Own My Growth

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Confucian Wisdom

Confucian Wisdom

I first got introduced to Confucian wisdom when one of my mentors quoted him while giving me feedback about having a sense of direction and presence. That quote is permanently etched in my memory – ” to know where you are today, you need to know where you were yesterday. To know where you want to go tomorrow, you need to know where you are today.”

Ever since, I have collected more than a hundred aphorisms /quotes from different sources attributed to Confucius. I say attributed because I don’t know whether these aphorisms can indeed be traced back to Confucius .

Confucius was a Chinese philosopher and humanist from around 500 BC. His teachings form one of the core pillars of Eastern philosophy as we know it today. 

No matter the provenance, here are fifteen of my favorite Confucian quotes.

  1. To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.
  2. All people are the same; only their habits differ.
  3. What a superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.
  4. The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
  5. He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.
  6. If you make a mistake and do not correct it; this is called a mistake.
  7. Settle one difficulty, and you keep a hundred away.
  8. The green reed that bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak that breaks in the storm.
  9. If you hate a person, that means that person has defeated you.
  10. Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
  11. The man who says he can and the man who says he cannot are both correct.
  12. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
  13. Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
  14. It does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.
  15. Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.  

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