Quotes of Wisdom by Author of The Analects Confucius

Confucius was a teacher and famous philosopher of Chinese history who accented as personal and governmental morality. Find his motivating quotes on Numerous subjects.

  • The cautious seldom err.
  • Heaven means to be one with God.
  • The object of the superior man is truth.
  • To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.
  • To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.
  • Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.
  • Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
  • Study the past, if you would divine the future.
  • Silence is a true friend who never betrays.
  • Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.
  • Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.
  • Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.
  • If we don’t know life, how can we know death?
  • I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.
  • You cannot open a book without learning something.
  • Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
  • When anger rises, think of the consequences.
  • What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
  • We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.
  • Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.
  • Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.
  • An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.
  • Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.
  • To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.
  • The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.
  • The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.
  • I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
  • Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.
  • I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.
  • Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
  • Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
  • Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
  • It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.
  • It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
  • The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
  • Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.
  • To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage, or of principle.
  • To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.
  • To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.
  • Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?
  • A gentleman would be ashamed should his deeds not match his words.
  • A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
  • Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
  • He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.
  • Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs.
  • Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.
  • They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
  • The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.
  • The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
  • The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.
  • He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.
  • Death and life have their determined appointments; riches and honors depend upon heaven.
  • When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself.
  • Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.
  • When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
  • Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.
  • The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.
  • The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success only comes later.
  • I will not be concerned at other men’s not knowing me;I will be concerned at my own want of ability.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
  • Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself!
  • Virtuous people often revenge themselves for the constraints to which they submit by the boredom which they inspire.
  • If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?
  • In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.
  • The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.