more visible than what is secret, and nothing more manifest than what is minute. Therefore the superior man is watchful over himself, when he is alone.”
― Confucius

“It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.”
― Confucius

“When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are things to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and honor are things to be ashamed of.”
― Confucius

“Only after Winter comes do we know that the pine and the cypress are the last to fade.”
― Confucius

“What Heaven has conferred is called The Nature; an accordance with this nature is called The Path of duty; the regulation of this path is called Instruction. The path may not be left for an instant. If it could be left, it would not be the path.”
― Confucius

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”
― Confucius

“Let the states of equilibrium and harmony exist in perfection, and a happy order will prevail throughout heaven and earth, and all things will be nourished and flourish.”
― Confucius quotes

“The superior man accords with the course of the Mean. Though he may be all unknown, unregarded by the world, he feels no regret — It is only the sage who is able for this.”
― Confucius

“The superior man governs men, according to their nature, with what is proper to them, and as soon as they change what is wrong, he stops.”
― Confucius

Confucius Quotes
Confucius Quotes

“And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.”
― Confucius

“The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.”
― Confucius

“The superior man does what is proper to the station in which he is; he does not desire to go beyond this.”
― Confucius

“In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself.”
― Confucius

“How abundantly do spiritual beings display the powers that belong to them! We look for them, but do not see them; we listen to, but do not hear them; yet they enter into all things, and there is nothing without them.”
― Confucius

“Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life.”
― Confucius quotes

See Also:- Drink Your Tea poem by Thích Nhất Hạnh

Lao Tzu quotes

Confucius and his students.
Confucius and his students.
Confucius with his students
Confucius with his students
Confucius, Lao-tzu, and Buddhist Arhat by Ding Yunpeng
Confucius, Lao-tzu, and Buddhist Arhat by Ding Yunpeng
Confucius on his way to Luoyang
Confucius on his way to Luoyang
Confucius on his way to Luoyang
Confucius on his way to Luoyang

48 Comments



  1. So many I had forgotten. A wonderful compilation!

    Reply

    1. What E said! Hard to believe all of these (and more) came from one person so long ago. So many are familiar — really I wouldn’t have guessed that all are attributed to him (but don’t doubt it). Best of all, they are timeless. Thanks!

      Reply

  2. Wonderful post! One of my favorite quotes “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

    Reply

  3. Confucius seems like quite the funny guy,especially this quote:

    “The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.”

    That is hilarious! Imagine being sent on a philosophical mission to find a black cat in a dark room. When you come home your instructor tells you there’s was no cat..

    Reply

  4. Good and refreshing! a wise way to follow the teaching of an influential philosopher…

    Reply

  5. Lovely reflections for living.

    Reply

  6. Many wonderful words! I’m always looking for the quote I don’t already have on my eternal list.

    Reply

  7. Hey Herculitus, thanks for joining the ride. I’ve been into Confuciusisms, for a while. Would you believe it’s due to Redd Foxx. I guess I’ll be seeing you around. #NOTHINGMatters

    Reply

  8. A great post and I must save this link so I easily can return 🙂
    When I read the quotes I think: How different we will choose favorite quotes depending on what kind of character we are – would be interesting to talk about 🙂

    Reply

  9. Hi! 🙂 I’m glad you dropped by Side by Side.

    Those are indeed very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

    Following you now. Looking forward to reading more. Love & blessings.

    Reply

  10. You can never go wrong with Conficius 😉
    Rumi is another one of my favorites!

    Reply

  11. Find a job you love……….. that has sent me on an almost 15 year quest for my Doctorate degree with two small (now two grown and one medium sized kiddo!!). It’s the truth too!! Look forward to seeing more of you 🙂

    Reply

  12. “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”
    ― Confucius

    Shamanic thought has introduced the importance of ‘Intent’ into not just my spiritual practice but more importantly the everyday ‘get out of bed and doing life’. I’m loving this Confucius quote because it is reminding me to bring ‘heart’ into that Intent.

    Reply

  13. Oh yeah I was jut think about Confucius and was thinking I remember reading an awesome book about him when he was a kid and being blown away. I love this thinking and thanks for posting this. I am glad you are following my blog and that I came across this post and thinking I need to read on and review what I know about Confucius. Thanks!

    Reply

  14. Great idea to write on Confucius and his insightful offerings. His quote regarding real knowledge as knowing the extent of one’s ignorance reminded me of Socrates.

    I look forward to reading and discovering more in your writings.

    To life,
    Evelyn

    Reply

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