Top 21 Confucius Quotes to Unlock Your Inner Wisdom and Deal With the Stress of Modern Life

Do you ever feel like something is missing from modern life?

Like maybe there is an ancient wisdom that is an incredibly important part of the human journey, and that we’ve might have lost touch with it?

Sometimes when we read the quotes of great men and women, particularly from thousands of years ago, we realize that they weren’t all that different from us.

Their words can remind us that when we peel back the layers of culture – the internet, fast food, media, materialism, and the corporate lifestyle, there is still a lot to learn from people and philosophies of the past.

One of the greatest philosophers of all time, Confucius, has influenced culture in the East and West more than we can ever know. You may be surprised at how relevant some of his wise words are today, even with the drastic difference between our cultures and his own.

Here are 21 quotes of his that will help you unlock your inner wisdom and better handle the challenges of modern life.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” – Confucius

“Roads were made for journeys, not destinations.” – Confucius

“A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace.” – Confucius

“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

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

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

“Everything has a beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius

“Consideration for others is the basis of a good life, a good society.” – Confucius

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

“The nobler sort of man emphasizes the good qualities in others, and does not accentuate the bad. The inferior does.” – Confucius

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

“He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.” – Confucius

“To see what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.” – Confucius

“The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.” – Confucius

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” – Confucius

“The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for lifetime.” – Confucius

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” – Confucius

“Respect yourself and others with respect you.” – Confucius

“What the superior man seeks is in himself is what the small man seeks is in others.” – Confucius

“The man who says he can, and the man who says he cannot…are both correct” – Confucius


Attention Pick the Brain Readers! I hope you enjoyed this post.

As a thank you for reading this post, I want to offer you a free copy our new eBook:

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Ben is a freelance writer, and the co-creator of Project Monkey Mind—a new blog for the 21st century solopreneur and young professional who wants to take control of their minds, smash through their limitations, and lead a life worth living.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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