“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”
For centuries, Confucianism has been considered by many as a “way of life.” Confucianism, founded by Chinese philosopher Confucius, focuses on self-improvement that will eventually create a united and stable society.
It emphasizes the importance of values, family, healthy relationships, and tradition. The practice of Confucianism not only exists in China but has extended all over the world.
Let’s dive into its best well-known ideas that are still relevant today:
1. “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
It’s only natural for our minds to overthink, but it can be unhealthy in the long run. Confucius emphasized that life is fairly simple. It should be lived as such in order to have a healthy lifestyle and a calm mind. Worrying about things will only bring you down and keep you from making progress. To avoid this, try to focus on the important things in life. And keep it simple.
2. “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”
Imagine a world where people pursued what they wanted and fulfilled their purpose. As Confucianism centers on self-improvement, it reminds us to focus and develop ourselves in our area of expertise and interests. If you’re to pursue something that you aren’t good at, doing so won’t just affect you but the world around you as well. Just think about how many lives you could have helped if you let yourself bloom with the talents you are born with.
2. “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”
It’s important to bring about harmony with other people. His golden rule dictates a very simple concept which people can easily apply in their lives. As Confucius puts it, “Ask yourself constantly, ‘What is the right thing to do?'” and only then will you be mindful of your actions as to how you’re supposed to treat others. Whether or not good karma comes and regardless if others treat you the same way, doing good deeds will make the world a better place.
3. “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”
Confucianism emphasizes the idea of “filial piety,” or devotion to family, which has influenced the norm and culture in East Asia for centuries. In Confucian ethics, family is the most important group and one’s devotion to it would only strengthen society.
4. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
We have our entire lives in front of us and everything is worth exploring. But in most cases, in order to understand the things that we read or hear, we should also have our own set of experiences to relate to it.
5. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
We must constantly remind ourselves that struggles and failures in life shouldn’t discourage us. We must remember to look at the bigger picture and try to see the positive, in the same way that Confucius once said, “A lion chased me up a tree, and I greatly enjoyed the view from the top.”
Of course, staying positive doesn’t mean ignoring all problems. When you get to the point where you are ready to take action once again, it’s also best to remember yet another wise Confucius saying: “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”
6. “Silence is a true friend that never betrays.”
Silence is the gateway to self-realization. A lot of philosophers have stressed the importance of meditation and silence, finding inner peace and reflection amid the world’s noise. Confucius is no different. When you put yourself in a deep state of reflection, you start to re-analyze things and even learn from them. In most cases, you eventually find the answers to your questions.
7. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
It’s normal for fear and doubt to hold you back, and sometimes procrastination also kicks in. Remember that we are human beings and that we need breaks, too. Also, everyone goes at their own pace, and things will happen in their own time. It is your consistency in reaching your pursuits that matters, not necessarily the pursuits themselves. So, keep going.