25 Chinese Sayings That Will Rock Your World (and Make You Much Happier)

For a long time, I’ve been fascinated, inspired and awed by the limitless wisdom found in Chinese Proverbs.

I’ve found them so simple, yet so profound that they have almost shifted my attitude in various aspects of life.

Just like the Yin and Yang, these proverbs are small, but vast, simple yet profound and sometimes general yet they speak to all of us.

Here are some of my favorite Chinese proverbs of all time. I highly recommend reading them a few times until the message truly sinks in. Enjoy!

On taking action

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” – Chinese Proverb

“Your teacher can open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” – Chinese Proverb

“Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb

“Person who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait a very, very long time.” – Chinese Proverb

On achieving your goals

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu

“The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Chinese Proverb

Why you shouldn’t care what other people think about you

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”- Lao Tzu

On the real you

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”- Chinese Proverb

“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” – Lao Tzu

On learning

“Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.” – Chinese Proverb

“He who asks is a fool for 5 minutes, but he who does no task remains a fool forever.” – Chinese Proverb

On failure

“Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” – Chinese Proverb

“The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.” – Chinese Proverb

On perspective

“I was angry that I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.” – Chinese Proverb

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“Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” – Chinese Proverb

On living the present moment

“Do not let yesterday use too much of today.” – Chinese Proverb

“If your problem has a solution then, why worry about it. If your problem has no solution, then why worry about it?”- Chinese Proverb

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – Chinese Proverb

On suffering

“You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent their making a nest in your hair.” -Chinese Proverb

On karma

“Life is like an echo. What you send out usually comes back to you.” – Chinese Proverb

“If you don’t want anyone to find out, don’t do it.” – Chinese Proverb

“Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire” – Confucius

On your purpose and journey

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. A bird sings because it has a song.”- Chinese Proverb

“Only those that have travelled the road know where the holes are deep.” – Chinese Proverb

The journey is the reward.” – Chinese Proverb

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