Confucius Quotes

What are your favorite Confucius quotes?

Confucius was a Chinese teacher, philosopher and political theorist who is said to have been born on September 28, 551 BC and died on April 11, 479 BC. The teachings and philosophies of Confucius significantly influenced the civilization of East Asia and millions of people are still being inspired by the thought provoking words of the departed teacher.

The works of Confucius definitely helped to improve the education of East Asia during his time. Confucius is said to be one of the key people who were instrumental in the introduction of teaching as a vocation. He also helped to shape the moral, ethical and social standards of a belief system that is now commonly referred to as Confucianism.

Here are some of the famous, funny and inspirational Confucius quotes about life, success, work, family, luck, government, love and education:

Famous Confucius Quotes

famous Confucius quotes

1. You are what you think. -Confucius

2. The object of the superior man is truth. -Confucius

3. To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short. -Confucius

4. Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. -Confucius

5. Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues. -Confucius

6. Ability will never catch up with the demand for it. -Confucius

7. A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions. -Confucius

8. The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue. -Confucius

9. 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

10. I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.


11. The cautious seldom err. -Confucius

12. Silence is a true friend who never betrays. -Confucius

13. Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. -Confucius

14. Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors. -Confucius

15. He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good. -Confucius

16. The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action. -Confucius

17. He who acts with a constant view to his own advantage will be much murmured against. -Confucius

18. Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men. -Confucius

19. Virtuous people often revenge themselves for the constraints to which they submit by the boredom which they inspire. -Confucius

20. 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

Funny Confucius Quotes

funny Confucius quotes

21. Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. -Confucius

22. Before giving someone a piece of your mind. Make sure that you have enough to spare. -Confucius

23. Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.


24. He who has a sharp tongue cuts his own throat. -Confucius

25. Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts? -Confucius

Inspirational Confucius Quotes

inspirational Confucius quotes

26. To see the right and not to do it is cowardice. -Confucius

27. When anger rises, think of the consequences. -Confucius

28. Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage. -Confucius

29. A gentleman would be ashamed should his deeds not match his words. -Confucius

30. I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being. -Confucius

31. Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs. -Confucius

32. 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. -Confucius

33. 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.


34. We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression. -Confucius

35. To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it. -Confucius

36. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. -Confucius

37. The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort. -Confucius

38. The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success only comes later. -Confucius

39. If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear? -Confucius

40. Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety. -Confucius

Confucius Quotes About Life

Confucius quotes about life

41. Your life is what your thoughts make it. -Confucius

42. Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. -Confucius

43. Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. -Confucius

44. It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them. -Confucius

45. The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life. -Confucius

46. The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -Confucius

47. The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large. -Confucius

48. If some years were added to my life, I would give fifty to the study of the Yi, and then I might come to be without great faults. -Confucius

49. To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness. -Confucius

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


51. If we don’t know life, how can we know death? -Confucius

52. Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. -Confucius

53. Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you. -Confucius

54. Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself. -Confucius

55. They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. -Confucius

56. The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. -Confucius

57. 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. -Confucius

58. Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself! -Confucius

59. 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. -Confucius

60. 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

Confucius Quotes About Success

Confucius quotes about success

61. The journey with a 1000 miles begins with one step. -Confucius

62. It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. -Confucius

63. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished. -Confucius

64. 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. -Confucius

65. 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.


66. The man who says he can, and the man who says he can not… Are both correct. -Confucius

67. When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself. -Confucius

68. When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. -Confucius

69. Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure. -Confucius

70. To those whose talents are above mediocrity, the highest subjects may be announced. To those who are below mediocrity, the highest subjects may not be announced. -Confucius

Confucius Quotes About Work

Confucius quotes about work

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


72. He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. -Confucius

73. A great man is hard on himself. A small man is hard on others. -Confucius

Confucius Quotes About Family

Confucius quotes about family

74. The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home. -Confucius

75. It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach his own family. -Confucius

76. A youth, when at home, should be filial and, abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all and cultivate the friendship of the good. When he has time and opportunity, after the performance of these things, he should employ them in polite studies.


77. The parent’s age must be remembered, both for joy and anxiety. -Confucius

78. 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. -Confucius

Confucius Quotes About Luck

Confucius quotes about luck

79. Remember, not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.


80. The superior man is quiet and calm, waiting for the appointments of heaven, while the mean man walks in dangerous paths, looking for lucky occurrences. -Confucius

Confucius Quotes About Government

Confucius quotes about government

81. An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger. -Confucius

82. There is good government when those who are near are happy, and those who are afar are attracted. -Confucius

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


84. 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. -Confucius

85. To rule a country of a thousand chariots, there must be reverent attention to business, and sincerity; economy in expenditure, and love for men; and the employment of the people at the proper seasons. -Confucius

Confucius Quotes About Love

Confucius quotes about love

86. To love a thing means wanting it to live. -Confucius

87. Those who know the truth are not equal to those who love it. -Confucius

88. 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.


89. A heart set on love will do no wrong. -Confucius

90. Can there be a love which does not make demands on its object. -Confucius

Confucius Quotes On Education

Confucius quotes about education

91. Study the past, if you would divine the future. -Confucius

92. You cannot open a book without learning something. -Confucius

93. Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. -Confucius

94. 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

95. To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.


96. Imagination is more important than knowledge. -Confucius

97. Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. -Confucius

98. He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger. -Confucius

99. 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. -Confucius

100. 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