Confucius Quotes on Life, Success & Education

Famous Confucius quote

In this post, we’ll read the most famous Confucius quotes who was a Chinese philosopher, teacher, and political theorist.

Confucius, also known as Kong Qiu or Kongzi, lived during a time of political turmoil and social upheaval in ancient China, known as the Spring and Autumn period. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in Chinese history and philosophy.

His philosophy, known as Confucianism, emphasized the importance of moral virtues, ethical conduct, social harmony, and the cultivation of personal and social virtues.

Confucius’s teachings were recorded and compiled by his disciples into a collection of texts known as the Analects (Lunyu). The Analects contain anecdotes, dialogues, and sayings attributed to Confucius, offering insights into his philosophy, ethics, and worldview.

Let’s read some of the best Confucius quotes and sayings on the meaning of life, happiness and more.

Confucius Quotes

Confucius Quote

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

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

3. “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.”

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

5. “If a man in the morning hear the right way, he may die in the evening without regret.”

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

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

Famous Confucius Quotes

Famous Confucius Quote

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

2. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. “Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.”

Confucius Quotes on Life

Confucius Quote on Life

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

2. “If there were one word that could act as a standard of conduct for one’s entire life, perhaps it would be ‘thoughtfulness.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Confucius Quotes on Friendship

Confucius Quote on Friendship

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

2. “Have no friends not equal to yourself.”

3. “Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”

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

Confucius Quotes on Love

Confucius Quote on Love

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

2. “Can there be a love which does not make demands on its object?”

3. “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.”

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

Confucius Quotes on Success

Confucius Quote on Success

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

2. “The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success only comes later.”

3. “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.”

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

Confucius Quotes on Wisdom

Confucius Quote on Wisdom

1. “Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.”

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

3. “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.”

4. “They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.”

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

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

Confucius Quotes on Aging

Confucius Quote on Aging

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

2. “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 Quotes on Kindness & Compassion

Confucius Quote on Kindness


1. “Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.”

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

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

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

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

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

7. “When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself.”

8. “Be strict with yourself but least reproachful of others and complaint is kept afar.”

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

Confucius Quotes on State

Confucius Quote on State

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

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

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

4. “In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.”

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

6. “To lead uninstructed people to war is to throw them away.”

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

Confucius Quotes on Education

Confucius Quote on Education

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

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

3. “To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.”

4. “He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”

Confucius Quotes on Virtue

Confucius Quote on Virtue

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

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

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

4. “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.”

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

6. “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”

7. “I have not seen a person who loved virtue, or one who hated what was not virtuous. He who loved virtue would esteem nothing above it.”

8. “The Master said, “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.” (Analects 4.9)

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

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

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

Inspirational Confucius Quotes

Inspirational Confucius Quote

1. “The journey of a 1000 miles begins with one step.”

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

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

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

5. “If you try to do too much, you will not achieve anything.”

6. “Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.”

7. “Roads were made for journeys not destinations.”

8. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.v

9. “When anger rises, think of the consequences.”

10. “Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

11. “Good people strengthen themselves ceaselessly.”

12. “To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.”

Confucius Quotes on Happiness

Confucius Quote on Happiness

1. “To be truly happy and contented, you must let go of what it means to be happy or content.”

2. “One joy dispels a hundred cares.”

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

4. “Knowing something is not as good as liking it. Liking something is not as good as rejoicing in it.”

Motivational Confucius Quotes

Motivational Confucius Quotes

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

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

3. “Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.”

4. “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.”

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

6. “You are what you think.”

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

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

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

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

Confucius Quotes on Work

Confucius Quote on Work

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

2. “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.”

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

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

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

6. “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.”

These Confucius quotes emphasize his teachings on ethics, morality, and social harmony which is the foundation of Confucism.

Confucianism became one of the foundational schools of thought in Chinese philosophy and had a profound influence on Chinese culture, society, and government for centuries.

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