16 Confucius Quotes Filled with Wisdom and Sage Advice

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Confucius quotes are an excellent way to revisit beautiful philosophical concepts and learn about ways that we can apply them to our daily lives. Out of all the world’s wisest, few sages have left the same global impact as Confucius.

This 5th century BCE philosopher instilled words of wisdom and powerful pieces of advice that are still relevant in today’s modern age. Born in the ancient Chinese kingdom of Zhou, Confucius’ influence on life and spirituality in China and beyond is still felt to this day.

Looking back at the advice of this sage can help us gain new perspective on our place in society, the earth and the universe.

Confucius quotes and the staying power of Confucius’ words of wisdom

1. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” — Confucius

Regardless of how slowly it seems like your personal development, career progress or relationship status is moving, it’s important to remember that even the smallest movement is still significant.

Confucius quotes teach us that even when it feels like our lives aren’t progressing fast enough, we’re still moving forward, and that’s all that matters.

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

One consistent fact we can derive from Confucius quotes about life is that we, as humans, have a tendency to overcomplicate things.

If we simply allow ourselves to move with the flow of the universe, we’ll experience a more rewarding life overall.

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

The best Confucius quotes

The best Confucius quotes serve to remind us about the importance and significance of finding beauty, even in situations that may be frustrating, ugly or difficult to overcome.

Learning to look for beauty where we least expect it least can help us appreciate our lives more fully.

4. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” — Confucius

Many words of wisdom, including those from Confucius, teach us the importance of pursuing our passion with all our hearts.

It’s inspirational to know that anything is attainable, if we simply set our minds to it.

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

Inspirational Confucius quotes teach us that it’s alright if sometimes things don’t go as planned—one of life’s most rewarding journeys is learning how to get back up after an unpleasant event.

6. “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

Confucius’ teachings, even though they occurred over a millennia ago, are still universally relevant.

It’s inspirational to realize that people have been dealing with (and overcoming) the same challenges for thousands of years.

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

Confucius teaches us

Confucius teaches us to derive our own wisdom, and not just rely on the wise words of others. We can learn from his teachings, and distill them with our own lived experiences and the words of other wise sages and philosophers.

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

When we focus our thoughts and energy on happy, rewarding images and activities, we’re conditioning ourselves to have a more engaging interaction with the world at large.

Confucius quotes about life teach us the importance of focusing our energy on good thoughts and maintaining good energy.

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

It’s inspirational to realize that even Confucius understood that his own wisdom and knowledge wasn’t perfect. It’s important to recognize our own shortcomings so that we can continue to evolve and grow.

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

Confucius on wisdom and knowledge

Confucius’ teachings say that it’s important to act upon our wisdom and knowledge, so that we’re able to understand the consequences of our thoughts and beliefs in real life.

There’s nothing more important than obtaining true understanding.

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

Becoming a leader, whether it’s at work, within your family or within your friend group, requires you to exercise wisdom and thoughtfulness.

Confucius quotes on leadership teach us that it’s important to always trust those around us, especially when we’re in positions of leadership.

12. “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” — Confucius

While Confucius inarguably said some of the most profound things in human history, it’s important to remember that many of his sayings were couched in humor. Funny Confucius quotes remind us that wisdom doesn’t have to be serious—profundity comes in all shapes and sizes.

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

While being wronged may be a traumatic experience for you, it’s important to remember that the damage caused to you can only continue to affect you as long as you allow it to.

It’s inspirational to recognize that we have the power to control our own fate.

14. “To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.” — Confucius

The heart of true knowledge and understanding is the recognition of how very little we actually know. Confucius quotes help us remember that.

15. “Study the past, if you would divine the future.” — Confucius

Confucius quotes to move forward

Confucius quotes remind us that if we want to have a true understanding of the best way to move forward, we have to look at the past. By studying the world behind us, we can gain a better understanding of the world ahead of us.

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

A key tenet of good leadership is consistently considering the needs of those you’re leading as if they were your own. Confucius quotes on leadership help us remember the importance of quality leadership.

Confucius’ wisdom lives on, even after centuries—and for good reason: There’s a lot to be learned from his simple sayings.

We hope you were inspired by the above Confucius quotes, which are part of our spirituality quotes series.

What are the best Confucius quotes you know? Share them with us in the comments below to inspire others to find the same positivity you’re working toward!

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