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73 Profound Quotes From Confucius on Life, Love and Happiness

If you’ve ever studied Chinese history, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the great philosopher Confucius.

Not only have his words of wisdom had an enormous impact on Chinese society till this day, but he helped countless people live moral and meaningful lives.

He came up with the well-known principle “Do not do to others what you do not want to be done to yourself” and his teachings mainly focused on morality, family loyalty, kindness and how to live an impactful and meaningful life.

I’ve gone through hundreds of his quotes to select his most powerful words of wisdom. Enjoy!

The Top 73 Profound Confucius Quotes

Confucius quote

1) “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.”

2) “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

3) “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

4) “He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.”

5) “If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.”

Confucius quote

6) “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

7) “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

8) “The funniest people are the saddest ones”

9) “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

10) “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

11) “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”

12) “Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

13) “When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points.”

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

15) “What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.”

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

17) “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

18) “It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.”

19) “The man of wisdom is never of two minds; the man of benevolence never worries; the man of courage is never afraid.”

20) “The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?”

21) “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”

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

23) “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.”

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

25) “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”

26) “People with virtue must speak out; People who speak are not all virtuous.”

27) “The superior man has a dignified ease without pride. The mean man has pride without a dignified ease.”

28) “Never tire to study. And to teach to others”

29) “He who flatters a man is his enemy. he who tells him of his faults is his maker.”

30) “The demands that good people make are upon themselves.”

31) “Those that bad people make are upon others.”

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32) “The journey with a 1000 miles begins with one step.”

33) “I am not concerned that I am not known; I seek to be worthy to be known.”

34) “If there were an honorable way to get rich, I’d do it, even if it meant being a stooge standing around with a whip. But there isn’t an honorable way, so I just do what I like.”

35) “Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.”

36) “To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness”

37) “Your life is what your thoughts make it.”

38) “Anyone can find the switch after the lights are on.”

39) “Humankind differs from the animals only by a little and most people throw that away.”

40) “Act with kindness but do not expect gratitude.”

41) “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.”

42) “The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.”

43) “All people are the same; only their habits differ.”

44) “If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.”

45) “The expectations of life depend upon diligence the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. ”

46) “A superior man in dealing with the world is not for anything or against anything. He follows righteousness as the standard.”

47) “Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things.”

48) “Writing cannot express all words, words cannot encompass all ideas.”

49) “It is when those who are not strong enough have made some moderate amount of progress that they fail and give up…”

50) “A man without persistence will never make a good shaman or a good physician.”

(If you’re looking for specific actions you can take to stay in the moment and live a happier life, check out our best-selling eBook on how to use Buddhist teachings for a mindful and happy life here.)

51) “He who searches for evil, must first look at his own reflection.”

52) “If I understand Change, I shall make no great mistake in Life”

53) “The nobler sort of man emphasizes the good qualities in others, and does not accentuate the bad. The inferior does.”

54) “The noble-minded are calm and steady. Little people are forever fussing and fretting.”

55) “Worry not that no one knows you; seek to be worth knowing.”

56) “The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.”

57) “A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace.”

58) “Behind every smile there’s teeth.”

(Enjoying this article? You’ll love our article sharing 100 courage quotes.)

59) “The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.”

60) “By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.”

61) “The Master said, “The gentleman understands what is right, whereas the petty man understands profit.”

62) “Knowledge is merely brilliance in organization of ideas and not wisdom. The truly wise person goes beyond knowledge.”

63) “Settle one difficulty, and you keep a hundred away.”

64) “When the wind blows,the grass bends.”

65) “He Who Knows And Knows That He Knows Is A Wise Man – Follow Him;
He Who Knows Not And Knows Not That He Knows Not Is A Fool – Shun Him”

66) “If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?”

67) “Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon or star.”

68) “Fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving kindness, and find your recreation in the Arts.”

69) “The way of the superior person is threefold; virtuous, they are free from anxieties; wise they are free from perplexities; and bold they are free from fear.”

70) “Learn as if you were not reaching your goal and as though you were scared of missing it”

71) “Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself. ”

72) “The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.”

73) “One joy dispels a hundred cares.”

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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