Tag Archives | Confucius

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

Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. – Confucius What does that mean? This quote is about the synergy between knowledge and ideas of how to do things. Learning brings knowledge. Thought brings ideas of how to do things. Knowledge of how to do something without actually giving any consideration to […]

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I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.

I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being. – Confucius What does that mean? Ever feel like you should be doing something else? Ever feel like something inside of you desperately wants to get out? I know that I have. To me, that is what this quote is […]

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They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. – Confucius What does that mean? To reuse words from the quote, this is about the only constant in life, and that is change. Everything around us is changing, and even we ourselves are changing. If we are to remain constant in our […]

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

If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear? – Confucius What does that mean? To me, this quote isn’t about the fear of a tiger eating you, but about the much more insidious fears we have. The fear of not having […]

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Person who chases two rabbits catches neither.

Person who chases two rabbits catches neither. – Confucius or Romanian Proverb What does that mean? I was surprised that I hadn’t covered this quote yet, when I tried to reference this quote in a recent blog, but couldn’t. The reason might have been the attribution, given by many as Confucius, but only sourced to a […]

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I will not be concerned at other men’s not knowing me; I will be concerned at my own want of ability.

I will not be concerned at other men’s not knowing me; I will be concerned at my own want of ability. – Confucius What does that mean? This is an interesting quote, as it discusses our want, or lack, of ability. At least that is how I understand the quote. The first part says we shouldn’t […]

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When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves. – Confucius What does that mean? This is an interesting quote about trying to master yourself by interaction with other people. It is the second half of a longer quote, often stated as: “When we see men of worth, we should […]

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To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.

To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short. – Confucius What does that mean? This is another Goldilocks style quote. Neither too hot nor too cold. Neither too long or too short. Neither too wide nor too narrow. Always looking for that which is “just right.” And being just right is what this quote […]

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Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.

Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses. – Confucius What does that mean? This is a beautiful quote, for its shortness, its symmetry, and its heart. Injuries can be dealt with in many ways, but they boil down to two basic ways. You remember them, or you forget them. The minor injuries, based on our values, are the […]

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

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. – Confucius What does that mean? This quote hit me pretty hard, once I started thinking about it. What if it didn’t matter what kind of car you drove. What if it didn’t matter how nice your house was, so long as it was functional? […]

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The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions

The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions. – Confucius What does that mean? This quote reminds me to be wary of the boastful and the prideful. These people are not modest in their speech. Some may have accomplished much, but there are ways of letting the world know of your […]

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To see the right and not to do it is cowardice

To see the right and not to do it is cowardice. ~ Confucius What does that mean? To me, this quote sounds a little clunky. I presume it has to do with how and when it was translated. I would reword it to say “To see and know what the correct thing to do is […]

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

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. – Confucius What does that mean? To me, this says when the going gets tough, don’t give up. The toughness is a clue that you need to adjust your approach. This is important, as many people will […]

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Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.

Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure. – Confucius What does that mean? This saying has been paraphrased in modern times as “failing to plan is planning to fail.”  Does it make sense?  If you go into a situation with only your wits, and your opponent has […]

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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.

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 What does that mean? To me, he is saying that excellence comes from your desires.  The desire to win, to succeed, to extend yourself to reach your full potential.  […]

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