I really enjoy reading Confucius’ writings. So much of what he wrote almost 2500 years ago still rings true today, which is incredible when you think about it. It shows that even if we advance exponentially in terms of technology, wealth, and knowledge, human nature hasn’t really changed that much throughout all those years. Here are my 30 favorite wisdom sayings from the Chinese thinker & social philosopher:
1- A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
2- And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
3- Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.
4- Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
5- He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.
6- If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it’s OK. But you’ve got to shoot for something. A lot of people don’t even shoot.
7- It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
8- 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.
9- It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.
10- Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
11- 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.
12- Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
13- Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.
14- The object of the superior man is truth.
15- The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.
16- The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
17- There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest.
18- They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
19- To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.
20- To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.
21- Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?
22- Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.
23- Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
24- Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.
25- What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.
26- Have no friends not equal to yourself.
27- He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.
28- Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.
29- Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
30- I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.