Confucius was an ancient Chinese philosopher whose name is synonymous with Chinese culture. Also known as Confucianism, his philosophy is one of the three belief systems that deeply penetrated the Chinese society and is prevalent even today. The other two being, Buddhism and Taoism. In Chinese philosophy, the combined knowledge of these three belief systems (Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism) is popularly known as the ‘three teachings‘.
Confucius strongly espoused family values, sincerity, balance, self inquiry, self awareness, letting go and being open minded.
The following is a collection 38 important life lessons from Confucius that will broaden your perspective of life and your relationship with the universe.
Lesson 1: Life’s challenges are here to help you grow.
“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” – Confucius
Lesson 2: Remember to question everything.
“The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.” – Confucius
Lesson 3: Be flexible. Adapt yourself to circumstances.
“As the water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, so a wise man adapts himself to circumstances.” – Confucius
“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” – Confucius
Lesson 4: Develop self awareness through self reflection.
“He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.” – Confucius
“What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.” – Confucius
“Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.” – Confucius
Lesson 5: Be persistent and you will attain your goals.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
“A man without persistence will never make a good shaman or a good physician.” – Confucius
Lesson 6: Always be balanced in everything you do.
“Do everything in moderation, even moderation.” – Confucius
Lesson 7: Focus all your energy on a single objective to succeed.
“The man who chases two rabbits, catches neither.” – Confucius
Lesson 8: Lower your expectations of others. Become more self reliant.
“If you expect great things of yourself and demand little of others, you’ll keep resentment far away.” – Confucius
“The demands that good people make are upon themselves; Those that bad people make are upon others.” – Confucius
Lesson 9: Forgive yourself and others to free yourself.
“Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.” – Confucius
“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.” – Confucius
Lesson 11: Always be open to learning.
“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” – Confucius
“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
Lesson 12: Try to understand the real essence of things; don’t get lost in the concepts.
“When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” – Confucius
Lesson 13: Love & Respect yourself first.
“Respect yourself and others will respect you.” – Confucius
Lesson 14: Let go of the past.
“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.” – Confucius
Lesson 15: Let go of hate and feelings of revenge.
“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” – Confucius
“The ultimate revenge is living well and being happy. Hateful people can’t stand happy people. Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” – Confucius
Lesson 16: Learn from your mistakes.
“If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.” – Confucius
Lesson 17: Learn from your past to change your future.
“Study the past if you would define the future.” – Confucius
Lesson 18: Small consistent efforts produce big results.
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius
“The journey with a 1000 miles begins with one step.” – Confucius
Lesson 19: Divert your focus to empowering thoughts.
“Your life is what your thoughts make it.” – Confucius
“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” – Confucius
Lesson 20: Change your habits to change yourself.
“All people are the same; only their habits differ.” – Confucius
Lesson 21: Realize that life is simple.
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius
Lesson 22: Try to see the good in everything.
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius
“A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace.” – Confucius
Lesson 23: Have friends who are equal to or better than you.
“Have no friends not equal to yourself.” – Confucius
“Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself. ” – Confucius
Lesson 24: Find happiness in the simple things.
“Coarse rice to eat, water to drink, my bent arm for a pillow – therein is happiness. Wealth and rank attained through immoral means are nothing but drifting clouds.” – Confucius
Lesson 25: Be yourself to the very core of your being.
“I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.” – Confucius
“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius
Lesson 26: Beware of flattery.
“He who flatters a man is his enemy. he who tells him of his faults is his maker.” – Confucius
Lesson 27: Do what you love.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
Lesson 28: It’s only through taking action that you truly understand something.
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius
Lesson 29: To make a change, start with yourself.
“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
Lesson 30: Embrace change.
“They must often change who would remain constant in happiness and wisdom.” – Confucius
Lesson 31: Always be open to learning and to disperse your knowledge.
“Never tire to study. And to teach to others” – Confucius
Lesson 32: Recognize in yourself the bad you see in others and try to correct it.
“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
“When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.” – Confucius
Lesson 33: Don’t forget to use your imagination.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Confucius
Lesson 34: Talk less, act more.
“The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions.” – Confucius
“The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” – Confucius
Lesson 35: Focus on the solution than on the problem.
“Better light a candle than curse the darkness.” – Confucius
Lesson 36: Be broad minded. Do not let yourself be ruled by your beliefs and ideas.
“The noble-minded are all-encompassing, not stuck in doctrines. Little people are stuck in doctrines.” – Confucius
“The nobler type of man is broad-minded and not prejudiced. The inferior man is prejudiced and not broad-minded.” – Confucius
You may also like...
I’ve struggled with the feeling that I am not good enough. Haven’t we all? Sometimes, we live in this place ...continue reading. 27 Uplifting Quotes For When You Feel You’re Not Good Enough One great thing about Reverend Ike was that in the guise of preaching religion, he was actually helping people become ...continue reading. 54 Powerful Quotes by Rev. Ike on Faith, Self Belief, God, Money and LOA A marathon is high on many people’s bucket lists. And for good reason: it is a challenge of your durability, ...continue reading. 5 Life Lessons I Learned From Running 2 Marathons in 4 Months If you are feeling a deep sense of meaninglessness or hollowness in your life, then one of the main reasons ...continue reading. 101 Inspirational Quotes On Being Yourself
About the Author