100 Confucius Quotes About Life, Love and Wisdom To Inspire You

If you’re in search of deeper meanings in life, allow these Confucius quotes to serve you.

Our latest collection of Confucius quotes that will help you gain wisdom and better understand the world around you.

Kong Qui or K’ung Fu-tzu, but more commonly known as Confucius, was a Chinese philosopher and political figure.

He is best remembered for his teachings, which served to create admirable interactions and standards within society.

Confucianism, which is, in essence, a way of life and thinking for its followers, is based off of the aphorisms of Confucius.

Although little is known about his life, his teachings on love, kindness, and respect still live on today.

In fact, he is considered to be one of the most influential teachers not only in China but in the world.

Born: 28 September 551 BC

Died: 479 BC

Below you’ll find our collection of inspirational, wise, and thought-provoking Confucius sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Allow yourself to become inspired by some of the best Confucius quotes on life, love, and success.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.

Explore our complete collection of motivational quotes here.

Wise Confucius quotes about life and love

1. “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

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

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

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

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

6. “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

7. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

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

9. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius

10. “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.” – Confucius

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The best Confucius quotes on knowledge and education

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

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

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

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

15. “You cannot open a book without learning something.” – Confucius

16. “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

17. “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

18. “The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” – Confucius

19. “A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” – Confucius

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20. “Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.” – Confucius

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Inspirational Confucius sayings on love and leadership

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

22. “Study the past, if you would define the future.” – Confucius

23. “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

24. “I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.” – Confucius

25. “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

26. “Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.” – Confucius
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27. “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

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

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

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

Inspirational Confucius quotes and words of wisdom 

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

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

33. “I will not be concerned at other men’s not knowing me; I will be concerned at my own want of ability.” – Confucius

34. “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

35. “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

36. “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.” – Confucius

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

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

39. “Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs.” – Confucius

40. “The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most.” – Confucius

Confucius sayings that will change your perspective on life

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

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

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

44. “If we don’t know life, how can we know death?” – Confucius

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

46. “The gem cannot be polished without friction nor man without trials.” – Confucius

47. “Silence is a true friend who never betrays.” – Confucius

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

49. “Your life is what your thoughts make it.” – Confucius

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

Confucius quotes that still ring true today

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

52. “Forget injuries, never forget kindness.” – Confucius

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

54. “What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.” – Confucius

55. “They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.” – Confucius

56. “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

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

58. “When anger rises, think of the consequences.” – Confucius

59. “All good things are difficult to achieve, and all bad things are very easy to get.” – Confucius

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

Thought-provoking Confucius quotes 

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

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

63. “I do not want a friend who smiles when I smile, who weeps when I weep; for my shadow in the pool can do better than that.” — Confucius

64. “Wisdom is worried for being slow in its speech and expeditious in its actions.” — Confucius

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

66. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Confucius

67. “Respect yourself and others will respect you.” – Confucius

68. “Learn as if you were not reaching your goal and as though you were scared of missing it.” — Confucius

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

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

More Confucius quotes and sayings

71. “If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.” – Confucius

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

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

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

75. “The man of wisdom is never of two minds, the man of benevolence never worries, the man of courage is never afraid.” – Confucius

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

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

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

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79. “Time flows away like the water in the river.” – Confucius

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

Confucius Quotes to Explore the Profound Teachings

81. “There has never been a man mean and at the same time virtuous.” — Confucius

82. “He who rules by moral force is like the pole star, which remains in place while all the lesser stars do homage to it.” — Confucius

83. “Study without reflection is a waste of time; reflection without study is dangerous.” — Confucius

84. “Excess and deficiency are equally at fault.” — Confucius

85. “Without that innate sense of human worth, a man cannot long endure adversity, nor can he long enjoy prosperity.” — Confucius

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

87. “First there must be order and harmony within your own mind.” — Confucius

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

89. “You must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” — Confucius

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

Confucius Quotes to Guide You from the Sage

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

92. “Sincerity is the way of heaven.” — Confucius

93. “Clever talk can confound the workings of virtue, just as small impatiences can confound great projects.” — Confucius

94. “Know what you know and know that you don’t know what you don’t know — that is the characteristic of one who knows.” — Confucius

95. “He who requires much from himself and little from others, will keep himself from being the object of resentment.” — Confucius

96. “Character is the backbone of our human culture. Music is the flowering of character.” — Confucius

97. “To be fond of learning is near to wisdom; to practice with vigor is near to benevolence; and to be conscious of shame is near to fortitude.” — Confucius

98. “Learn, as if never overtaking your object, and yet as if apprehensive of losing it.” — Confucius

99. “Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.” — Confucius

100. “Make faithfulness and truth thy masters: have no friends unlike thyself: be not ashamed to mend thy faults.” — Confucius

Did any of these Confucius quotes make you think? Why or why not?

The ideologies of Confucius were so significant that during the Han, Tang, and Song dynasties, it was his ideas that influenced the political principles of these ruling families.

His teachings were recorded in analects, which were later on compiled by his disciples.

They have been translated so everyone in the world can learn from his beliefs.

Surprisingly, Confucius himself did not believe that his teachings would make any impact at all.

Who would think that centuries later, his principles would be shared across the globe in the form of these inspirational Confucius quotes.

Which of these Confucius sayings was your favorite?

Do you have any other inspirational quotes to add?

let us know in the comment section below.

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  1. Terry Sanders

    February 20, 2021 at 10:12 AM

    “Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.” Notice anything wrong with this one? zIt reminds me of Groucho Marx’s: “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” Confucius has insights reflected in other sages from different civilizations, but he also drops absurd contradictions like the one above

  2. Uriel

    August 14, 2019 at 10:24 PM

    “Your life is what your thoughts make it.” – Confucius
    I’ve always believed this to be true.

  3. Lord John stanciu

    July 15, 2019 at 10:20 AM

    Confucius is like the thoughts in my own mind and I am grateful to have read them.
    The world could use the word on love and kindness and respect and honor more than anything else. I am 68 years old and have been using his words for my self


  4. Damien Thomas

    March 18, 2019 at 6:27 AM

    Love these quotes by Confucius Jeffrey. This is my favorite: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

  5. Carole Epp

    August 16, 2018 at 11:07 AM

    The quote that stands out for me is ” your life is what your thoughts make it ”
    This quote is extremely powerful. I have seen many variations, science has even proved it. ( If that matters).

    Joe dispenzo says “wherever you put your thoughts and awareness, becomes your reality”.

    Where are you putting your thoughts?

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