Confucius Quotes

Who is Confucius?

Confucius was an ancient Chinese teacher, politician and philosopher.

His philosophy, known as Confucianism focused on personal morality and social relationships.

He remains one of the most influential Chinamen in history. It is not certain, but believed that Confucius owned a cat.

Books by Confucius


Best 231 Quotes by Confucius

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

Confucius

“A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart.”

Confucius

“A happy union with wife and child is like the music of lutes and harps.”

Confucius

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.”

Confucius

“A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.”

Confucius

“A man whose strength gives out collapses along the course. In your case you set the limits beforehand.”

Confucius
The Analects of Confucius

“A man without a mustache is a man without a soul.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“A person who chases two rabbits catches neither.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“A true gentleman is one who has set his heart upon the Way. A fellow who is ashamed merely of shabby clothing or modest meals is not even worth conversing with.”

Confucius

“A true teacher is one who, keeping the past alive, is also able to understand the present.”

Confucius

“A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do you know that his future will not be equal to our present?”

Confucius

“Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.”

Confucius

“Acquire new knowledge whilst thinking over the old, and you may become a teacher of others.”

Confucius

“Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude.”

Confucius

“Am I a man of great wisdom? Hardly! Even when a simple person brings me a question, my mind goes utterly blank, I just thrash it out until I’ve exhausted every possibility.”

Confucius
The Analects of Confucius

“An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“Artful speech and an ingratiating demeanour rarely accompany virtue.”

Confucius
The Analects of Confucius

“As the water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, so a wise man adapts himself to circumstances.”

Confucius

“At home, a young man should be a good son, when outside he should treat others like his brothers, his behaviour should be one of trustworthy and proper, and should love the multitude at large and keep himself close to people of benevolence and morality. If after all these activities, he has any energy to spare, he should read widely to stay cultivated.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“Behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest.”

Confucius

“Behind every smile there's teeth.”

Confucius

“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”

Confucius

“Boldness, without the rules of propriety, becomes insubordination.”

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

“Care not for want of place; care for thy readiness to fill one.”

Confucius
Sayings of Confucius

“Charity, like the sun, brightens every object on which it shines.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“Consideration for others is the basis of a good life, a good society.”

Confucius

“Death and life have their determined appointments; riches and honors depend upon heaven.”

Confucius

“Do everything in moderation, even moderation.”

Confucius

“Do not be desirous of having things done quickly. Do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.”

Confucius

“Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.”

Confucius

“Do not let a leader lead you on a bad path.”

Confucius

“Do not use a cannon to kill a mosquito.”

Confucius

“Do not worry about holding high position; worry rather about playing your proper role.”

Confucius

“Do you ask me why I buy rice and flowers? I buy rice to live and flowers to have something to live for.”

Confucius

“Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.”

Confucius

“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”

Confucius

“Even four harnessed horses cannot bring imprudent words back into the mouth.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.”

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

“Good people strengthen themselves ceaselessly.”

Confucius

“Have no friends not equal to yourself.”

Confucius

“He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.”

Confucius

“He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior. ”

Confucius

“He who excels in study can follow an official career.”

Confucius

“He who fishes in other man’s well often catches crabs.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“He who is concerned only with the purity of his own life ruins the great human relations.”

Confucius

“He who is really kind can never be unhappy.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

“He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.”

Confucius

“He who will not economize will have to agonize.”

Confucius

“He who wishes to secure the good of others, has already secured his own.”

Confucius

“He who works for his own interests will arouse much animosity.”

Confucius

“He with whom neither slander that gradually soaks into the mind, nor statements that startle like a wound in the flesh, are successful may be called intelligent indeed.”

Confucius

“Humility is the solid foundation of all the virtues.”

Confucius

“I am not concerned that I am not known, I seek to be worthy to be known.”

Confucius

“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

“I followed my heart without breaking any rules.”

Confucius

“I hear and I forget. I see and I believe. I do and I understand. ”

Confucius

“I slept and dreamt life is beauty, I woke and found life is duty.”

Confucius

“I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being.”

Confucius

“I’d rather die for speaking out, than to live and be silent.”

Confucius

“If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.”

Confucius

“If either wealth or poverty are come by honesty, there is no shame.”

Confucius

“If I understand change, I shall make no great mistake in life.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“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.”

Confucius

“If we don’t know life, how can we know death?”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.”

Confucius

“If you can practice these five things with all the people, you can be called jen.

Courtesy, generosity, honesty, persistence, and kindness.

If you are courteous, you will not be disrespected;
if you are generous, you will gain everything.
If you are honest, people will rely on you.
If you are persistent you will get results.
If you are kind, you can employ people.”

Confucius

“If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”

Confucius

“If you don't want to do something, don't impose on others.”

Confucius

“If you expect great things of yourself and demand little of others, you’ll keep resentment far away.”

Confucius
The Analects of Confucius

“If you look into your own heart, you find nothing wrong there, what is there to fear?”

Confucius

“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

“Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.”

Confucius

“In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of.”

Confucius

“Isn't it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned? Isn't it also great when friends visit from distant places? If one remains not annoyed when he is not understood by people around him, isn't he a sage?”

Confucius

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.”

Confucius

“It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.”

Confucius

“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

“It is man that makes truth great, not truth that makes man great,”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach his own family.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“It is only when mosquito land on your balls that you realize there is a way to solve problems without using violence.”

Confucius

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

Confucius
The Wisdom of Confucius

“Learn as though you would never be able to master it; hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.”

Confucius

“Learn avidly. Question it repeatedly. Analyze it carefully. Then put what you have learned into practice intelligently.”

Confucius

“Learning without thought is labour lost; thought without learning is perilous.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

“Lord Chi Wen thought three times before taking any action. When the Master heard this, he said: Twice is plenty enough.”

Confucius
The Analects of Confucius

“Love is like a spice. It can sweeten your life – however, it can spoil it, too.”

Confucius

“Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“Men do not stumble over mountains, but over molehills.”

Confucius

“Men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.”

Confucius

“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.”

Confucius

“Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“No lake so still but it has its wave.
No circle so perfect but that it has its blur.
I would change things for you if I could; As I can't you must take them as they are.”

Confucius

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”

Confucius

“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 a spectator.”

Confucius

“One joy dispels a hundred cares.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

“Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.”

Confucius

“Respect the gods and the devils but keep them at a distance.”

Confucius

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

Confucius

“Review the old and deducing the new makes a teacher.”

Confucius

“Roads were made for journeys, not destinations.”

Confucius

“Signs and symbols rule the world, not words nor laws.”

Confucius

“Silence is the true friend that never betrays.”

Confucius

“Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.”

Confucius

“The cautious seldom err.”

Confucius

“The demands that good people make are upon themselves; Those that bad people make are upon others.”

Confucius

“The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it; not having it, to confess your ignorance.”

Confucius

“The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.”

Confucius

“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

“The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.”

Confucius

“The funniest people are the saddest ones.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

“The man who says he can, and the man who says he can not are both correct.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“The most beautiful sight in the world is a little child going confidently down the road of life after you have shown him the way.”

Confucius

“The noble-minded encourage what is beautiful in people and discourage what is ugly in them. Little people do just the opposite.”

Confucius
The Analects of Confucius

“The nobler type of man is broad-minded and not prejudiced. The inferior man is prejudiced and not broad-minded.”

Confucius
The Analects of Confucius

“The object of the superior man is truth.”

Confucius

“The one who teaches is the giver of eyes.”

Confucius

“The parents age must be remembered, both for joy and anxiety.”

Confucius

“The people may be made to follow a path of action, but they may not be made to understand it.”

Confucius

“The perfecting of one’s self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development.”

Confucius

“The real fault is to have faults and not amend them.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

“The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

“The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.”

Confucius

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

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. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.”

Confucius

“The true gentleman does not preach what he practices till he has practiced what he preaches.”

Confucius

“The ultimate revenge is living well and being happy. Hateful people can't stand happy people.”

Confucius

“The way of a superior man is three-fold: virtuous, he is free from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is free from fear.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.”

Confucius

“The wheel of fortune turns round incessantly, and who can say to himself, I shall today be uppermost.”

Confucius

“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

“There are three things to beware of through life: when a man is young, let him beware of his appetites; when he is middle-aged, of his passions; and when old, of covetousness, especially.”

Confucius

“There is nothing more real than what cannot be seen and there is nothing more certain than what cannot be heard.”

Confucius

“There is nothing more visible than what is secret, and nothing more manifest than what is minute.”

Confucius

“They must change who would be constant in happiness and wisdom.”

Confucius

“Things have their roots and branches. Affairs have their beginnings and their ends. To know what is first and what is last will lead one near the Way.”

Confucius
The Great Learning

“Things that are done, it is needless to speak about. Things that are past, it is needless to blame.”

Confucius

“Think no vice so small that you may commit it, and no virtue so small that you may overlook it.”

Confucius

“Think of tomorrow, the past can’t be mended.”

Confucius

“Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.”

Confucius

“Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

Confucius

“Time flows away like the water in the river. ”

Confucius

“To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue…They are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.”

Confucius

“To be poor without murmuring is difficult. To be rich without being proud is easy.”

Confucius
The Analects of Confucius

“To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.”

Confucius

“To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice. ”

Confucius

“To love a thing means wanting it to live.”

Confucius

“To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.”

Confucius

“To rank the effort above the prize may be called love.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

“Virtue is more to man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue.”

Confucius

“Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.”

Confucius

“We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.”

Confucius

“We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.”

Confucius

“We should keep the dead before our eyes, and honor them as though still living.”

Confucius

“We take greater pains to persuade others that we are happy than in endeavoring to think so ourselves.”

Confucius

“Wealth and rank are what people desire, but unless they be obtained in the right way they may not be possessed.”

Confucius

“What the superior man seeks is in himself, what the small man seeks is in others.”

Confucius

“When a man’s knowledge is sufficient to attain, and his virtue is not sufficient to enable him to hold, whatever he may have gained, he will lose again.”

Confucius

“When a wise man points at the moon, the imbecile examines the finger.”

Confucius

“When anger rises, think of the consequences.”

Confucius

“When everyone hates a person, you should investigate thoroughly, and when everyone loves a person, you should also investigate thoroughly.”

Confucius
The Analects of Confucius

“When 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

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

Confucius

“When prosperity comes, do not use all of it.”

Confucius

“When the wind blows, the grass bends.”

Confucius

“When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“When you see a worthy person, endeavor to emulate him. When you see an unworthy person, then examine your inner self.”

Confucius

“Where words lose their meaning, people lose their lives.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

“Who can make the muddy water clear? Let it be still, and it will gradually become clear.”

Confucius

“With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow – I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as a floating cloud.”

Confucius

“Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.”

Confucius

“Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?”

Confucius

“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.”

Confucius

“Words are the voice of the heart.”

Confucius

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

Confucius

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

Confucius

“You are what you think.”

Confucius

“You cannot open a book without learning something.”

Confucius

“You will never know how sharp a sword is unless it's drawn from its sheath.”

Confucius

“Your life is what your thoughts make it.”

Confucius