The Best Confucius Quotes & Sayings | Inspirational Podcasts

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Today’s podcast was edited and adapted from the Analects of Confucius, which are believed to have been written by Confucius and his followers between 475 and 221 B.C.

To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.

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

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

A person who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake.

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

When anger rises, think of the consequences.

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

The individual who conquers themselves is the mightiest warrior.

Silence is the true friend that never betrays.

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.

Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.

To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.

If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.

The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect their work must first sharpen their tools.

A person who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at their door.

To love a thing means wanting it to live.

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

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

To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.

Do not be desirous of having things done quickly. Do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.

Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.

We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.

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

The gem cannot be polished without friction nor an individual without trials.

It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach their own family.

I am not concerned that I am not known, I seek to be worthy to be known.

When prosperity comes, do not use all of it.

When things are investigated, then true knowledge is achieved; when true knowledge is achieved, then the will becomes sincere; when the will is sincere, then the heart is set right; when the heart is set right, then the personal life is cultivated; when the personal life is cultivated, then the family life is regulated; when the family life is regulated, then the national life is orderly; and when the national life is orderly, then there is peace in this world.

To go too far is as bad as to fall short.

Humankind differs from the animals only by a little and most people throw that away.

The essence of knowledge is to apply it when you have it — and to confess your ignorance, when you don’t.

The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.

Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude.

Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things.

The superior person is modest in their speech but exceptional in their actions.

The real fault is to have faults and not correct them.

When you see a worthy person, endeavor to emulate them. When you see an unworthy person, then examine your inner self.

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

The parent who does not teach their child his or her duties is equally guilty as the child who neglects them.

Have no friends not equal to yourself.

Study the past if you would divine the future.

Those who wish to secure the good of others have already secured their own.

Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know others.

The person who stands on a hill with mouth open will wait long time for a roast duck to drop in.

If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to fear?

Learn as though you would never be able to master it; hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.

The more a person meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be their world and the world at large.

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

Virtue is not left to stand alone. Those who practice it will have neighbors.

The superior person acts before they speak, and afterwards speaks according to their actions.

The perfecting of one’s self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development.

Think no vice so small that you may commit it, and no virtue so small that you may overlook it.

Only the wisest and the stupidest of men and women never change.

By nature, we are nearly alike; by practice, we get to be wide apart.

Acquire new knowledge while thinking over the old, and you may become a teacher of others.

Do not worry about holding high position; worry rather about playing your proper role.

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

We take greater pains to persuade others we are happy than in trying to think so ourselves.

To know is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.

Death and life have their determined appointments; riches and honors depend upon heaven.

Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing.

The superior individual thinks always of virtue; the common person thinks of comfort.

Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.

I have never seen a man as fond of virtue as of women.

Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon or star.

As the water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, so a wise person adapts themselves to circumstances.

A great individual is hard on themselves; a small individual is hard on others.

To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are: gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.

What the superior person seeks is in themselves. What the mean person seeks is in others.

Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of humankind.

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

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.

They must change who would be constant in happiness and wisdom.

Learning without thought is labor lost. Thought without learning is perilous.

Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life? Indeed, that word is reciprocity. What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.

The faults of a superior person are like the sun and moon. They have their faults, and everyone sees them; they change and everyone looks up to them.

To know what you know and to know what you don’t know, that is real wisdom.

The character of the great individual is threefold: the virtuous, for they are free from anxieties; the wise, for they are free from perplexities; and the bold, for they are free from fear.

Lastly, remember this: It is you that makes truth great, not truth that makes you great. I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.

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All transcripts from our inspirational podcasts are edited adaptations of the original work and copyrighted by LivingHour.org.