Confucius was one of the most influential teachers in China, which is why the quotes from Confucius have lasted for thousands of years. Confucius was born in 551 B.C.E, and he was alive during a turbulent time in China’s history. The philosophical teachings of Confucius were focused on restoring order to society and included establishing ethical models of family and public life. When Confucius died in 479 B.C.E, he did not think his teachings had made an impact; however, his ideas eventually became the foundation of state ideology in China, and they are still present in today’s traditional Chinese society. Confucius was a very wise man, and the quotes from Confucius still have a lot to offer.
1. Falling and Rising
Failure is something that is very difficult to cope with. No one wants to fail, but everyone will fail at some point. One of the quotes from Confucius that speaks volumes regarding failure is, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Focusing on your failures will not do you any good; however, focusing on how you recovered from failures will do you a world of good. It is the best and most positive way to handle failure.
How often do you tell someone that something is too complicated? Often, people talk about how complicated life is, but life is only as complicated as you make it. Confucius asserted this sentiment when he stated, "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” If you want to simplify your life, it is possible. You just have to insist on making it simple!
Knowledge is highly regarded in our society, which is evident by the value placed on college degrees. While education is important, it doesn’t always lead to true knowledge. Confucius declared, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” Knowing how much you don’t know is what brings wisdom, and it is something that comes with age. I am more aware of how much I don’t know than I was ten years ago!
4. Give It Your All
Confucius wisely proclaimed, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” I think this is one of the best principles to live by. It applies to so many different aspects of life, including education, work, relationships, and health. In anything that you try to achieve, go for it with everything you have.
5. Focus on the Good
When people focus on what is good in life, the bad seems to melt away. Whenever I have made a conscious effort to focus on the positive, I have always been rewarded by feeling much more upbeat. Perhaps this is why Confucius advised, “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”
Perfectionism is impossible, but many people, myself included, burden themselves with perfectionistic qualities. Confucius emphasized, “Better a diamond with a flaw, than a pebble without.” Being perfect is not a desirable quality. However, being the best version of yourself, flaws included, is something that is very desirable and very possible.
7. The Tortoise and the Hare
Every child learns the story of the tortoise and the hare, along with the lesson that slow and steady wins the race. Every so often it is important to remember this lesson. Confucius stated, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Sometimes, especially when we are young, it can be tempting to try and achieve everything as quickly as possible. However, what matters more is taking your time and diligently working toward your goals.
The wisdom of Confucius has lasted for thousands of years. His teachings are timeless and apply to all ages. His words have something profound to offer. Which of these quotes touched you the most?