We need more people like Confucius in our world. People who are not afraid to speak the truth as they see it and give advice in small, but impactful quotes. Confucius was a Chinese philosopher, as well as editor, teacher, and politician. His words have lived on since 479 BC when he died. That’s how you know they are powerful and important. If you want to live a better life, then take in the following 10 quotes from Confucius.
1. Living In Truth Makes You More Successful
The object of the superior man is truth.
I’ve been listening to Jon Butcher, co-creator of Lifebook Online, and he talks a lot about living by certain fundamentals truths that serve as the foundation for a behavior or a belief in your life.
For instance, he talks about the Principle of Habitual Behavior, which shows that your habits shape your life and define you as a human being. Or, in other words, you are what you continuously do.
When you start to understand these truths you start to utilize them, change your life, and become more successful. And once you realize this, you are always looking to live in truth rather than made up stories, superstitions, or ways that other people think you should live.
2. You Always Have The Choice To Do What’s Right
To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.
I do believe that making the wrong decision – when you clearly know it’s a wrong decision – is a weak choice. The right decision is often harder and it takes courage to make the right decision, but at least you can say that you did the right thing.
3. You Will Always Find Flaws, But Personal Development Is Still Worthwhile
Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.
Do you know how long it takes a diamond to form? Apparently, it’s about 1 to 3.3 billion years!
To me, this Confucius quote means that it’s better to work on changing yourself into something better and find flaws than it is to sit around and do nothing to improve yourself in any way but feel unscathed by the process of personal development.
When you work on improving yourself, you will see where you have flaws, but you will also have more happiness, more success, and more fulfillment in life, so even though you may have a few chips here and there, at least you are shining yourself up a bit!
4. You Are The Words You Tell Yourself And Speak
Your words are powerful. Be careful when you talk to yourself because you are determining the path you will set foot on.
For example, if you tell yourself that you are fat, ugly, and incapable of finding love, then you are going to put yourself on a path of being able to find love until you talk differently to yourself.
I highly recommend you reframe the way you talk to yourself whenever you realize that you are being unkind or holding yourself back in some way. If you wouldn’t talk to someone else the way you are talking to yourself, then you shouldn’t be talking to yourself like that.
5. Put Everything Into Today
Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.
Sometimes you go in directions you don’t want to go, and sometimes you go in directions you do want to go. But, no matter what happens, live it. Be in the moment. Go with all your heart, as Confucius says. When you do, you will be living life to the fullest and making the most out of the time you have here.
6. Surround Yourself With People More Intelligent Than You
If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.
It’s nice to teach other people, but learning is the only way to grow. If you need to show others that you are always the best, then you will never put yourself in a position where you can learn from people who have done more, experienced more, or know more than you. And that’s a shame because you will never become smarter than you are now.
7. Stop Being So Judgmental
Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.
This is one of the Confucius quotes that I need to remember. I tend to complain about other people who are doing the exact same thing I do. The more aware I become of it, the less I complain, but I need this quote around me to remind me that I’m not the perfect person I think I am while I complain about others.
8. Revenge Is Most Harmful To You
Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
Letting things go can be hard. Forgiveness can be hard. But at least you come out the other end feeling good and without impacting your health and happiness in a negative way.
Revenge, on the other hand, is technically easy. But, it can cause you a ton of physical and emotional stress as you relive the moment you are seeking revenge for and stay in a state of anger and misery.
I always think of this way: Why let someone who has hurt you, hurt you even more? Forgive and move on so that you can live life on your terms and they no longer have any power over you.
9. Sometimes Bad Things Result In Good Things
You wouldn’t think a lion chasing you up the tree would be good, but would you ever see that view if it didn’t?
Sometimes seemingly bad things can help us have experiences that we wouldn’t have had before.
A great lesson in life is this from Srikumar Rao: Good thing, bad thing, who knows?
10. Don’t Be A Hypocrite
Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.
Telling someone to eat broccoli because it’s healthier for them when you wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole is called being a hypocrite.
This quote from Confucius is a good rule of thumb not just because you are being hypocritical, but because imposing on others what you wouldn’t want for yourself makes you look bad. It makes people question you, affects your relationships negatively, and can hurt you in the long run.
For instance, if you tell your partner to be honest with you at all times and then beat them up when they are not, yet you know you are not always honest with your partner, that’s going to have some negative effects on your relationship. They will feel especially hurt when they catch you in lies and truly realize that you don’t hold yourself to the same regard that you hold them.