Important lessons from Confucius for the year ahead |

We’ve all been influenced by Confucius one way or another, usually without us knowing it. But here are some wise words from this sage that you can certainly take to heart if you want to change your life.

Just keep moving

He’s basically saying ‘don’t give up’ – you have to keep moving despite the hardships and push through. Failures happen, but bulldozing through it will get you your goals eventually.

All or nothing

Everything that’s worth doing, is worth putting 100%. Coasting through life with a blasé attitude will only make life less pleasurable, but when you put in your all, everybody will notice you and in turn, motivate you.

It pays to sharpen your tools

Greatness doesn’t come easy – you’ve heard of Gladwell’s ‘10,000 Hour Rule‘ which is echoed in Confucius: “The mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” Unless you’re a genius or cosmically lucky, you have to put in the hard yards to achieve success.

Be in good company

We are often influenced by the company we keep, so it is good to consider who you spend most of your time with. True friends who care for you (and vice versa) can truly affect your happiness in the long run.

Everyone is your teacher

Don’t just a person by their cover – no matter how lowly or highly they appear, they all have knowledge to impart. This can help in your development – so when someone comes along, ask what they can teach you (or vice versa).

Cultivate patience

This advice comes in many guises: all things come to those who wait, or patience is a virtue. By being patient, you prevent yourself from succumbing to negative temptations, and acquire the right attitude in the process.

Let go of the wrongs

Everyone’s been wronged before, but remembering the evils done to you will only make you stuck in life. As Confucius puts it, “To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control how you react – so don’t see it as a negative, but find the wisdom in it.

Watch your anger

Everyone knows nothing good comes out of anger – left unchecked, it can lead you to do regretful things. When you feel anger coming, take a step back and remember the 5-5-5 rule: will it matter in 5 minutes? Will it matter in 5 days? Will it matter in 5 years? If the answer is ‘no’, then move on.

Be open to adjustments

If your hard work doesn’t get you closer to your goals, don’t quit – sometimes all it requires is to change your plan of action. It may take time, but it’ll be worth the fight; if you need inspiration just take a look at all the success stories of some of today’s entrepreneurs.