The 50 Best Confucius Quotes

Confucius thinking up another of his life changing quotes

Confucius (551 B.C. – 479 B.C.) was a Chinese teacher, political theorist and social philosopher, whose teachings deeply influenced East Asian life and thought. Confucianism, the tradition that bears his name, traces itself back to the sayings recorded in the text known as the Analects which remains the traditional source for information about Confucius’ life and teaching. Here are the 50 quotes from Confucius that might just change your life.

  1. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” — Confucius
  2. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Confucius
  3. “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” — Confucius
  4. “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” — Confucius
  5. “When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.” — Confucius
  6. “It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.” — Confucius
  7. “He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” — Confucius
  8. “To see what is right and not do it is the want of courage.” — Confucius
  9. “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” — Confucius
  10. “Respect yourself and others will respect you.” — Confucius
  11. “When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.” — Confucius
  12. “The superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.” — Confucius
  13. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” — Confucius
  14. “Silence is a true friend who never betrays.” — Confucius
  15. “He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.” — Confucius
  16. “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” — Confucius
  17. Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.” — Confucius
  18. “Study the past if you would define the future.” — Confucius
  19. “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
  20. “The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.” — Confucius
  21. “To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.” — Confucius
  22. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” — Confucius
  23. “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
  24. “Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.” — Confucius
  25. “The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.” — Confucius
  26. “Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.” — Confucius
  27. “When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.” — Confucius
  28. “The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.” — Confucius
  29. “The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.” — Confucius
  30. “If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.” — Confucius
  31. “Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.” — Confucius
  32. “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” — Confucius
  33. “If you look into your own heart, you find nothing wrong there, what is there to fear?” — Confucius
  34. “To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.” — Confucius
  35. “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” — Confucius
  36. “A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” — Confucius
  37. “You cannot open a book without learning something.” — Confucius
  38. “When anger rises, think of the consequences.” — Confucius
  39. “Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.” — Confucius
  40. “The cautious seldom err.” — Confucius
  41. “The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress.” — Confucius
  42. “The object of the superior man is truth.” — Confucius
  43. “He who will not economize will have to agonize.” — Confucius
  44. “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” — Confucius
  45. “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” — Confucius
  46. “If we don’t know life, how can we know death?” — Confucius
  47. “He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.” — Confucius
  48. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” — Confucius
  49. “Virtuous people often revenge themselves for the constraints to which they submit by the boredom which they inspire.” — Confucius
  50. “The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success only comes later.” — Confucius

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Seff Bray

Seff Bray is an accomplished author and the passionate founder of, a website renowned for its uplifting and inspiring content. With a lifelong interest in personal development and growth, Seff has dedicated himself to empowering others through his writing.