70 Confucius Quotes To Elevate Your Spirit

By Maxime Lagacé

Maxime is the founder of WisdomQuotes. He has been collecting quotes since 2004. His goal? To help you develop a calm and peaceful mind. Learn more about him on his about page.

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I’ve collected 70 of the most profound Confucius quotes.

What will you learn through Confucius?

  • The importance of becoming your best version
  • The importance of respecting your elders
  • The importance of kindness and fairness

I discovered this Chinese philosopher back in 2004 in a book called “La Petite Gallerie de Grands Esprits”.

It was a fascinating book about the best minds that ever lived.

The book talked about their biographies, philosophies, and quotes.

Throughout the years, I found Confucius was in fact one of the most quoted authors of all time.

But who was Confucius exactly?

  • A Chinese philosopher, teacher, and politician (551—479 BCE)
  • His teachings have been a huge influence in China et East Asia for over 2000 years
  • His ideas and systems were so influential that a complete philosophy/religion/way of life was developed: Confucianism

So if you want to become a “superior person“, read the following quotes by Confucius.

You’ll be amazed by his clear thinking and his simple and applicable quotes.

I hope you’ll love them as much as I did.

The Best Confucius Quotes

confucius quotes superior man virtue comfort wisdom

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

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

The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Confucius

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

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

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

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 noble minded calm steady people forever fussing wisdom

The noble-minded are calm and steady. Little people are forever fussing and fretting. Confucius

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

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

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

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

And remember, no matter where you go, there you are. Confucius

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. Confucius

Respect yourself and others will respect you. Confucius



Inspirational Confucius Quotes

confucius quotes wherever your heart wisdom

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. Confucius

The superior man is slow in his words and earnest in his conduct. Confucius

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Confucius

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

The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress. Confucius

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. Confucius

If you lead on the people with correctness, who will dare not to be correct? Confucius

confucius quotes great man hard himself small others wisdom

A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others. Confucius

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

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

Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life. Confucius

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

It is better to light one small candle of gratitude than to curse the darkness. Confucius

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

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

Time flows away like the water in the river. Confucius


Confucius Quotes About Wisdom

confucius quotes everything beauty everyone sees wisdom

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. Confucius

He who chases two rabbits, catches none. Confucius

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

A healthy man wants a thousand things, a sick man only wants one. Confucius

He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions. Confucius

What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others. Confucius

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

A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. Confucius

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

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


confucius quotes have two lives second begins realise have one wisdom

You have two lives. The second begins when you realise you only have one. Confucius

The way of the superior person is threefold; virtuous, they are free from anxieties; wise they are free from perplexities; and bold they are free from fear. Confucius

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

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

A superior man helps the distressed, but does not add to the wealth of the rich. Confucius

Knowledge without practice is useless. Practice without knowledge is dangerous. Confucius

If what one has to say is not better than silence, then one should keep silent. Confucius

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

Study the past if you want to define the future. Confucius

When anger rises, think of the consequences. Confucius

Silence is a true friend who never betrays. Confucius

Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses. Confucius

Confucius Quotes About Education

confucius quotes hear forget see remember understand wisdom

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. Confucius (Falsely attributed to Confucius)

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

Don’t worry that no one knows you, but seek to be worthy of being known. Confucius

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

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

Knowledge is merely brilliance in organization of ideas and not wisdom. The truly wise person goes beyond knowledge. Confucius

No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. Confucius

confucius quotes must often change remain constant happiness wisdom

They must often change who would remain constant in happiness and wisdom. Confucius

If your plan is for one year plant rice. If your plan is for ten years plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years educate children. Confucius

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

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

Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace. Confucius

Consideration for others is the basis of a good life, a good society. Confucius

You cannot open a book without learning something. Confucius

The Essence of Knowledge is, having it, to use it. Confucius


Key Takeaways From Confucius’ Quotes

  • Be good, kind, and respectful: Confucius believed in the importance of living with virtue and doing what’s right, not what’s popular. So avoid doing flashy things. Do something because it’s the thing to do.
  • Learn and study: Confucius believed in knowledge, education, and learning. He believed every person had to become his best version. So view learning as a lifelong endeavor. Don’t be scared to try, fail, and try again.
  • Take care of your family: Confucius believed in respecting elders. He believed a good society was based on care and empathy for loved ones. So spend more time with your family. Be generous with your time and presence. Do what you can to make their lives better.
  • Keep things simple: Confucius believed in simplicity and being in tune with nature. For him, nature was the answer to achieving inner balance and inner peace. So uncommit from activities which bring stress. Avoid drama. See the marvelous in the simple. Spend more time in nature.
  • Be a good leader: Confucius believed in “the superior man.”: A man who is virtuous, knowledgeable, and would lead by example. So live your life based on courage, education, and action. Be wise, not popular.

Further Readings

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Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He started journaling, reflecting, writing his thoughts, feelings and quotes.

His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal.

A few years later, he started his first website to share his love of quotes.

Maxime is a father of two, husband, and INFJ.

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, bananas, SEO, human potential, and education.

You can find him on X, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Last update

January 23, 2023

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