Confucius – Quotes

  1. A gentleman would be ashamed should his deeds not match his words.

    Confucius
  2. A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

    Confucius
  3. A youth, when at home, should be filial and, abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all and cultivate the friendship of the good. When he has time and opportunity, after the performance of these things, he should employ them in polite studies.

    Confucius
  4. Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.

    Confucius
  5. An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.

    Confucius
  6. Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.

    Confucius
  7. 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
  8. Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

    Confucius
  9. Death and life have their determined appointments; riches and honors depend upon heaven.

    Confucius
  10. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.

    Confucius
  11. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

    Confucius
  12. Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.

    Confucius
  13. Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.

    Confucius
  14. Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs.

    Confucius
  15. He who acts with a constant view to his own advantage will be much murmured against.

    Confucius
  16. He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.

    Confucius
  17. He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.

    Confucius
  18. He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.

    Confucius
  19. Heaven means to be one with God.

    Confucius
  20. How to play music may be known. At the commencement of the piece, all the parts should sound together. As it proceeds, they should be in harmony while severally distinct and flowing without break, and thus on to the conclusion.

    Confucius
  21. Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.

    Confucius
  22. I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there.

    Confucius
  23. I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

    Confucius
  24. I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.

    Confucius
  25. I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.

    Confucius
  26. I will not be concerned at other men’s not knowing me; I will be concerned at my own want of ability.

    Confucius
  27. If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.

    Confucius
  28. If some years were added to my life, I would give fifty to the study of the Yi, and then I might come to be without great faults.

    Confucius
  29. If we don’t know life, how can we know death?

    Confucius
  30. If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?

    Confucius
  31. If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.

    Confucius
  32. In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.

    Confucius
  33. Instead of being concerned that you have no office, be concerned to think how you may fit yourself for office. Instead of being concerned that you are not known, seek to be worthy of being known.

    Confucius
  34. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

    Confucius
  35. It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

    Confucius
  36. It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.

    Confucius
  37. It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.

    Confucius
  38. Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.

    Confucius
  39. Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

    Confucius
  40. Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself!

    Confucius
  41. Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety.

    Confucius
  42. Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.

    Confucius
  43. Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.

    Confucius
  44. Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.

    Confucius
  45. Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.

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

    Confucius
  47. Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.

    Confucius
  48. Silence is a true friend who never betrays.

    Confucius
  49. Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.

    Confucius
  50. Study the past, if you would divine the future.

    Confucius
  51. Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.

    Confucius
  52. The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most.

    Confucius
  53. The cautious seldom err.

    Confucius
  54. The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.

    Confucius
  55. 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.

    Confucius
  56. The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.

    Confucius
  57. The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.

    Confucius
  58. The object of the superior man is truth.

    Confucius
  59. The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.

    Confucius
  60. The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.

    Confucius
  61. The superior man does not, even for the space of a single meal, act contrary to virtue. In moments of haste, he cleaves to it. In seasons of danger, he cleaves to it.

    Confucius
  62. The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has.

    Confucius
  63. The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

    Confucius
  64. The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success only comes later.

    Confucius
  65. The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.

    Confucius
  66. The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.

    Confucius
  67. The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

    Confucius
  68. There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest.

    Confucius
  69. They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.

    Confucius
  70. To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.

    Confucius
  71. To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.

    Confucius
  72. To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.

    Confucius
  73. To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.

    Confucius
  74. To rule a country of a thousand chariots, there must be reverent attention to business, and sincerity; economy in expenditure, and love for men; and the employment of the people at the proper seasons.

    Confucius
  75. To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.

    Confucius
  76. To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.

    Confucius
  77. To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage, or of principle.

    Confucius
  78. To those whose talents are above mediocrity, the highest subjects may be announced. To those who are below mediocrity, the highest subjects may not be announced.

    Confucius
  79. Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.

    Confucius
  80. Virtuous people often revenge themselves for the constraints to which they submit by the boredom which they inspire.

    Confucius
  81. We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.

    Confucius
  82. What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.

    Confucius
  83. When anger rises, think of the consequences.

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

    Confucius
  85. When we see persons of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see persons of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

    Confucius
  86. When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself.

    Confucius
  87. When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it – this is knowledge.

    Confucius
  88. Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.

    Confucius
  89. Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

    Confucius
  90. Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.

    Confucius
  91. Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?

    Confucius
  92. You cannot open a book without learning something.

    Confucius